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.
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 25 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.
Major Gifts Officer
Rob works with donor-partners interested in giving major gifts and planned gifts that support the VIMS mission. His long relationship with the Vincentians makes it easy for him help donors understand the good their gifts accomplish.
With his strong connections to the Niagara University community and alumni group, Rob has many friends who are part of the Vincentian Family. He has spent much of his 30-year career working with organizations that, like the Vincentians, serve people living in poverty.
Rob’s extensive experience guiding Catholic and secular organizations regarding branding, capital campaigns, communications, administration, and fundraising make a valuable resource to VIMS. He has a proven track record of financial success, having raised hundreds of millions of dollars for different nonprofits to ensure they can carry out their mission. Key to his success is fostering a strong relationship between the donor and the organization.
The nonprofit organizations he raised money for include: World Villages for Children, The Catholic University of America, Messenger Eagle Communications, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, the Wounded Warrior Patrol, Harvest for the Hungry, Our Daily Bread, St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, Niagara University, and the National Ski Patrol.
When not at work, he enjoys time on the ski slopes, cooking, biking, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.