USG Executive Board Meeting 30 November 2020

05/01/2021

On Monday, 30 November 2020, a meeting of the USG Executive Council was held using the Zoom platform.

The meeting opened with a brief prayer offered by the General Secretary to Our Lady of Divine Love, so dear to the people of Rome, and with a brief and warm welcome from Fr. Arturo Sosa to those present.

The first item on the agenda was the study carried out on the 2019 Budget by a small committee composed of Fathers Jeremias Schroeder OSB, Budi Kleden Paulus, SVD, and Emanuele Lupi, CPPS.

The starting point was to consider the suggestions made by the commission, which can be summarized in the following 3 points:

  1. Always present the budget for the following year together with the balance;
  2. In future budgets, try to ensure that at least 50% of expenditure is made in areas directly related to the USG's mission;
  3. Allocate part of the interest from investments to finance some humanitarian project.

It was agreed put these points into practice, which the Executive considered favorably.

The discussion then continued with a report on the last meeting of the Council of 16, which was held on 20 November 2020 and had a specific theme "All Brothers: orientations and challenges for consecrated life".

According to all present, it was a good meeting, well prepared and well attended. We saw growth, and a new way of working compared to past meetings (1 present and 2 online).

The hope is to continue along this path, or even accelerate it. Establish greater continuity between one meeting and the next, to avoid each meeting being an island unto itself, always have a specific theme to prepare for in advance, have more time for the presentation and final debate, but above all strengthen the relations of collaboration and friendship between the two Unions and the Dicastery.

This would mean doing something concrete for consecrated life and for the good of the Church.

The Council then moved on to the evaluation of the USG Assembly that took place online (25-27 November 2020) for which 57 evaluations were received with the following overall values (out of 10): first day (7.82), second day (8.33), third day (7.72).

Generally speaking, the speakers from NewStories were praised for the help they gave to the Assembly, especially Zulma's graphic method, which had a strong impact on the participants.

Father Augusto Zampini-Davies, Assistant Secretary of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, was very much appreciated. His report was based on an in-depth analysis of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and was of great help in imagining the world we want to build for the future.

General observations were then made, on the pros and cons, between the in-person and online assemblies: the importance and completeness of the in-person meeting was acknowledged, but at the same time, the advantage of reducing distances and the greater possibility of participation offered by the online mode was experienced.

Finally, it was announced that the next Assembly, in May, will be organized with the UISG and will still be online, and it is retained as a possibility that, when the Assembly will be held in person again, there will be live streaming for those who cannot be physically present.

Another item on the agenda was the two online meetings planned, which emerged during the Assembly: the "Mixed Institutes" meeting which will take place on 20 January 2021, and the meeting between the Superiors General responsible for the Roman Universities and Athenae scheduled for 10 February 2021.

Finally, Father Arturo Sosa presented the Discerning Leadership project whose partners are the Society of Jesus, the USG, the UISG and the International Association of Jesuit Universities.

To carry out this project there is a rich team from the academic, cultural and linguistic point of view that follows a synodal way of doing things with the aim of preparing programs in Rome and also for Africa and Asia (https://discerningleadership.org).

The meeting closed with the announcement that the next meeting of the Executive Council will be on 22 February 2021.