Our seminarians are supported by so many parishioners throughout the diocese who believe it is vital that our future priests receive the best formation possible. As we continue to celebrate the beatification of Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, I would like to focus this column on what our local KCs do to support the education of future priests. Every year the Knights present a large donation to my department that goes directly to the education of our men. In 2019 they donated more than $40,000 – what an amazing gift!
A special program that I am seeking to promote in the coming months and years is the RSVP (Refund Support Vocations Program), which provides individual councils and 4th degree assemblies with the opportunity to sponsor individual seminarians and support them with small monetary gifts. The money that the men receive helps them to cover incidentals while they are in school, as well as pay for things that their tuition costs and diocesan stipend do not cover. I am very grateful to the more than ten councils in our diocese that have committed to supporting our seminarians in this way. They are also encouraged to provide moral support and prayers for the men they sponsor, and the seminarians are encouraged to keep in touch with the councils supporting them and nurture relationships with them while they are in formation and beyond.
The Knights of Columbus Council in Meridian was a big influence on me when I began discerning God’s will in my life. The men of Council 802 were great witnesses to me and an incredible support to me during my six years in the seminary. I remember working closely with several brother knights on a Habitat for Humanity project before deciding to go to seminary. While we worked I got the opportunity to learn how their faith influences every decision they make, including big decisions with regard to their families. This had a huge impact on me.
I have greatly enjoyed working with Knights from across the diocese and the state, and I am so pleased that Father McGivney has been beatified. If your council is not participating in RSVP and would like to take part, please contact me and I will let you know how to support the men studying for the priesthood in our diocese.
Office of Vocations Quarterly Report
By Father Nick Adam
It has been a wonderful start to the new academic year and I am very grateful to the support we received from parishes and individuals across the diocese in our first annual Homegrown Harvest Gala and Fundraiser. With your help we blazed past our $75,000 goal and we are now up to over $80,000, and we might not be done!
You can check out the videos that I produced for the gala on the vocations website (www.jacksonpriests.com). I want to thank Father Jim Wehner, the rector of Notre Dame Seminary and our keynote speaker for doing an excellent job and for all that he does to support our local church.
Congratulations to Carlisle Beggerly
Carlisle Beggerly (Immaculate Conception, West Point) was installed as an acolyte in October at Notre Dame Seminary. Acolyte installation is the last liturgical step prior to Diaconate Ordination, so please keep Carlisle in your prayers.
I continue to “pound the pavement” to bring forth men for formation to the priesthood. Right now, I have one applicant looking at entering next year with a few more guys pondering the possibility.
I am taking small groups of discerners down to the seminary, with one group of three visiting in early October and another group of two at the end of October. I am convinced that this is the most effective way to get guys to take the call seriously and to feel comfortable in making the decision to enter formation.
Join us in prayer
Bishop Joseph Kopacz has committed to praying intentionally for all of our seminarians during a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament on the first Thursday of every month from 6-7 a.m. Bishop Kopacz and I have been observing this hour of prayer together at the Cathedral of St. Peter Jackson and the seminarians are observing it at their respective seminaries. I invite you to consider joining us in solidarity.