CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] -- As announced several weeks ago, Sunday, June 24, 2012 has been designated "Support Our Seminarians Sunday," after which all parishes of the Diocese of the Midwest have been asked to send funds raised through special collections and other means to the Diocese to help Midwest seminarians in meeting their educational and living expenses.
Since beginning his ministry as diocesan hierarch, Bishop Matthias has shared his deep concern for the financial plight of our diocesan seminarians, especially those who are married and struggling to balance studies with family life.
"While the ideal would be to cover all expenses for our seminarians, including tuition, housing, and life’s other ‘basics,’ little has been done to address these needs," said Bishop Matthias. "In fact, funding to assist our diocesan seminarians had been reduced in recent years, even though expenses have increased substantially in our current economic environment."
For years, the Midwest Diocese’s annual budget earmarked $20,000.00 to support seminarians. This sum was divided by the number of diocesan seminarians, each of whom received a stipend directly. A few years ago, this amount was reduced to $10,000.00.
"With a dozen seminarians studying at Saint Tikhon’s and Saint Vladimir’s Seminaries, $10,000.00 breaks down to less than $1,000.00 per seminarian per year," Bishop Matthias observed. "For a seminarian with a wife and one or two children, this sum does not even begin to cover a month’s rent, groceries, utilities, insurance, and other necessities – much less the actual cost of a seminary education!"
All parishes of the Diocese of the Midwest are asked to send their gifts to the Diocese by the end of June 2012. Funds will be distributed directly to diocesan seminarians.
A special bulletin insert for "SOS Sunday" may be downloaded here.