At the time of the announcement, they said they had already deposited $15 million into the descendants’ trust. They had also hired a fundraising company with the goal of raising the rest of the $100 million over a period of three to five years. The partnership came about after a group of descendants pushed for negotiations after learning from New York Times articles that the Jesuits sold their ancestors to save Georgetown.
Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, the former president of the Jesuit conference who helped bring about that first agreement between the Jesuits and the group of descendants, said in an interview that he understood their frustrations.
“I had hoped to be further along,” said Father Kesicki, who said he had hoped the Jesuits would now have received about a third of the $100 million pledge for the trust, including the $15 million initial investment from the Trust. order.
Father Kesicki, who now serves as the trust’s chairman, and others familiar with the Jesuit efforts, pointed to a number of challenges, including the order’s organizational structure, which requires multiple approvals from multiple people in major decisions, and the complexity associated with it in land transactions.
In addition, Father Kesicki said, it takes time to set up a major fundraising campaign.
“But we need to show more growth,” he said, “and that’s a challenge and a pressure that I carry every day.”