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The gospel of John records Christ’s first call to men to become His disciples and the important role they will play in both leading and serving mankind. For more than 100 years, St. Mary’s Seminary has helped thousands of young men discern their personal call to the priesthood. If we are to continue to prepare them to serve, we need to make the most effective use of the facilities at St. Mary’s.
Currently, faculty and staff are helping 75 seminarians on their individual journeys to discover a deeper relationship with Christ and their love of service to His people. Deacons who respond to the call are also trained on the St. Mary’s campus. They spend their evenings in prayer and study so they may join others in their vocations to support priests and parishes across the Archdiocese. At present, there are 83 candidates in the Diaconate program.
It is our responsibility to provide them a community in which self-discovery and personal commitment lead to an appreciation of the global mission of the Church. After years of study at St. Mary’s, they graduate prepared to become God’s disciples to spread the spirit of His words through pastoral leadership and ministry at the parish level.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. (John, 17:18-19)
As part of our daily prayer, we pray for all of our benefactors. The seminarians and faculty are well-aware that we are able to receive the education, housing and preparation for the priesthood only through the generosity of the People of God. Please be assured of our grateful prayers for your generosity.Thank You!
In the early 1930’s, according to Msgr. O’Connell, the Little Flower Foundation established by the priests at the Seminary of the Galveston Diocese, provided the difference between starvation and survival for the seminarians. The Galveston Diocesan Council of Catholic Women asked to include this need in their work and voted to do so at their Convention in 1931. In 1933, the Catholic Clerical Student Fund was incorporated. In 1959, the Galveston Diocese became the Galveston-Houston Diocese.
The purpose of this corporation is to raise funds to be used in the education of young men to the Priesthood. The established policy is to invest the donations received through enrollments and otherwise, paying the income from it annually to the Bishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese to be used to educate young men to the Roman Catholic Priesthood. This Corporation was organized, exists and operates now as a function of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and is subject to the ultimate control of the Archbishop of the Archdiocese.
In 1943, the first check of $300.00 was presented to the Bishop. By 1963, the annual check presented to the Bishop had grown to $11,407.49. The Catholic Clerical Student Fund (CCSF) has come a long way since those days. On April 18, 2015, a check for $100,000.00 will be presented to His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, from the Catholic Clerical Student Fund. This makes the total amount given to the Archbishop for St. Mary’s Seminary $5,701,390.00. The Catholic Clerical Student Fund is grateful to all who have contributed to the Fund and asks for the continued support of the generous people of the Archdiocese.
Burses, currently in the amount of $15,000.00, are the means by which the Fund operates. Minimum contributions annually of $3.00 per person or $10.00 per family/group and $25.00 per single/couple perpetual enrollments accrue to fill the Burses. The fund accepts larger gifts as well. A complete Burse of $15,000.00 may also be given in honor/memory of an individual or family. Recommended names for Burses are approved by the Archbishop. To date there have been 146 Burses named and completed. Small gift cards are provided for $3.00 enrollments with larger cards for contributions of $10.00/$25.00 or more.
To fulfill the mission of the CCSF, the continued enrollment of friends, relatives and clergy, both living and deceased, is encouraged. They may be remembered on such occasions as birth, birthday, wedding, anniversary, First Communion, Confirmation, illness, death, in appreciation, or for a special intention. It is especially helpful to remember the Fund in Last Wills and as the Beneficiary to Insurance Policies.
The Spiritual favors for those enrolled, as well as for the donors to the Fund, are many. Both will be remembered often in Masses at St. Mary’s Seminary, as well as in the prayers of the Seminarians, and by those assisted by the Fund in their Masses after Ordination. Please pray for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life.