Pennies for Seminarians and Religious Scholarship Funds
Chairman Al Kempf Family Programs
Early each year councils receive a mailing requesting financial support for the State Council’s Pennies for Seminarians Fund and the Religious Scholarship Fund. Thanks to all the councils that have been contributing to these funds in the past. Considering recent anti-Christian terrorism and criticism of Catholicism specifically we as Knights must stand tall and proclaim our support for our priests and religious. We must concentrate on those that need help in gaining the education to teach the faith in the future.
The Pennies and Scholarship Funds are divided among all six dioceses in Minnesota. All seminarians in the state benefit in some way from the Pennies for Seminarians Fund. What could be more worthwhile than supporting our “priests to be” and helping with continuing education for our priests and religious?
Donations to these funds have been pretty stable for the last few years. The time has come to adjust for the increased cost of education for our priests and religious. We all know money doesn’t go as far as it used to. Cost of education in the seminaries is no different. With that in mind the councils that have not contributed in the past are encouraged to contribute at least some amount to each of these funds. Only 60.4 percent of our councils participated in the Pennies Fund during the 2017-2018 council year. During the same period only 50.8 percent of our councils contributed to the Scholarship Fund. These percentages are both decreases from past years. Councils, please make an effort to participate in or increase your contributions to these important and much appreciated funds.
The mailing mentioned earlier will include a suggested donation list to qualify for an award. The suggested donation is based on a $2.00 donation for all dues paying members. Inactive and Honorary Life members are not included in those numbers. Any council not participating in the RSVP program should find it easy to support our seminarians and religious by contributing to these funds.
Awards are given to councils that contribute $2.00 for each dues paying member. The first time they qualify the council receives a plaque which has enough space for 12 years of award recognition. Each year the council qualifies a date bar is awarded which is to be applied to the plaque. After 12 years of receiving the award a new plaque is provided to the council. The two funds have unique plaques and also separate donation listings.
How is the award determined? It starts with a listing of all councils in the state with membership information received from the Supreme Office dated July 1 of the council year. Using that list the qualifying number for each council is determined. The total membership number listed has the inactive members and honorary life members subtracted leaving the number of dues paying members in the council. That number is then multiplied by 2 to come up with the $2.00 per member requirement for the council. A listing of all councils in the state and their required amount is generated and sent to all councils in the February time frame. Contributions are recorded throughout the council year and awards are given to the District Deputies at the organizational meeting to be distributed to their councils. Councils that don’t have a District Deputy representative at the meeting receive their award by mail.