Support sought for the education of 42 diocesan seminarians
Story by Reagan Scott
LINCOLN (SNR) — Members of the Lincoln Diocese will once again have the opportunity to donate to the Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations, a yearly campaign for the education of diocesan seminarians, starting Oct. 1.
This year, there are 42 young men discerning the call to priesthood and at a cost of $36,566 per seminarian (after each seminarian pays $5,000), this year’s vocations budget is more than $1.5 million. This figure represents 25% of the diocesan operating budget for the year.
Through the Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations, everyone in the diocese has the opportunity to participate in the future of the Church by contributing to the education of men who may one day be priests in their own parishes.
As in years prior, donation cards will be available in each of the parishes, or donors can give online through the diocesan website. And, as a new addition this year, a text-to-give option is available. Donations can be made by texting “Give $(amount)” to 531-233-1022.
This year Father Clark, the director for the appeal, would like to see a 25 percent participation rate in the fund, an average pledge of $200 and see every parish meet its goal. These goals are based on parish income and total $800,000 across the diocese.
“The best way we can help change the Church is by supporting our seminarians,” Father Clark said. “Right now, the most important virtue we could have is to ask God for hope. Hope is a future good that’s difficult, but possible.”
The theme for this year’s appeal is “Gift and Mystery,” which comes from an autobiography of the same title that Pope Saint John Paul II wrote after 50 years of being a priest.
In the book he wrote, “At its deepest level, every vocation to the priesthood is a great mystery; it is a gift which infinitely transcends the individual.”
Father Jeffrey Eickhoff, the rector at the diocese’s Saint Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward also spoke on the importance of seminarian education.
He said, “In our culture today we see the importance of education, and this is true too within the Church—in its history and present situation. The Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations allows these young men to receive an education that is of good quality.”
Father Clark stressed the importance of the impact that parishioners can have on the future of the diocese, and the Church. “All of us desire the sacraments, the hope of the future is in our seminaries.”