Established in 2011, the Knights of Columbus Father McGivney Military Chaplains scholarship program helps fund the education of seminarians preparing to become Catholic chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Having barely a third of the number of chaplains needed to meet the needs of the 1.8 million Catholics served by the archdiocese worldwide, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS),created the "Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program" to recruit priestly vocations for the benefit of the armed forces. The military archdiocese contracts with participating dioceses and religious orders to fund 50 percent of the cost of a seminarian's five-year education — typically $20,000 per year. In return, the candidate agrees that following ordination and three years of service at a parish, he will commit to serve as a military chaplain under the auspices of the military archdiocese for a minimum of three to five years.
While the number of seminarians has increased as a result of the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program, the program initially placed a huge burden on the archdiocese, which receives no financial assistance from the military or government.
Through this scholarship, the Knights of Columbus has relieved some of this burden. The scholarship program is named for Father McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization.
Fundraising for the Order wide project is led by the Fourth Degree. with the goal to distribute $1 million in scholarship money to the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA over a period of five years at a rate of $200,000 per year.
That goal was met and in 2020, since the cost of educating seminarian continues to rise, a new goal is $2 million was set.
Since its inception, the initiative has garnered an increase in cosponsored seminarians. In 2020, this co-sponsored program has produced:
Through this scholarship, the Order hopes to ensure the future development of the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program, and increase the number of Catholic chaplains, to serve the Catholic men and women in uniform today. The Archdiocese of Military Services USA continues to recruit your men to serve as military chaplains at great cost; and our Order-wide fundraising projects help to support the program, which is led by Fourth Degree members, the patriotic degree of the Knights
These funds will help produce a new generation of much-needed Catholic chaplains to minister to U.S. military personnel and their families. For inquiries and donation for the Military Chaplin Program, please see below:
For the Military Scholarship administration, please contact Dennis J. Stoddard
Fourth Degree Supreme Master, Knights of Columbus Headquarters, New Haven CT.
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