“Oblate School of Theology is happy to have Mission Project Service as a component of our outreach to the global Church. It emphasizes our commitment to our missionary call to solidarity with those in need around the world,” – Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Oblate School of Theology (OST) has formed a collaboration with the Missionary Oblate Partnership to offer Mission Project Service (MPS) as an outreach of OST. Mission Project Service is the Church’s largest and longest-standing provider of grant research and writing services to Catholic missionaries.
Mission Project Service is a Catholic ministry that has been educating missionaries on how to seek funding for their missionary projects since 1974. Maryknoll Father George Cotter, MM, founded MPS with the purpose of linking missionaries’ needs and sources with the ability and interest to offer support. The first MPS Funding Guide was published in 1982; soon, the organization was taken under the auspices of the Sacred Heart Fathers. In 2005, the Brothers of Christian Instruction and Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, assumed direction of MPS operations.
“Oblate School of Theology is happy to have Missionary Project Service as a component of our outreach to the global Church. It emphasizes our commitment to our missionary call to solidarity with those in need around the world,” said Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI, President of the School.
Both the Partnership and Oblate School of Theology are ministries of the United States Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The Missionary Oblate Partnership engages across a variety of other ministries and institutions to generate resources for the Missionary Oblates in the United States and around the world. In early 2016, the Missionary Oblates officially acquired MPS from the Brothers of Christian Instruction. The Partnership has assumed the day-to-day responsibility for operations, and OST’s financial department handles the accounting.
“We wanted the backing of OST because it has a missionary identity, while at the same time the outreach and connections of MPS will contribute to OST’s own missiology efforts,” said MPS Executive Director and President Arthur Pingolt.
“We’re linked with missionaries all over the world. Our goal is to link them up with OST and to promote OST as a resource for the religious congregations we deal with around the world,” he added.
“We’re not just a book-publishing outfit,” Pingolt noted. “We want to create a community of religious around the world and try to create solidarity. They have many needs and few resources. MPS should be not just an educator for these missionaries but also a collaborator in community building.”
MPS provides workshops all over the world, teaching grant research and writing, leadership, strategy, planning and conference management.
The organization’s benefits to missionaries are knowledge, experience and capacity. “We increase the missionaries’ capacity to provide pastoral and/or human development ministries by connecting them with resources, primarily in the United States and Europe. We provide information about these resources and teach them to do research and grant writing directed to these sources; they include foundations, government agencies, corporations and other nonprofits.”
In the last decade alone, he explained, the MPS Funding Guide has been sold and distributed in more than 150 countries, and workshops have been provided for missionaries on every continent.