Race for Sems photo Hero image

Running for Seminarians

Runners and walkers of all experience levels are invited to be part of the Race for Seminarians team, offering your prayers, sweat and fundraising efforts for vocations.

Runners can get sponsored for the race(s) of their choice, though most energy has gone into the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K (which are October 22, 2017). 

The Marine Corps Marathon Lottery runs March 22 - 29. Don't miss your chance to sign up!

Registration for the Marine Corps 10K opens April 27. Last year this race filled up more quickly than usual, so mark your calendar to sign up early.

To join the Race for Seminarians Team:

  1. Register as a member of the Race for Seminarians team (Coming in March) and set your fundraising goal. Your goal can be for one race, or cumulative over as many races as you want. Suggested goals: Marathon runners $350; Half-marathon: $250; 10K runners: $175; 5K: $100.
  2. Select the race you would like to run and register for it (find options here and here).
  3. Start fundraising! See our list of tips below.

Those not running can help by making a donation online or by check to a specific runner, or to support the team (and vocations) in general.

How will your donations help?
Fundraising directly affects the work of the Office of Vocations in the Diocese of Arlington. Funds will assist those discerning a vocation to priesthood and those who are in seminary formation. The Diocese provides each seminarian with an education, housing and food, yet other unexpected expenses occur. Your donations will help supplement discernment programs as well as pay for seminarian expenses not normally covered by the Diocese.


Fundraising Tips

Share your personal story of why you are participating in the race and in this cause.

Be personal and be brief.

Use any and all means of communication:

  • Word of mouth… bring it up in casual conversation
  • Send out emails, write letters
  • Post on Facebook or other social media sites
  • Call people on the phone

Share your enthusiasm and joy for both the race and the cause… Joy is infectious!

  1. Have confidence in what you are doing. You wouldn’t have signed up for this if you didn’t believe in the cause; just prepare to share your conviction with others.  Your efforts to raise money also raise awareness about this cause and can lead to more donations down the line.

  2. Make your plan – whom are you going to contact, how much do you expect to ask/get from each of them; set your own fundraising goal ($175/$350 is the minimum – isn’t your training and sweating worth more than that?).  Go through your email contacts, your Facebook friends, other people who’ve asked you to sponsor them for things.  At the same time, try to make your efforts as personal as possible – if your contacts see you’re emailing 500 other people, they’ll figure “someone else will do it” so you don’t need them.

  3. Prepare your story... why am I running and dedicating my run to the Arlington Seminarians?

    Imagine the positive coverage at the Marine Corps Marathon of someone running to support future priests!  When you consider that there are people running to support environmental causes and questionable social issues – this one certainly seems worthy.


    When I heard about this opportunity, I thought it was the least I could do to support the future priests of our diocese – those men who will bring me Christ in the Eucharist and God’s forgiveness in confession. They’ve given up everything to follow Christ, if my fundraising efforts can help them worry a little less about supporting themselves and a little more about becoming holy/being 100% committed to their formation – seemed like a win-win situation!


    Our diocese currently has 43 young men preparing to become priests – “other Christs” – to give us the Eucharist and God’s forgiveness in confession – which is wonderful, but 43 seminarians means housing, feeding, educating and forming 43 men!  Our fundraising efforts help to provide a “back-up fund”, to cover medical expenses, car repairs, and opportunities for the seminarians to grow in their sense of community with the other guys from the diocese.


  4. Keep track of the responses/replies/comments and follow up! Send out personal stories about your training, or send stories of seminarians. Make sure they have the links, address, etc. where to send their donations. Give them the fine print.

    • All pledges are tax deductible.
    • They can donate by credit card online or mail in a check. 
    • All donations directly support the seminarians of the Diocese of Arlington.
  5. Lastly, thank everyone! Big or small, every donation counts. Always remember to thank all of your donors for their generosity.

The earlier you start, the more time you have to reach and exceed your goals.

Thank you for your support of the Diocese of Arlington Race for Seminarians!