by Jim Aylward
Special to The Leaven
Over 27 years, due to careful planning, dedication, interdiocesan cooperation and the generosity of so many, successive Support Our Seminarians (SOS) events have been able to raise $4 million to help encourage and fund Catholic priest vocations.
By almost every measure, it has been a remarkable accomplishment for an incredible cause.
However, now due to the COVID pandemic, as well as the rising costs involved with hosting such a large banquet event, it was determined by mutual agreement to end SOS with one last virtual event. Donations will be totaled and raffle drawings finalized in a “live” virtual event on Jan. 28.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Bishop James V. Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB, of Conception Abbey and Seminary College in Conception, Missouri — whose organizations benefited equally from the SOS money raised over the past quarter century — will continue to solicit support through their own specific initiatives going forward.
Still, they remain hopeful and optimistic that this virtual SOS event will turn out to be the most successful ever.
“The SOS event has always been about more than the funds raised,” said Abbot Benedict. “This event has helped us build a culture of support for seminarians and religious life in the Greater Kansas City area and throughout northwest Missouri. We look forward to continuing this important work in new ways.”
The virtual SOS event will feature video testimonials from seminarians, words of reflection from the inaugural — and now honorary event co-chairs — Larry and Ruth Moore, plus expressions of gratefulness and appreciation from the archbishop, bishop and abbot.
Virtual attendees will have the opportunity to donate online or participate in the online raffle, which features a range of items. A couple of the showcase raffle items include a KC Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu (“Honey Badger”) autographed football and a “Pandemic Package” of items and gift certificates that make staying home much more tolerable, or, even enjoyable.
Everyone is asked to participate in any way they can. All the details needed to participate in this year’s SOS event, including how to make a donation, buy raffle tickets or attend the virtual event on Jan. 29, can be found online at: www.supportourseminarians.com.
Each year, SOS has been dedicated to, and consecrated by, the Blessed Virgin Mary in a particular form of spiritual apparition enshrined by the Vatican. Last year was devoted to Our Lady of Good Help. This year, for the last SOS, it was decided to dedicate the event and give honor to St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For more information, go to: www.supportourseminarians.com.