St. Vincent De Paul taught his confreres to serve the poor through collaborative, innovative, and sustainable ways. The Vincentian Solidarity Office, physically located on the grounds of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Germantown PA. is making that possible by its funding of just such projects in various parts the world.
Serving the Poor and Protecting Creation in Kharkiv
The March bulletin describe just such a project in Ukraine.
Financing the pastoral and social services there has been difficult. Heating the mission’s large church and five-floor pastoral service center has been a special challenge. Heating fuel is expensive and difficult to obtain in the region, which has long, cold winters. Burning this fuel also harms the environment.
In response, the mission looked to God’s creation for help, while also seeking to protect it. It decided to install a geothermal heating system to draw warmth from the ground, and solar panels to absorb energy from the sun. In this way, it could heat the space and water in its church and pastoral center in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way.
The mission sought the help of the VSO to fund the installation of the geothermal and solar panel heating systems, which involved digging wells and underground pipelines, and purchasing sophisticated equipment. The VSO assisted the mission in obtaining grants from the Archdiocese of Cologne, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Papal Foundation, and also applied monies from the Vincentian Solidarity Fund, to finance the project.
For more details on this and other projects download the VSO-Bulletin-March-2018-English
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:
- To design, plan and implement the project.
- To manage the funds awarded to the project.
- To prepare the financial and evaluation reports required by the funding of a project.