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New golf tourney benefits seminarians, religious vocations

Archdiocesan seminarian Colm Larkin tees off at the Master’s Cup Invitational, a golf charity event and luncheon co-sponsored by the vocation office of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Johnson County Serra Club. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

by Joe Bollig

LEAWOOD — Only the best of the best can win the five major tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam of professional golf. But even the Grand Slam pales in importance to the biggest one of all: the Master’s Cup Invitational.

That’s because “the Master” is Jesus Christ, and the cup is the chalice of salvation. Nothing’s bigger.

On Aug. 2, nearly 200 people participated in the first Master’s Cup golf charity event and luncheon, sponsored by the vocation office of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Johnson County Serra Club. The event took place at the Iron Horse Golf Club in Leawood. The event was billed as an opportunity for young people of high school and college age to interact with priests, seminarians and religious, and possibly think about vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Seminarian George Rhodes prays the rosary during the first Master’s Cup golf charity event and luncheon. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

The speaker at the luncheon was Dustin Colquitt, former Kansas City Chiefs punter. During the 2019 season, Colquitt played in Super Bowl LIV and set a Chiefs franchise record for most games played.

“It was geared for young men to encounter priests and seminarians in a new environment and a new way of relating in an informal golf outing, barbecue luncheon and speaker’s series, and see how the Lord speaks to them through that encounter,” said Father Dan Morris, director of the vocation office.

Super Bowl winner Dustin Colquitt speaks during the Master’s Club luncheon. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

One of the participants was Christian Kaufman, a junior majoring in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

“I decided to participate because I love being able to spend time with priests and seminarians, because it can be hard to see them as just regular guys and friends, sometimes,” said Kaufman. “They make radical and amazing decisions to discern, and it’s fun to be able to see that it is possible to discern [a vocation to the priesthood] and just be a normal dude.”

Seminarians for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas catch up at the Master’s Club fundraiser. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Kaufman’s group of four included Father Mitchel Zimmerman, director and chaplain of the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas. They played on the front nine and won with a score of nine under par.

“We talked about our summers and golf,” said Kaufman. “Father Mitchel just came off of a 30-day silent retreat, so it was very interesting to hear about his experience with that. . . . We just chatted and had a blast doing it.”

Father Dan Morris, director of the vocation office, chats with two Sisters during the Master’s Club event. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

The event also raised funds for the Heart to Heart Scholarship Fund.

“[This will] release or relieve some of the financial burden associated with college seminarians,” said Father Morris, “because we ask them to pay a little less than half of their tuition, and room and board, every year.”

The money raised will also go to help pay down the debt of young women entering a religious order,  a requirement before they can enter formation in a religious community.

The event raised $45,000.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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