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Seminarians freed from financial stress through annual collection

The Catholic faithful will have an opportunity to help “send laborers into the field” by supporting the annual collection for seminarian education, this year scheduled for weekend Masses Jan. 5-6.

Seminarian Logan Hepp of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha said that financial support is vital for him and other seminarians, enabling them to discern their vocations without financial worries.

“It’s a huge gift to be able to give ourselves entirely to formation, prayer and our studies,” said Hepp, a first-year theology student at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary near St. Louis.

Hepp also said the support of the faithful in the archdiocese through their thoughts and prayers “means the world” to him.

“Whole parishes, religious education classes and others will send me greetings,” he said. “It’s so uplifting to know that there are people praying for me who want to see me succeed.”

Father Andrew Rosa, director of vocations, said, “The seminary collection is vital to seeing to it that we can provide for their tuition costs as well as other expenses associated with their formation.”

Educating a seminarian currently costs an average of $48,799 per year, with costs for all the archdiocese’s seminarians this year estimated at $1.12 million.

That price includes $632,900 for tuition, $322,010 for room and board, $106,831 for health insurance, $39,914 for books and fees, and $20,720 for other summer classes.

“We’re grateful each year for the support that the seminary collection provides for our men who are preparing to be priests,” Father Roza said.

“We ask them to work hard year-round in activities that are both fruitful and formative, and we can do this because they are well-supported by the people of the archdiocese.”

Last year’s collection raised $404,510. Other sources of support include the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, inclusion in people’s estates and other gifts.

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