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Diocese explores capital campaign to support seminarians & priests

In the last three years the number of seminarians for the Diocese of Grand Rapids has grown exponentially. A great blessing! For the 2017-18 school year, we enrolled 24 seminarians; for the 2018-19 school year, we are expecting a class of 33 seminarians. It is anticipated that we will continue to add four to six new seminarians each year. Part of the funding for seminarian education is obtained through the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA); however with the incredible growth we have been drawing on reserve accounts and we need a more sustainable model of funding.
When looking at the need for a sustainable long-term funding model for seminarian education it became evident that we should examine all facets of priestly formation from seminarian education through retirement. Therefore we are undertaking a feasibility study to look at funding for seminarian education, specialized education for our priests, and supplementing the Diocesan Priest Retirement Fund.
The services of the Steier Group, a Catholic development consulting firm from Omaha, Nebraska, have been retained to ensure a successful study.
A feasibility study comment period, which has now closed, was offered over several weeks leading up to the Aug. 22 deadline. Catholics throughout the diocese were invited to share their feedback through a series of town hall meetings held in each deanery as well as an online survey.
The feasibility study will run through August 22nd. The Steier Group will make their final report in the early fall to Bishop Walkowiak and a team of his advisors. Following the Steier Group's final recommendation we will decide whether to proceed with a capital campaign in the fall.
Click here to learn more, find a schedule of town hall meetings, view frequently asked questions and take the feasibility study survey.