We are a community of brothers and responsible for one another

The fourth day of the general chapter was dedicated to the report of the general treasurer and the presentation of the geographical areas of Africa and Asia.

by  Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ

email email whatsapp whatsapp facebook twitter Printable version

The fourth day of the XXV General Chapter begun with the Eucharist celebration in French language and presided over by Fr. Jean Leonard Ramarofanomeza , the superior of the Region of Madagascar,. As usual, the daily reflection was given in the chapter hall; Fr. Jean Leonard spoke about the experience of Elisha who chose to walk with Elijah until the prophet was taken into heaven. Elisha wanted to inherit a double portion of the Elijah’s spirit. These two pilgrims remind us of the disciples of Emaus who also received a great spiritual gift after the encounter with the Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us the gift of generosity. And as prayer is an attitude of trust in the Lord, let us continue to ask him for a disposition to share “our lives in our communities, in prayer and service, in generosity and mutual support.” (Prayer for the XXV General Chapter).

In prayerful spirit, we moved on with our work. We had the opportunity to appreciate the report given by the general treasurer, Fr. Luca Zottoli, on the financial health of our congregation. With good sense of humour, Fr. Luca said that although yesterday the superior general spoke of kairos, today the general treasurer will speak of kronos. It is his responsibility to provide the chapter with a clear, transparent, and honest account of his management in the last six years. At the table, Fr. Luca was accompanied by his collaborators and members of the International Finance Commission to whom he was deeply grateful.

Fr. Luca affirmed that his work was one of continuity to the great job done by the previous administration, and that he hopes this will be taken up by the next council. According to him, the congregation is like a field; we sow and care for the seed to flourish and bear fruit. The work of the finance commission is not only business. Rather, it is first of all an evangelical and spiritual ministry, guiding us to use our resources with wisdom and responsibility to the service of God’s Kingdom.

He emphasized the importance of teamwork and continuous dialogue. We are a community of brothers who are responsible for each other. Although, we have not yet reached the ideal of communion of goods described in our Constitutions, we recognize our duty to share all with justice and equity. In fact, the congregation has demonstrated an impressive spirit of collaboration in these last six years. Our strong sense of solidarity should make us proud and hopeful for the future.

We are aware that many entities are still not self-sustainable and continue to rely on the support of other sister entities. But we are committed to finding ways of becoming economically autonomous. Looking at the numbers, we see how much we have done for each other, and how much we have received from our benefactors who faithfully support the work of the congregation. We pray that God bless them for their generosity, because every gift comes with a cost, with some sacrifice. At the same time, we must change our mentality and strive to live with the fruit of our work.

Fr. Luca gave us a very detailed overview of our resources and expenses, divided in the various areas of the congregation, particularly in mission and formation. He highlighted the projects that are funding works, and how they have been key to the maintenance of our ministries. In addition, he emphasized the potential we have to do much more, always to better serve God’s people.

The various language groups were given some time to reflect and respond to the financial report. After their sharing, Fr. Luca concluded saying through the service of general treasurer he has found the joy of working. He recognizes that he alone cannot change the congregation, but he is happy to be part of this family; “I have found the desire to live even more intensely, because we only live once.”

In the afternoon session, we started to listen to the presentation of each geographical area. The first to report was Africa, a colourful continent where our founder himself chose to establish a mission. Currently, we are composed of many young members. We are changing from the classical European missionary presence to a flourishing number of local vocations who are taking on the mission. We are doing a good work in schools, social centres, formation, parishes, centres of spirituality, and in the African theological commission. Some of their challenges are the limited number of formators, some cases of individualism, ongoing economic dependence, and the large distances among communities. Fr. Charles Aimé Koudjou, general councilor in charge of Africa, added that there must be change of paradigm; “we need to promote an economic Sint Unum; our finances should reflect our commitment to communion. Africa’s richness is in the power of youth and in the abundance of its land.”

The second continent to present was Asia. Here too we see flourishing vocations and a great future. Our confreres are eager to serve the mission of the congregation. The challenges are in terms of secularism, multiculturality, ethnocentrism, and individualism spreading in the Asian society. In some areas, there is even religious and political extremism trying to prevent the growth of Christianity. Despite these difficulties, we continue to share our charism with the people of Asia, attracting them to the Heart of Christ.

to our newsletter


Follow us
on our official channels


to our newsletter

Read the Privacy Policy and write to