St. Gaspar Bertoni and his Faith-Inspired Economy
of the Goods of God
In the Stigmatine early history, the finances of the community were cared for by one of the confreres, with the title either of Economus or Spender. There may have been a facetious reference here to some men who might have been a bit restringent in the management of funds, and those others who had what were known as ‘broader sleeves’ – employing greater generosity in the administration of money.
The interest in this particular study is to note St. Gaspar Bertoni’s great care that the ministry to the dying might not be tarnished by any self-seeking on the part of the minister of the sacraments to the dying. He also manifested a high level of interest in the better service of the Church and a much greater detachment toward his own work.
Today’s reflection was occasioned by Pope Francis’ recent appeal to religious in their managing estates, inheritance and s patrimony. The religious is not a ‘capitalist’ but a religious – and the handling of every patrimony should be carried out more in imitation of Christ and with an ever greater interest in whatever is for the greater service of the Church.
The Stigmatine and the Management of the Goods of the Church
From all indications, Fr. Bertoni wished to mark his entire undertaking a careful drawing of the portrait of Jesus Christ in the lives of each one. Fr. Gaspar’s whole endeavor could indeed be defined as one great work of beneficence [to serve God and the Church absolutely gratuitously – Compendium Rude, n.3 – quoting the Formula of St. Ignatius of Loyola.