Program Manual

Vocations Support

Chairman: Larry Odom

Our Order was founded by a parish priest and has always supported men and women who have chosen to dedicate their lives to our Church through religious life or are considering doing so.  The Supreme Council has instituted a number of programs and services related to that support.

Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP)
The goal for the upcoming fraternal year is for each seminarian from Texas or studying in Texas to receive support from at least one Council, Assembly or Squires Circle.  The best known Supreme program to help accomplish this goal is RSVP.  Supreme will refund $100 for every $500 sent by a Council or Assembly and $20 for every $100 sent by a Circle.  To qualify, the checks must be made payable to the individual seminarian and you must submit Form 2863 along with a copy of the cancelled checks by June 30th.
Not as well known is that RSVP does not apply only to Diocesan seminarians.  It also applies to seminarians studying for the priesthood under a religious order – Franciscans, Paulists, Dominicans, Jesuits, SOLT, etc.  – as well as to young women studying to be religious Sisters.  It does not apply to men in the Permanent Diaconate program nor to men studying to be Brothers who are not studying for the priesthood.
The Vocations Offices in the Dioceses have different methods for handling donations to their seminarians.  Each Diocesan Deputy will act as or will appoint a Diocesan Vocations Coordinator.  Know who yours is and keep him advised of all your vocations donations, whether to a Diocesan seminarian or to someone else studying for religious life.
If your Council participates in vocations support that qualifies for RSVP, you can list RSVP on each of the four “Church” lines of the Columbian Award application (Form SP-7).  Be sure to enter it on all four lines and not just the first line.
Non-financial support
Sending financial support is only the start.  We need to fully “adopt” these fine people.  Send them birthday and holiday cards or gifts, write them letters periodically, invite them to Council and Assembly meetings and functions, and encourage them to join our Order and to progress through the Degrees.  Every Bishop in Texas is a Knight and we should encourage our seminarians to become Knights as well.  They are our future parish pastors!
Two more opportunities to send cards or other small gifts to thank them for answering God’s holy call are the feast days of St John Vianney, the patron saint of priests on August 4th, and St Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of seminarians on November 4th.

Vocations scholarships
In addition to the $10 million endowed for RSVP, the Order also has over $12 million endowed for several vocations scholarship funds.  The two most prominent ones offer several $2,500 annual scholarships, one based on need and the other on merit, that are renewable for three additional years.  Applicants who are Knights or sons of Knights are given preference to some extent.  Deadline for applying is June 1st.
References and Resources
• Supreme Vocations site:
• Vocations handbook:
• Vocations scholarships:
• Father McGivney and Bishop Daily scholarships: pdf
• Vocations videos:
• World day of prayer for vocations: 
• “Everyone Has a Vocation to Love. What’s Yours?” DVD – supply catalog item #50046
• “Keep the Faith Alive” vocations poster – supply catalog item #2959

Other Church Programs
In addition to vocations support, the Silver Rose program, and the Marian Icon program, the following activities fall under or are related to Church programs.  

Building the Domestic Church
The leaders of the Knights of Columbus met in San Antonio in November, 2015.  Supreme Knight Carl Anderson introduced the State Deputies to his newest initiative: Building the Domestic Church While Strengthening Our Parish.
You have heard some aspects of it since it was first disseminated to us at the December 2015 midyear meeting and featured in the December 2015 issue of Columbia: driving toward parish-based Councils, reducing the focus on Council halls, moving Boy Scout Troop charters from the Council to the parish, and taking a look at the future of Squires Circles.  As part of this initiative, any Councils which have chartered a Boy Scout Troop should have that changed to the parish or to another local entity no later than the end of calendar year 2016.
It is clear this initiative is evolving and will remain a major focus item of our Supreme Knight, so stay tuned for where it takes us down the road.

Corporate Communions
Corporate Communions are a great idea for many reasons: they foster fraternity among the Knights and their families, they increase the visibility of the Council within the parish, and they provide an excellent opportunity to tie in a recruitment drive.
Councils are highly encouraged to hold these on a regular basis, such as once a quarter.  Work with the parish to get a block of pews reserved and an announcement from the pulpit about the gathering.  Many priests are Knights and will add kind words about the work we do.  Have everyone wear Council shirts, vests, name tags, or whatever it is that might identify you as a group.  (Okay, other than baseball caps.) Invite your District Deputy and your field agent to attend.
You can list Corporate Communions in the “Council” section of the Columbian Award application (Form SP-7).

5th Sunday Rosary Program
This program was introduced for the 2015-16 fraternal year to encourage us to conduct a Church activity quarterly to promote devotion to Mary.  If for some reason you do not participate in vocations support, you can use the four instances of a 5th Sunday Rosary as the four entries in the “Church” section of the Columbian Award application (Form SP-7).
For the 2017-18 fraternal year, the 5th Sundays fall on July 30, October 29, December 31, and April 29.

Clergy/Religious Appreciation Dinner
Many or most Dioceses in Texas host a Clergy/Religious Appreciation Dinner annually to honor those who serve us as priests, deacons, and nuns.  This event can be used as a fund-raiser for State Charities, for one of the Diocesan offices (e.g.  pro-life, vocations, retired priests, etc.), or for some local organization (e.g.  a maternity home, a pro-life pregnancy center, etc.), which would overlap with the State Charity Director’s area.
These events take a great deal of planning and require a long lead time to find a night when your Bishop is available to attend.  In a larger Diocese, a KC Chapter might take the lead on driving this effort.

Keep Christ in Christmas
As we all know, Christmas has become more secular and less focused on the “reason for the season”.  As Knights, we can do our part to remind people that Christmas should be focused on the birth of Christ.
One part of this is encouraging participation in the annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest that falls under Youth programs.  But we should do more than that, depending on what makes sense in your particular area – building a crèche, selling or distributing car magnets, participating in Advent and Christmas events in your parish, etc.


2017-2018 Star Guide

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