Who We Are
VIMS is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation governed by a volunteer board of directors that supports the growth and development of provinces, vice-provinces, regions, and missions of the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) especially in countries where resources are few and progress is difficult.
The Superior General, Fr.Tomás Mavric, C.M., the 25th successor of St. Vincent de Paul, established VIMS in 2019 as an expansion of the mission of St. Vincent dePaul begun in 1617 in France. VIMS raises and distributes funds in support of projects approved by the Vincentian Solidarity Office as well as others approved by the Superior General. True to its Vincentian character, VIMS funds projects that serve people living in poverty, advancing their God-given dignity, and fostering full human development.
Who We Help
Vincentians serve the people who are on the margins, people who live in poverty, people whom the world thinks unimportant. St. Vincent dePaul taught us to see the face of Christ in these people, to regard them as our lords and masters.
Our donor-partners make it possible for Vincentian priests and brothers serving in the poorest provinces of our world-wide community to shine the light of God’s love on:
- People who want to live holier lives
- People who are hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed
- People who are insufficiently educated
- People who are homeless
- People who are young, old, and in-between
- People who long for something better for themselves, their children, their neighbors.
How We Help
Vincentian priests and brothers around the world staff parishes, seminaries, schools, health clinics, job training centers, and other kinds of service centers so that all God’s children, all our brothers and sisters can live in greater dignity. Like St. Vincent himself, we invite the people we serve to join us in our service so that everyone grows, learns, heals, and rejoices. Our ministry focuses on the presence of God in each person and builds from there.
History of VIMS
In 1617 Vincent de Paul began to see poor people in a new way. This grace came to him so powerfully that he reoriented his service as a priest, adding to his sacramental duties providing for the needs of people living in poverty in whom he saw the face of Jesus. The congregation of priests and brothers he founded in 1625, commonly called Vincentians, follow in his way, seeking out people who are lonely, lost, forgotten, marginalized and abandoned or, simply put, those who are poor.
The Vincentians, as a world-wide community of 3,000 members and part of an ever-expanding family of organizations made up of people who are inspired by St. Vincent, the Vincentian priests and brothers have created systems and structures to help meet the needs of the people they serve.
In 2002, (then) Superior General, Fr. Bob Maloney, C.M., established the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO) to help provide funding for projects in Vincentian missions in developing countries. Since then, the VSO has helped build churches and seminaries, funded transportation for priests and school children, provided the means to open job training programs and so very much more.
In 2019, Fr. Tomas Mavric, C.M. now Superior General, established Vincentian International Mission Services (VIMS) charging it with the responsibility to raise funds in support of the VSO’s projects as well as others. The response has been nothing short of amazing, and humbling. Donor-partners want St. Vincent’s way of serving, of seeing, to grow and thrive. Under the guidance of its board and staffed by a small, mission-driven team, VIMS is helping Vincentian priests and brothers in the developing world do what Vincent did 400 years ago.
And we’ll keep doing it until it doesn’t need to be done any more.
St. Vincent dePaul started a revolution by effectively responding to the needs of people living in poverty while also making selfless service and generosity expressions of holiness. At VIMS we look to St. Vincent in our efforts to do the same. He is our inspiration.
St. Vincent founded three organizations that continue today. In fact, they are thriving! In 1617 he formed the first of the Confraternities of Charity, a lay organization known in the USA as the Ladies of Charity. In 1625 he established the Congregation of the Mission, a group of priests and brothers. Then, in 1633, he and St. Louise De Marillac, organized the Daughters of Charity.
Since his death in 1660, more than 150 additional organizations have formed based on his way, his teachings, his insights, his zeal. Vincentian International Mission Services (VIMS) is one of the newest. I like to say we have a 6-year-old record and a 400-year history.
St. Vincent continues to inspire people to reach out in loving service, to live and preach the Gospel, to seek out the lost and to serve Jesus through the service of others. Here at VIMS, we look to St. Vincent for inspiration and guidance. We strive to be faithful to the tradition he established.
We are happy to welcome everyone into our network of friends and generous donors who envision a world in which no one lives in poverty, no one is excluded or forgotten, and everyone lives holy lives fully embracing the life God has given to each one of us. If that isn’t an inspiring vision, I don’t know what is.
Meet the Team
Fr. Mark Pranaitis, C.M., PhD
Reporting to Fr. Tomaz Mavric, the Superior General of the Vincentians, and closely collaborating with the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO), Fr. Mark ensures your gifts to VIMS support the projects you care about most.
During his more than 30 years as a Vincentian priest Fr. Mark has worked individually with hundreds of donors who contributed millions of dollars in support of many different projects, from small soup kitchens that provided meals for a few dozen people to the building of houses, churches, schools and more.
Having studied, taught, and preached about the spirituality of stewardship, he is firmly rooted in the belief that everything we have is God’s gift to us and God calls us to share these gifts prudently and generously, putting them at the service of the least among us. Little gives Fr. Mark more joy than helping people discern the call they hear to be generous. He wants everyone to give the right gift, at the right time, to the right ministry.
Fr. Mark has served in parishes, as a leader within his province, a director of stewardship and development for a diocese, and an executive at DePaul University, Catholic Charities USA and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He has offered consultation services in dozens of organizations helping them align resources to achieve their stated mission. When not at work he enjoys biking, reading, the Jersey shore, and old-fashioned letter-writing.
Director of Finance
Reporting to Fr. Mark Pranaitis, the Executive Director of VIMS, Bill ensures your gifts to VIMS support the projects you care about most and is responsible for the accounting and administrative functions of the organization.
Prior to joining the work of VIMS, Bill worked for over five years as Finance Coordinator for the Congregation of the Mission Western Province. It was an educational and motivating job. Bill learned about the charism of St. Vincent and when he was offered the opportunity to move into a different role within the Vincentian family, he made the move and began his tenure with VIMS. This work is more exciting and motivating since he can work directly with the appeals and ensure the finances of the organization are strong and stable.
Bill did not start in the finance world. After receiving a degree in Theatre Performance, he worked varying business jobs until starting a 20-year career as a Singer, Actor, Dancer. He moved back to his hometown, St. Louis in 2001 and began a new chapter in his life back in the business world. He continued to play music for Sunday mass during this time and has recorded two CDs of his original spiritual music. Many years prior, during grade school, Bill attended a discernment weekend in Perryville, MO (the home of the Vincentian seminary). It might have taken over 40 years to become part of the Vincentian Family, but it is a mission that Bill embraces now.
Director of Digital Marketing
Meet Lindsey Adams, the face behind the curtain of all things digital at VIMS. Lindsey works with Fr. Mark and Bill to develop international appeals and ensure all of VIMS’ fundraising efforts have a strong digital presence via email marketing, social media, online advertising and more. As a proud Catholic, she finds immense joy in contributing to causes that align with her values and faith. She has worked in the marketing and communications space for almost 15 years, and feels blessed that she is able to use her knowledge and experience to help others here at VIMS.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Lindsey is an avid enthusiast of a well-balanced lifestyle. She has a deep love for exercise, captivating mystery novels and taking every opportunity to explore new countries and immerse herself in diverse cultures (17 countries and counting!).
Lindsey’s life philosophy revolves around embracing challenges and cherishing her family. Her unwavering dedication to her work at VIMS stems from her genuine love for the mission, knowing that it contributes positively to the lives of those in need. Through her creativity, tenacity, and love for a good challenge, she aims to make a lasting impact on the Vincentian mission and create a more compassionate world. Lindsey’s journey at VIMS is not only a testament to her professional acumen but also a reflection of her strong bond with her faith, her family, and her commitment to making the world a better place.
Fr. Jaroslav Jaššo C.M., ThDr., PhD
Senior Development Officer
Fr. Jaroslav Jaššo, has been a Vincentian priest for more than 30 years. In 2023 he joined the VIMS team, working closely with Fr. Mark and Fr. Tomaž, the Superior General of the Congregation.
He has served in his native Slovakia as well as Ukraine, Honduras, the United States, the Czech Republic and in Madagascar. To say he is multi-lingual is an understatement. Even his education is international having earned graduate degrees from Catholic universities in Slovakia, Poland, and the United States.
Fr. Jaroslav has served as a simple missioner, pastor, the leader of missions and regions, and as provincial. He has served on many committees and commissions of the Congregation helping to increase awareness of the international and missionary nature of the Catholic Church and the Congregation.
Fr. Jaro likes to read, especially the works of Slovak and Russian authors. He loves listening to classical music, watching a good movie, swimming, and skiing!