About the VSO

What is the Vincentian Solidarity Office?

The Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO) is a program of service of the General Curia of the Congregation of the Mission in Rome, Italy. The VSO was established by the Superior General and the General Council of the Congregation of the Mission on June 15, 2002, and opened for service on January 1, 2003. The goal of the VSO is:

To assist the Congregation of the Mission with obtaining funds for its evangelization and service of the poor.

How does the VSO work?

Provinces, vice-provinces, and missions of the Congregation of the Mission apply for VSO service for a specific project by submitting a completed VSO Project Application Form. Projects that meet the criteria of the VSO approved by the Superior General and the General Council are accepted for VSO service. The responsibilities of the provinces, vice-provinces, and missions submitting projects for service are:

  1. To design, plan and implement the project.
  2. To manage the funds awarded to the project.
  3. To prepare the financial and evaluation reports required by the funding of a project.

The responsibilities of the VSO for projects it accepts for service are:

  1. To select projects submitted by visitors, vice-visitors, and mission superiors of international missions of the General Curia for VSO service based on criteria approved by the Superior General and the General Council.
  2. To investigate funding sources for projects.
  3. To provide assistance with writing grant proposals for projects.
  4. To submit grant proposals for projects to the appropriate funding organizations.
  5. To keep track of grant proposals submitted to various funding organizations for projects.
  6. To handle communication and correspondence with funding organizations regarding these grant proposals for projects.
  7. To aid the Treasurer General in the distribution of grant funds awarded by funding organizations to projects.
  8. To make sure the financial and evaluation reports for grants are filed on time with funding organizations.
  9. To aid the Treasurer General in the administration of  the Vincentian Solidarity Fund with the approval of the Superior General and the General Council.

What is the Vincentian Solidarity Fund?

The Superior General and General Council established the Vincentian Solidarity Fund (VSF) to supply matching funds for the co-funding of projects. This is a fund of the General Curia in Rome, Italy, that is administered by the VSO. The monies from the VSF are restricted and can only be used to match up to 50% of the cash funding for projects (with the exception of VSF micro-project grants which are funded entirely from the VSF). The other 50% of the cash funding for projects must come from other funding sources. Monies from the VSF cannot be released until matching funds are secured from other funding sources for a particular project.

What are VSF micro-project grants?

A VSF micro-project grant is a grant of up to $5,000 (USD) that is awarded to a project of a province, vice-province, or mission and is completely funded from the VSF. The revenue sources for VSF micro-project grants are the contributions made by confreres, local communities and provinces.  Provinces, vice-provinces, and missions apply for a VSF micro-project grant by submitting a completed VSF Micro-Project Grant Application Form to the VSO. Micro-projects that meet the criteria approved by the Superior General and the General Council are awarded VSF micro-project grants.

Who works at the VSO?

The VSO is staffed by its Executive Director, Father Miles Heinen, C.M., and Associate Director, Scott Fina, and Project Manager, María José Pacheo.