VSOFr. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. to serve as Consultant to Vincentian Solidarity Office

From the announcement…  Fr. G. Gregory Gay, C.M., Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, announced that he has secured the assistance of Fr. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President Emeritus of St. John’s University, New York to advise in fund-raising efforts for the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO), a fund-raising arm of the international Congregation. Fr. Harrington, a member of the Eastern Province, USA will serve as a consultant to the VSO. In this capacity, Fr. Harrington will assist the VSO in two crucial ways. First, he will advise on the best means to reach their $5 million dollar goal to qualify for a matching grant from a charitable foundation. Secondly, Fr. Harrington will use his expertise to design a long-term plan that will coordinate and enhance fund-raising efforts of the VSO for the Congregation on the international level.

The Vincentian Solidarity Office provides financial support for provinces in developing countries for their works with the poor in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. The VSO is building up what it calls “Patrimonial Funds” that will promote the economic viability of Vincentian provinces in developing nations, and also fund the activities of Vincentian Family groups that are under the responsibility of the Superior General. The monies raised will help provinces to get on solid financial footing, so they can fund programs to offer formation for their members and initiate new works with the poor. 

Fr. Gay said, “I am gratified that Fr. Harrington has generously agreed to serve as a consultant to the Vincentian Solidarity Office, and I thank him for his willingness to assist the international Congregation in this fund-raising endeavor. We are at a crucial time in our efforts to achieve a matching grant. Fr. Harrington brings a great wealth of knowledge and expertise to this task. His very successful fund-raising efforts, both as President of Niagara and St. John’s, resulted in major enhancements in the quality of academic and student life at both universities.”

Fr. Donald Harrington is a native of Brooklyn, NY and was ordained in 1973. His entire priesthood has been spent in the higher education apostolate of the Eastern Province, USA. He served as an administrator and professor at Niagara from 1973-1989. In 1984, he was named NU President. In 1989, Fr. Harrington left Niagara to become President of St. John’s University, where he served until his retirement in 2013. In both Vincentian schools, Fr. Harrington established successful capital campaigns, including the first-ever major fund-raising effort at Niagara. At St. John’s, he carried out two very successful capital campaigns, resulting in a major transformation of the University.

Fr. Miles Heinen, C.M. is the Director of the Vincentian Solidarity Office, and has served in this capacity since 2009. The Vincentian Solidarity Office is based in Philadelphia, at the provincial house of the Eastern Province. Fr. Harrington, currently on sabbatical, will begin his consultant duties with the VSO in August, 2014.

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