To a young man discerning a call to the priesthood, the cost of
attending the seminary should not be an obstacle to his vocation. Fortunately,
seminarians from the Arlington Diocese receive financial support for the cost
of their education as they commit their lives to serving as diocesan priests.
The average annual cost of a seminarian’s education is
approximately $40,000. That includes tuition, room and board, health insurance
and books. That equates to an average education per newly ordained priest of nearly
$250,000. The diocese currently has 43 men studying to become priests at seven
seminaries in the United States and Rome.
In 2011, Laura and Bob Coleman established the Seminarian
Education Endowment Fund (SEEF) to help provide financial support for
seminarian education. Although the majority of funding for seminarian education
is provided through the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, the funds generated through
SEEF are a source of additional revenue to meet those expenses.
“Bob and I feel so strongly about this cause because our diocesan
seminarians are our future,” said Laura Coleman. “We are honored to participate
in the collective effort to support and fund priestly vocations through
The Colemans initially donated $250,000 to create SEEF with the
first goal of growing the fund to $1 million or more by year end 2016. In an
effort to meet that goal, the Colemans committed an additional $100,000 in a
special matching gift program. Each individual donation up to $10,000 was
matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.
In January, through investment returns and the generosity of many
supportive parishioners, the SEEF reached the $1 million mark. The diocese expressed
its gratitude to the Colemans for their vision in creating the fund, for their
financial and prayerful support of seminarians, and to all the donors who
contributed to this fund.
“I am deeply grateful for our generous faithful who support our
seminarians through every step of their formation,” said Father J.D. Jaffe,
diocesan director of vocations.
Deacon Stephen Vaccaro, in expressing his appreciation for the
financial support he has received, said, “The generosity of the people of the
Arlington Diocese always amazes me. Because of their faith, prayer and
financial support, my five years of seminary have been stress-free and joy-filled.
I look forward to the day when, as a priest, I can return the gift, even if
only in a small way. May God continue to bless our diocese.”
The fund provides a charitable vehicle whose assets are invested professionally
with a Catholic conscience. The fund has a payout policy of 4 percent, which at
$1 million can now generate enough funding to support the cost of one diocesan
seminarian. The continued hope for this fund is that it will grow and have
enough annual income to support many diocesan seminarians.
Donations to SEEF ensure continuous support for current and
future generations of seminarians within the diocese. To help further the
legacy of this fund, the diocese invites Catholics to consider making a
donation or naming SEEF in their estate plans.
Make a donation
Mail a check made payable to the Foundation for the CDA,
noting “SEEF” on the memo line, to the Foundation for the Catholic Diocese of
Arlington, 200 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 811, Arlington, VA 22203. For more
information about SEEF, go to arlingtondiocese.org or contact Bob Mueller at email@example.com