In every Province of the Society of Jesus there is a Treasurer or Administrator of the Province that assists the government of the Provincial in all matters financial, administrative, and juridical. In small Provinces it may be, sometimes, almost a one-man operation. But in larger Provinces there are Administration Offices, involving the collaboration of staffs of lay experts, on whom Treasurers rely more and more for a competent discharge of their mission.

All have to deal with similar tasks: manage the funds assigned to the formation of young Jesuits, the care for the elderly and the support of apostolic endeavours; to supervise the administration of the different communities and works of the Province; to manage human resources and real estate. The opportunity to share experience and discuss common challenges is very much appreciated. Since 2018, the treasurers and their assistants from the Jesuit provinces of Europe and the Near East gather annually in order to share their personal experience of this particular mission in the Society and discuss topics of common interest.

This network is a privileged opportunity to share mutual support, but also to advance the cooperation between different provinces. One fruit of that is the Formation Solidarity Mechanism, a system for, every year, sharing resources within the Conference and supporting those Provinces which have insufficient funds to pay for the formation of their men in studies.

According to the wishes of the 36th General Congregation. A glimpse of history: I joined ARSI in 2012, as an assistant to the Director. The main mission of ARSI has been to preserve the documents of the archive, and to make them available to researchers who come for consultation. The 36th General Congregation (2016) invited the Society of Jesus to grow in discernment, in collaboration and in networking. From then on, a committee began to meet at the Curia to reflect on the mission of ARSI and Father General’s Library. At the beginning of 2018 we began a process of consultation with some Jesuits in the historical field, and with some academic institutions about the possibilities of collaboration with ARSI, with the idea of creating a “network of Jesuit archives”. In May 2018 we - Jesuit archivists in Rome - began to meet in order to promote collaboration. The idea then arose to organize a meeting of archivists from some of the main archives of the Society. In September 2018 I was appointed Administrative Director of ARSI. An international meeting of the Society’s archivists was held on 12-15 February 2019 here at the General Curia. As a result, we created a “digital space” to share information from our archives. Three groups of archivists started working online, with specific themes. We then began to think about organising meetings of archivists from the Conferences of Europe (JCEP), Latin America (CPAL) and Asia Pacific (JCAP). From May 2019 we have held video conferences with the participants of the February meeting. Meeting of JCEP archivists: In July 2019 a proposal was made to organise a meeting of European archivists at KADOC (Leuven, Belgium) in the year 2020, with the aim of promoting collaboration and networking between the Society’s archives in Europe. Due to the COVID crisis, we decided in April 2020 to suspend the meeting in Leuven, and to have instead an “online meeting” of two days, 29 and 30 September 2020. From that moment on, we worked on the preparation of this meeting via email and TEAMS conversations with the archivists. The virtual meeting of the European archivists took place 29-30 September 2020. The participants included 13 archivists of the JCEP, Fr Franck Janin (President of JCEP), and ARSI staff. On the second day, a proposal was made to prepare a list of some materials in our various archives for the period 1939-1958 (considering that the Vatican Apostolic Archives made documents from the pontificate of Pius XII accessible in February 2020). This proposal was received with enthusiasm. The evaluation of the online meeting was positive. In particular, the archivists were impressed by the presentation made by Christian Taoutel, of the Beirut archive, showing the damage caused by the explosion in the harbour in August 2020 and the work that remains to be done. I am happy and satisfied with this new step towards collaboration between the Society’s archives and I hope we can continue on this path. Virtual meetings with the Asia-Pacific and Latin American Conferences are being planned for 2021.