“I appreciate being in touch with different ways of living. Cultural differences are an opportunity, not a problem.”
– Fr. Luca Zottoli, general treasurer
Representatives from the Dehonians’ General Finance Commission met this week at the Provincial Offices in Hales Corners. Among the participants were Fr. Luca Zottoli, SCJ, general treasurer (Rome), Fr. Gerd Hemken, SCJ (Germany), Fr. Vincent Dinh, SCJ (Vietnam) and Dn. David Nagel, SCJ, treasurer of the US Province. Although they spoke about a variety of financial issues in the congregation, of particular focus was the 2024 General Chapter and the required report of the General Treasurer to chapter delegates.
“I am responsible for the report as General Treasurer,” said Fr. Luca, “But I do the report in collaboration with members of the General Finance Commission. I value their input.”
The commission generally meets twice a year: once online and once in person. In recent years, the in-person meetings – including an international conference on fundraising in 2022 – have been held in the US Province.
“The US Province is an important entity in the Congregation,” said Fr. Luca. “It is very socially oriented, which is very Dehonian. The US is also very supportive to other entities in need.”
Fr. Luca said that coming to the United States is a good way for him and others on the commission to view financial topics outside of a European mindset. As an example, he spoke of his experience of philanthropy in the United States. In Europe, higher taxes often fund social programs that in the US may depend more so on charity. He emphasized that the difference is neither good nor bad, but instead, a different approach.
“I appreciate being in touch with different ways of living. Cultural differences are an opportunity, not a problem. I hope that we can stop judging geographic areas in terms of right and wrong, and instead, start to think about what we can all learn from ‘the other,’ incorporating the best of what each has to offer. Asia, Africa… in all of our locations there is much to learn.”