To serve with money… but above all with the spirit of the Society…

"No one has entered the Society of Jesus to become a Provincial Treasurer"! This is an intriguing starting point for the interview that Fr. Charles Lasrado, Assistant to the General Treasurer, gave us. The task of making sure that the patrimony of the Society is well used and that it is handled according to the rules and above all according to the spirit of the Compendium of the Law of the congregation is of great importance. It is a field in which rigour, honesty and transparency must reign; a field in which the evangelical and social options of the Society must also be reflected. Therefore, Jesuits who are approved by Father General to exercise the function of provincial Treasurer need formation.

Of the 86 administrative units of the Society of Jesus in the world, an average of about 20 new treasurers take up their posts each year. Normally they were invited to the Curia for a week of formation and familiarisation with the functioning and personnel of the Curia. This year, because of the pandemic, the training was offered online, with three sessions per day and taking into account the time zones. The programme consists of nine 90-minute sessions and included 26 participants.


What do the new treasurers focus on? Are they given accounting courses and training on the vagaries of the stock market? No, not really. Provinces and Regions are encouraged to hire professional staff to assist the treasurer with many of the regular financial activities. Treasurers, for their part, should be very familiar with their manual, The Instruction on the Administration of Goods and the more strictly legal part which is linked to this manual, the Statutes on Religious Poverty in the Society of Jesus. They learn which permissions to ask Rome for, when buying or selling land or houses, the ethical and prudential bases of investments, how to manage accounts and report to the General Curia.

This year, the facilitation of the formation programme is shared by four members of the General Treasurer's team: the Treasurer of the Society, Fr. Tom McClain, his assistants, Frs. Michel N'Tangu and Charles Lasrado, and Fr. Sebastian Jeerakassery, of the Delhi Province, who will soon take over from Charles Lasrado. Father General also intervenes during the week: he can then highlight the subjects and ways of proceeding that are dear to his heart so that the spirit of St. Ignatius on questions of administration matters may be nourished by Ignatian spirituality and not first of all by soulless economic theories.


Once again, treasurers are not primarily accountants. They are there to ensure that the administration of the material goods of the Society supports its mission. Norms and statutes are important, but this is only true if the spirit of the Gospel is central: the will to put what we possess at the service of the mission of reconciliation and justice. It is also the will to administer especially for the advancement of the poor and marginalised.

At the end of their training session, the new treasurers enthusiastically see how their task, which they have not chosen, is truly part of the mission of the Society of Jesus in today's world. This is even truer in these demanding times, such as the pandemic we are going through.

Share this Post:
Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

Related Posts: