“Although we cannot give a final figure yet, initial estimates indicate we have raised enough to pay the educational costs for at least two and possibly three seminarians this academic year,” said Colleen Rabine, diocesan director of community affairs. “We are immensely grateful to the many generous benefactors who recognize the importance of investing in the formation of our diocese’s future priests.”
The 2008 Golf Classic goal was to raise $94,000 to provide three one-year academic scholarships for the fall class of 23 diocesan seminarians, which includes five transitional deacons who are on track to be ordained as priests during the next year. Bishop Robert J. Carlson has ordained seven priests in the past two years.
“Our diocese is blessed to have many men with the courage to discern the Lord’s call to the vocation to the priesthood,” Bishop Carlson said. “We are also blessed to have many people from across the diocese willing to invest in our future priests through their generous prayers and financial contributions. Thank you to all those who take the time to raise up our future priests.”
In addition to the immediate tuition dollars raised through the annual Golf Classic’s banquet, silent auction and golf scramble, a special Ordinary Club luncheon was added to the 2008 events to provide for future investments. The Ordinary Club raised $70,000 for the diocese’s Seminarian Education Endowment Fund, which is invested through the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan to benefit future seminarian education efforts.
The 2008 Golf Classic champions were the team of Jim Fabiano, Mike McGee, Dave Shooltz and Mark Serra, who returned to the clubhouse with a score of 13 under par. Individual contest winners included Jim Hammis and Vicki White with the men and women’s longest drive and Bishop Carlson and Margaret Lynch with the men and women’s longest putt.
Four lucky folks also were randomly selected to take a swing at the $1 million dollar hole-in-one prize. Peter Govorchin, Randy Groom, Fr. Pat O'Connor and Tom Rezier each drove four well placed shots, but no one aced the $1 million chance.
The fourth annual Golf Classic is set for September 16 and 17, 2009.
The diocese will continue to collect donations made to the 2008 Golf Classic through December. For more information on how to support seminarian education, contact Colleen Rabine at (989) 797-6684.