Refund Support Vocations Program (RSVP)

“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 and assemblies to “adopt” one or more seminarians or postulants and provide them with financial assistance and moral support.

The intent of RSVP is to demonstrate support for individual seminarians. RSVP support is not solely financial aid, and councils are asked not to base their support on the financial needs of the seminarian. All seminarians are worthy of support through RSVP by virtue of the fact that they are discerning a religious vocation, not because of their financial situation.

Please remember that with RSVP, Knights provide more than financial support; members write letters to the seminarians or postulants, sponsor dinners for them, invite them to join the council and, most importantly, pray for vocations.

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

Guidelines

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

  • 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, set up a planning meeting to determine:
    • The Amount of Money to be raised.
    • How the relationship will be managed.
    • Presentation of the check.
  • 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 sponsored seminarian, or postulant.
    • Encourage members and their families to keep the seminarian or postulant in their prayers.
    • Send communications throughout the year – e.g., birthday, Christmas and Easter greetings.
    • Invite them to all council activities.
    • Include them in mailing of newsletter or other communications.
    • Invite them 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 them to host a group of young people from the council or parish at their seminary to meet other seminarians.
    • Make sure to offer congratulations and support to your seminarian or postulant on their ordination.


Support Materials

In addition to supporting seminarians and postulants through RSVP, 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 Item #
Everyone Has a Vocation to Love. What's Yours? – DVD 50046

 

Print Materials
Title Item #
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

 

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 Supply 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.

DepartmentPostal ServiceTelephone / Fax
Supply Department

Knights of Columbus
P.O. Box 1670
New Haven, CT 06507

Tel: 203-752-4214
Fax: 800-266-6340

Fraternal Mission
Department

Knights of Columbus
1 Columbus Plaza
New Haven, CT 06510

Tel: 203-752-4270
Fax: 203-752-4108