The seminarians of the Diocese of Arlington are very blessed to count on the spiritual and financial support of so many generous and prayerful people as they prepare themselves to be our future priests. It definitely aids their perseverance and gives peace of mind regarding some of their expenses.
As the Diocese has expanded and financial support for the seminarians has grown, the Office of Vocations has established a more systematic way to ensure that groups, parishes, councils, etc. know how to assist seminarians in financial need, as well as to balance what is received by all the seminarians. This becomes even more important as the number of seminarians increases and donations are spread among more people.
Things to keep in mind when your parish/group/council wants to support a seminarian:
- Any group can donate to any seminarian(s) of their choosing. In order to better coordinate and keep track of all donations pledged, please submit the following information to the Office of Vocations: Name of group/parish/council; amount given; anticipated date of gift; seminarian recipient(s).
- In order to better coordinate and fairly distribute donations among the seminarians, as well as assist those in most need, groups may wish to contact the Office of Vocations to get the name(s) of particular seminarian(s) in need. Simply submit the same information listed above.
- Seminarians receiving support should not be required to attend any event to show their gratitude or to receive a donation, nor should their receiving a donation be contingent upon their attending a particular event. While they are at seminary (most of the year) their time is dedicated to their formation (classes, study, pastoral formation, etc.), and summers are dedicated to parish assignments; the little time outside of this is justly owed to family and close friends. There’s always a chance they can attend but it cannot be required.
- Donations should be sent directly to the seminarian at the address given by the Office of Vocations (seminary or home); the office can also serve as an intermediary and mail the check if that is preferred.
- Seminarians report donations they receive to the Office of Vocations as a “check-and-balance system.”
- No monies sent to support seminarians are used by the Office of Vocations.
Knights of Columbus Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP)
Through the Knights of Columbus Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP), councils, assemblies and Squires circles “adopt” one or more seminarians, postulants or novices and provide them with financial assistance and moral support.
RSVP money is used by seminarians and those in religious formation for tuition and books, car insurance and maintenance, travel during vacations, emergency expenditures and other living expenses. Knights provide more than financial support, though. Members write letters to students, sponsor dinners for them, invite them to join the Order and, most importantly, pray for vocations.
Qualifying councils and assemblies receive a $100 refund for every $500 donated, up to a limit of $2,000 donated to an individual, while the refund for Squires is $20 for every $100 donated.
The following persons are eligible to receive RSVP funds:
- Seminarians attending college seminaries (sometimes called minor seminaries).
- Seminarians who have been accepted by a Diocese and are currently in their “spirituality” year.
- Seminarians attending major seminaries (normally four years) in preparation for priestly ordination.
- Seminarians in their “pastoral’ year (most often when they are deacons).
- Seminarians who belong to a religious institute and are currently in formation for the priesthood (religious seminarians often are called “Brother” even though they will eventually be ordained as priests).
- Men and women who are novices or postulants in religious orders or religious communities.
For more information on the RSVP, visit:
Forms can be found under Forms on the Knights of Columbus website.