During a break in the General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission currently taking place in Rome, we had the opportunity to speak briefly with Fr. Mark Pranaitis CM, Executive Director of the Vincentian International Mission Services (VIMS).
In the following video, the Fr. Mark explains the purpose and the meaning of VIMS :
Father Mark Pranaitis is the Executive Director of Vincentian International Mission Services. What does this mean?
VIMS is just the initials of Vincentian International Mission Services, which is a mouthful. VIMS serves the Congregation of the Mission by providing funding for projects in the developing world, in provinces and missions where resources are few but Vincentians are very faithful in their service to the people.
How this actually works? What are the projects?
Projects are approved by the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO), which provinces make application to it and then I raise funds from individual donors to help supplement funds that the VSO raises from the provinces of the world. So we work together to make sure that seminaries get built, that schools get built, that clinics are open, that meal programs can operate all sorts of services can happen to help the people of God grow in their faith and devotion and to live dignified lives.
Who are the donors?
My donor base is predominantly in the United States because that’s where I am, and they are faithful Catholics who are connected to the Vincentian Mission. Perhaps they’re parishioners at a parish, perhaps they’re alumni of one of the universities, perhaps they’re from my Christmas card list, but they are generous people who want to make sure that the mission of Saint Vincent de Paul continues well into the future and they like providing concrete services to the people of God, to their brothers and sisters.
Father Mark, can you tell about us the renovation of the Vincentian Motherhouse in Paris?
Yes. For more than 200 years we have lived at 95 rue de Sevres. This is following the French Revolution. And it’s time for this house to have a new mission; and so we started a renovation project so that we can welcome the members of the Vincentian Family from around the world into programming, to help them learn to work together. And I describe it this way: our goal is to weave a web of charity that is woven so tightly that no person will slip through it. That’s our vision. The Motherhouse is a huge project: there are more than 270 rooms to be renovated and all sorts of things: roofing and windows and all of that, but all of it will be at the service of the mission once it’s finished.
Last question: why a donor should support this project?
I want you to imagine a world in which no one lives in poverty. That’s what the Vincentian Family can help make possible. The mother house is going to be the center of developing programs and services and ways of our working together so that we can in fact invite people around the world to greater dignity and have people not live in poverty anymore, but to live fully as sons and daughters of God.
Father Mark, thank you very much.
More info on Vincentian International Mission Service: https://vims1617.org/