By Vatican News
“Of all the various career opportunities I could have imagined, this is one that would never have crossed my mind…”. These are the words with which Maximino Caballero welcomed Pope Francis’s appointment announced today, that designates him as the new number two person in the Secretariat for the Economy (SPE), the Dicastery headed by Prefect Juan Antonio Guerrero.
Spanish by birth and American by adoption, Caballero was born in Mérida (Badajoz), Spain, in 1959. Married for 31 years and the father of two children, he developed his professional career in the field of finance. After graduating in Economics from the Autónoma University of Madrid, he earned an MBA from the IESE Business School in Barcelona. He worked for twenty years from Barcelona and Valencia, as leader of finance in various European countries, the Middle East and Africa. In 2007 he moved to the United States along with his family, where he has since resided.
While in the United States, Caballero held various Finance positions at Baxter Healthcare, Inc., an international, publicly owned, medical products and services company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, with a portfolio of critical care, nutrition, renal, hospital and surgical products. His positions include Vice President of Finance for Latin America, Vice President of Finance International, and Vice President of Finance of the Americas, in addition to directing projects on a global level within the same company.
“The United States and Baxter have been my home for many years”, explains the new Secretary for the SPE. “Here I have had the opportunity both of growing professionally and of interacting with persons and projects coming from practically all over the world. My work has allowed me to know diverse cultures and has helped me understand the importance and the power of diversity. On a personal level, I admire the degree of involvement of Catholics in this country with the Church and their generosity in supporting their local parishes and their social works”.
Maximino Caballero and Father Juan Antonio Guerrero, current Prefect of the SPE, come from the same city and are childhood friends. “Father Guerrero and I grew up together”, Caballero confides, “our families have maintained our friendship throughout all my life, and we were very close until the end of University. From that time on, life brought each one of us on different paths, but without ever losing contact”.
“When Father Guerrero called me and proposed this project to me”, explains the new Secretary for the SPE, “a long list of reasons why I could not accept passed through my head: my family is established in the United States; I would have to temporarily leave my children, Sandra and Maxi, who are working there; my work; my home… However, my wife, Immaculada, and I, knew from the first moment that God’s call comes in many different ways, and this was ours. Therefore, there was only one response: ‘fiat’ ”.
After handing in his resignation from his current position, the new General Secretary of the Holy See’s SPE and his wife will move to Rome within the next few days. Caballero will be active in his new position as of the second half of August.
“The thought is quite widespread that only priests and nuns matter in the Church and that the rest of us are only spectators. However, the lay faithful have a very important task to carry out within the Church. We are all members of the same body and we all have our mission. To collaborate with the Holy See”, Caballero concludes, “at the service of the Holy Father, is an honour and a great responsibility for me. My experience and my work are my ‘talents’, and I hope that with them I can do my part to collaborate in the economic transparence of the Holy See.
"I will face this new phase in our lives with humility and with gratitude to Father Guerrero for having proposed me as a candidate, and to the Holy Father for having placed his trust in me”.