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The Knights of Columbus: In Service to One. In Service to All.
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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:

  • Support for the missions of the national colleges for priestly training in Rome: the North American College, the Pontifical Canadian College and the Pontifical Mexican College.
  • Support for the American College in Louvain, Belgium.
  • Publication of the Keep the Faith Alive series of full-page color advertisements on the back cover of each issue of Columbia magazine. Each month features pictures and a vocation narrative of a person who has chosen to answer God's call to the priesthood or religious life.
  • Funding to the Bishops' Conference of Cuba for a seminary there.
  • Assistance for the construction of a house of discernment for women religious in Brazil.
  • Financial help with renovations for the Polish Pontifical Institute in Rome, and for new construction of a seminary in Tlalpan, Mexico.
  • Financial support for an international meeting of priests convened in Rome by the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy.
  • Contribution to the U.S.-based Institute for Priestly Formation and Institute on Religious Life.

Vocations Videos

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

Fund Current Year Corpus Current Year Donation Cumulative Donations
Bishop Thomas V. Daily Vocations Scholarship Fund $1,500,000 $91,250 $532,500
Bishop Charles P. Greco American College Fund (Louvain, Belgium) $400,000 $16,500 $422,342
Count Enrico P. Galeazzi Fund for North American College in Rome $2,000,000 $140,000 $2,971,688
Father McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies for Priests in Puerto Rico $125,000 $7,860
Father Michael J. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies by Priests from the Philippines $400,000 $21,645 $308,623
Father Michael J. McGivney Fund for Advanced Studies for Priests in Canada (Pontifical Canadian College in Rome) $600,000 $42,500 $602,224
Father Michael J. McGivney Vocations Scholarship Fund $5,000,000 $181,250 $2,930,079
Father Michael J. McGivney Vocations Scholarship Fund (Canada) $800,000 $37,500 $430,500
Knights of Columbus Vocations Fund(Canada/Refund Support Vocations Program) $625,000 $28,800 $410,000
Knights of Columbus Vocations Fund RSVP) $4,000,000 $472,310 $6,512,652
Our Lady of Guadalupe Fund - Advanced Studies for Priests in Mexico (Pontifical Mexican College in Rome) $700,000 $45,500 $475,703
Total Vocation Endowment Funds $16,150,000 $1,077,255 $15,604,071
Source: Supreme Knight's Annual Report for 2006
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