A Higher Purpose
Keep the faith alive by supporting our seminarians and postulants. As the strong right arm of the church, Knights of Columbus are committed to providing moral, financial and spiritual support to our future priests and religious at all stages of their formation. A featured program, RSVP counts for two credits toward the Columbian Award.
Knights of Columbus stand in solidarity with our priests and religious. Through this program, council and parish families will raise funds to support seminarians in their area. For every $500 donated to an individual seminarian or religious aspirant, the Supreme Council will refund $100 back to the council, up to a maximum of $400 (four individuals) per council per fraternal year. Though financial support is vitally important, it is not the only aspect of the RSVP. Councils are also called to provide their “adopted” seminarian or religious aspirant with moral support and prayers for their success.
Chairman Role and Responsibilities
- Set an annual goal for your RSVP.
- Conduct various events in your parish and community in order to reach your goal!
- Promote each event in your parish and larger community through a variety of efforts.
- Ensure that the proper procedures are followed in order to receive the refund for your council.
- Complete and submit all associated reporting forms to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission.
- 1. Set an annual goal for your RSVP.
2. Identify individuals that the council will sponsor. You can obtain these names by contacting a variety of sources including the jurisdiction RSVP chairman, diocesan vocation director, your council chaplain or parish pastor.
3. Conduct various events in your parish and community in order to reach your goal! Potential activities include:
On the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, ask the pastor to allow a second collection earmarked to support seminarians and your council’s RSVP efforts
- Conduct a Seminarian Breakfast after Masses on a given Sunday. Invite the seminarians supported by your council to attend the event, meet the parish, participate in the celebration, and pray together.
- Conduct a Seminarian Dinner following the breakfast blueprint outlined above
- As a council, make a resolution to allocate a specific amount collected at various fundraisers for RSVP
- Prior to each event, use the sample press release as a model to create and distribute a tailored release to local media.
- Build public interest for your program! Promote each event in your parish and larger community through a variety of efforts:
- Prominently display promotional posters (which can be ordered through Supplies Online)
- Bulletin announcements
- Pulpit announcements
- Post on your council and parish website / social media pages
- On the day of each event, wear Knights of Columbus-branded apparel and have the council membership director set up a table with brochures and membership documents (including Prospect Cards #921A). Do not forget that this event is a recruiting opportunity!
- Enlist a fellow Knight or community member to photograph the event.
- In addition to financial support, councils are called to aid their “adopted” seminarian or postulant with moral and emotional support, and prayers for their vocation and vocations throughout the church. This is a central aspect of RSVP and must be fulfilled in order to satisfy the program requirements. Providing such support is easy and can be accomplished through a variety of efforts:
- At the end of each council meeting or event, take a moment to remember the seminarian you support and together recite the Prayer for the Canonization of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney (#1015) for his vocation and for vocations throughout the church
- Invite the seminarian you support to attend all council events, particularly fraternal activities.
- Send cards to your seminarian on major holidays (i.e., Easter, Christmas), holy days and his birthday.
- Ask the seminarian or postulate how your council can best assist him throughout the year
- Once your goal is reached, complete the associated reporting forms and submit them to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission to obtain credit for your program. Remember to retain copies for your council records.
- Proudly display your RSVP participation plaque in your parish or council hall and continue to add to it by participating every year!