Jesuit Finances

Jesuit Finances - A Short Explanation of How They Work

Despite perceptions, Jesuits take their vow of Poverty very seriously.  St. Ignatius held poverty in very high regard and stipulated that Communities and Provinces should never have at their immediate disposal more than the needs of one year at most.

However, when still a student, Ignatius was often distracted from serious study because he had to spend time begging in order to be able to pay his tuition and feed himself (and, very often, a few others too!).  He did not want this to happen also to the future students of the Society.  Moreover, already in the early days of the Society, there were sick and elderly Jesuits who could hardly afford the energy to go begging!

The Four Jesuit Funds

For this reason, Ignatius wanted the Society to have special Funds for the formation of Jesuit students and for the Jesuit sick and aged.  As things developed, in the worldwide Society, Provinces seek to build four different Funds:

•    the Seminary Fund - for the formation of students
•    the Sick and Aged Fund - for the care of the sick and elderly
•    the Apostolic Fund - for apostolic activity which is necessary but which is not self-supporting
•    the Foundations Fund - for the purchase and repair of buildings

The money of each fund has to be used exclusively for the purpose of that fund.  Thus, for instance, the money belonging to the Apostolic Fund cannot be used to pay the expenses of the sick.  Nor can money destined to a Fund be moved to another Fund except with the permission of Fr. General, a permission that is not given without a very serious reason.

Conservative Investments

Jesuits try to build these Funds little by little through the generosity of benefactors.  The money is invested and the interest is used as explained above.  Jesuits are very much aware that this money is not exactly theirs and they use it only according to the intention of the donor.  Moreover, for the same reason, they are very careful not to take risks with investments.  Jesuits invest conservatively seeking security rather than risky quick returns.

The Maltese Province – An Appeal to You, Our Benefactors

Since the Jesuits in Malta are relatively new both because the Jesuit order itself is new compared to the other religious orders and because the Jesuits were suppressed in 1773 and all their property was confiscated by the respective governments (the ‘Jesuit’ church in Valletta, for instance, belongs to the government not to Jesuits! It used to belong to the Jesuits but it had been confiscated by Grand Master Pinto), our Province did not have time to accumulate property.  So, despite appearances, the Maltese Jesuits find it difficult to make both ends meet and especially when it comes to covering the expenses of our students and those of our elderly and sick members.  We also find it difficult to run some of our ministry and maintain our property.

This should explain very well how we depend completely on our benefactors.  We believe in divine Providence and so far none of us has died of starvation, however, our Funds are not yet sufficient to cover the above mentioned expenses.  As a consequence you will not be surprised that we are looking for still more generous people who believe strongly in the work we are doing for God and for the community and who will support us.

You will find many and various ways of how you too can support us and our work here.
For further information, contact us by e-mail

Fr. Alfred Micallef, SJ
, Financial Administrator of the Maltese Jesuit Province.

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