Support of Vocations
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 or postulants 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.
For 2004-05, financial help from councils to future priests, sisters and brothers, exceeded $2.5 million. Local units participating in RSVP reported raising and donating $2,520,478 directly to qualified applicants. A total of 4,392 seminarians and postulants received RSVP support from more than 2,500 local units.
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. In the Philippines and Mexico, councils and assemblies receive the equivalent in local currency of $50 for every $250 donated.
Since the program's start in 1981, more than $35 million has been raised and contributed. Over the past 25 years, gifts have been given to nearly 57,000 seminarians, postulants and novices..
Father McGivney and Bishop Daily Vocations Scholarships
The Knights of Columbus also annually awards dozens of new $2,500 scholarships and renews several more from its Father Michael J. McGivney Scholarships Fund and Bishop Thomas V. Daily Vocations Scholarships Fund.
In each program, preference is given to members or sons of members. Grants are renewable annually for up to four years. The Father McGivney scholarships are awarded on the basis of need, while the Bishop Daily scholarships are merit-based.
For the 2004-05 academic year, 35 new Father McGivney scholarships were awarded to 29 U.S. and six Canadian seminarians in major schools of theology. In addition to the new scholarships, 61 were renewed. Bishop Daily awards were given to 10 U.S. and three Canadian seminarians. An additional 25 scholarships were renewed. Of the new recipients, more than half of them are Knights or sons of Knights. Since these programs began nearly $4 million has been awarded.
Other Vocations-Related Projects
Other vocations-related projects include:
The Knights of Columbus continues to produce new video programs that describe the many vocations to which we are called. Our Vocation to Marriage film, released in November, 2004, has received a number of awards for excellence, including the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle.
The film on The Vocation to the Priesthood, released in 2003, has also received industry accolades.
Vocations Endowment Funds