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Concerning our material goods

 

H. Benito Arbués
31/10/2000 - Vol. XXX, n. 4
Circular 406

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CONCERNING OUR MATERIAL GOODS

My reasons for writing this letter. (Numbers 1 and 2)
Putting this study in context.
a) I am very aware of the different situations that exist throughout the Institute. (3)
- The variety of social, cultural, and economic situations.
- The variety of responsibilities and circumstances facing the brothers and their works.
- The differing economic and organizational capabilities of each Province.
- Different ways of conceptualizing “poverty,” and the relationship between “quality and effec-tiveness in ministry and the possession of economic resources.”
b) My own personal story. (4)
c) The General Council’s view. (5)

I. THE MATERIAL GOODS OF THE INSTITUTE AND THEIR INTENDED USE
Where does our money come from today?
Some things that have changed, and the resulting consequences. (6)
- New ways of generating money and enlarging stock portfolios have produced a completely new environment for our religious life.
- Easier access to money can raise questions and heighten concerns for us in the area of forma-tion.
- And even in our latest projects with the poor, we ought to very careful.
- With money comes power.
The use and current destination of material goods in the Institute. (7)
Material goods in service to the lives of the Brothers. (8)
- Our lifestyle: the location of our communities and resources.
- Separating elements of financial management.
- Our calling to lead an unpretentious and prophetic way of life.
Some criteria and pathways for deliberating and taking action. (9)
Material goods destined for mission. (10-14)
- To what ends are we devoting our money? Appraisals; pathways for deliberation and action.
- The key words: mission and recipients.
- Discerning projects from the Gospel’s point of view.
- Some suggestions concerning our works.
Solidarity: sharing, even things that we are entitled to keep for our own use. (15, 16)
- The everlasting reasons: the plan of God, and the calls of the Gospel.
- How vivid the calls that we are hearing today! Differences are more in evidence; more in evi-dence, too, the possibilities!
- Taking concrete steps: our Life and our Mission demand them.
Places where I see progress. (17)

II. ADMINISTERING MATERIAL GOODS BASED ON GOSPEL STANDARDS
To see ourselves as, and to truly be, humble administrators. (18-20)
Administration: transparency and evangelical orientation. (21)
New ways of having money available require pastoral care and accompaniment. (22)

III. ASPECTS CALLING FOR DISCERNMENT AND CONCRETE ACTION
In the lives of the Brothers and their communities. (23-25)
- The standard of living in communities: locations, housing, facilities, service, management, and budgets.
- Some suggestions.
Capitalization: How much money do we need to keep in reserve? (26)
1. Concerning Provincial funds: three very important areas to consider.
2. Guidelines for deliberations on capitalization.
3. Studying and subsequently discerning about a Province’s way of doing business and the admi-nistrative criteria that it uses; also about the most suitable organizational and operational met-hods that it can employ.
4. Concrete aspects relating to the plan for “capitalization.”
The advantage of establishing auditing procedures. (27)

CONCLUSION (28)
a) Revitalizing our charism.
b) Choosing is deciding.
c) Trusting in Divine Providence.

ATTACHMENT 1
SUGGESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION AT A COMMUNITY MEETING

ATTACHMENT 2
ON THE EVANGELICAL USE OF MATERIAL GOODS
Method for study and reflection used by the General Council.

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