Refund Support Vocations Program

Overview

“Vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life can only flourish in a spiritual soil that is well cultivated.” (Pope Benedict XVI to the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 13, 2008)

Through the Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP) the Knights of Columbus has cultivated this spiritual soil for more than 30 years. While the order has a number of vocations programs, RSVP is the primary program through which councils, assemblies and circles provide financial and moral support to men and women preparing for the priesthood or religious life, and every council, assembly and circle is encouraged to participate.

RSVP allows councils, assemblies and Squires circles “adopt” one or more seminarians or postulants and provide them with financial assistance and moral support.

Money provided by RSVP is used by seminarians and those in religious formation for tuition and books, car insurance and maintenance, travel during vacations, emergency expenditures and other living expenses. Knights provide more than financial support though; members write letters to students, sponsor dinners for them, invite them to join the council and, most importantly, pray for vocations.

Qualifying councils and assemblies receive a $100 refund for every $500 donated. The maximum refund a council or assembly can receive is $400 per individual supported.

 

Per Seminarian

Entity Country Min. Amt. Donated Refund Max Refund
Council US/Canada $500 $100 $400
Assembly US/Canada $500 $100 $400
Circle US/Canada $100 $20 $400
Council Philippines/Mexico $250 $50 $400
Assembly Philippines/Mexico $250 $50 $400

 

Eligibility

  • Seminarians who have been accepted by a diocese and are currently in their spirituality year.
  • Seminarians attending major seminary in preparation for priestly ordination.
  • Seminarians in their pastoral year
  • Seminarians attending minor seminaries
  • Seminarians who belong to a religious institute and are currently in formation for the priesthood ( religious seminarians are often called “Brother” even though they will eventually be ordained as priests)
  • Men and women who are novices or postulants in religious orders or religious communities.

Persons not eligible for RSVP funds are:

  • Priests or religious seeking assistance for continuing education
  • Religious brothers not studying for priesthood
  • Candidates for the permanent diaconate

Action Steps

Action Steps

  • Review RSVP guidelines and eligibility requirements.
  • Locate a candidate to support. If you need help, contact your pastor or diocesan vocations director.
  • After a candidate’s name and address is secured, prepare and send a letter of introduction from your council, assembly or circle.
  • Define how money is to be raised.
  • Define how the relationship will be managed.
  • Define how money will be exchanged or presented.
  • When presenting money to an RSVP candidate, notify the diocesan vocations director.
  • Take photos and send them to your local and diocesan newspapers, and Columbia magazine. Be sure caption information is complete and each individual’s name is spelled correctly.
  • RSVP assistance also involves prayer and moral support.  Make at least one personal visit to each seminarian, and send four letters – i.e.: birthday, Christmas, Easter, and welcome back to school greetings – each fraternal year.
  • Encourage members and their families to keep seminarian or postulant in their prayers; make personal visits to them; and send communications throughout the year – i.e. birthday, Christmas, Easter greetings.
  • Invite seminarian or postulant to all council activities and include in mailing of newsletter or other communications.
  • Invite seminarians or postulants to make a presentation to the council, parish, and/or parish youth groups on what it means to prepare for priesthood or religious life.
  • Arrange for seminarian or postulant to host a group of young people from the council or parish at their seminary to meet other seminarians and get a feeling of preparing for priesthood or religious life.
  • Make sure to offer congratulations and support to your seminarian or postulant on their ordination.
  • Apply for a refund from Supreme Council office – to be eligible for refund, monies must be given directly to an individual (not a an institution of fund)); money given to an individual must be vocations related and donated between July – June 30 of the respective fraternal year; paid with a check drawn from the council-assembly account; and copies of check or other documentation must accompany application for refund. Refer to the RSVP Refund Application (#2863) for exact details and procedures for filing for this refund.
  • Request an RSVP Award Plaque. To qualify for an RSVP plaque, the council, assembly, or circle must provide financial assistance, as well as moral support throughout the fraternal year. Refer to the RSVP Refund Application (#2863) for exact details and procedures for requesting this plaque.


Support Materials

In addition to supporting seminarians and postulants through the Order’s RSVP Program, councils, assemblies and circles are encouraged to conduct programs and activities that promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

The following vocations materials are available from the Supreme Council.

To order audiovisual productions, please contact the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission or order online.

To order the printed pamphlets, brochures and certificates, please contact the Supreme Council Supply Department.

Audiovisual

Title

Number

Everyone Has a Vocation to Love. What's Yours? - DVD 50046

 

Print Materials

Title

Number

Vocations Prayer Card 1874
Vocations Handbook 1942
Vocations Poster (11 by 17 inches) 2959
Parish Priest: Father McGivney and American Catholicism
(hard cover $20.00; soft cover $12.00)
40095
A Model for Our Times: The Heroic Virtue of Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney 5044

 

Other Vocations Supplies

Item

Number

Price

In Solidarity with Our Priest Buttons (package of 50) SWP-1 $8.50

 

Booklets

To order the following booklets, please contact the Supreme Council Catholic Information Service.

Luke E. Hart Series

Number

Introduction to the Sacraments 112
Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick 117

 

When ordering materials, please use the online request form when available; or mail or fax a Requisition Form (#1) to the respective department.

Orders made online or faxed in should not be mailed because it may result in duplicate order. Please allow four weeks to ensure delivery by the event.