Military Chaplain Scholarship
The Knights of Columbus has established a scholarship program to help fund the education of seminarians preparing to become Catholic chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces. Named after the Knights' founder, Venerable Father Michael McGivney, the scholarship will help to financially support seminarians' education through the archdiocesan Seminarian Co-Sponsorship Program.
Created by Pope John Paul II in 1985, the Archdiocese for the Military Services is the only archdiocese in the United States that does not have geographical boundaries. It serves Catholics in the U.S. armed forces, military academies and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, as well as those working in civilian jobs for the U.S. government overseas. The archdiocese says that approximately 1.8 million Catholics across the globe rely upon it to provide for their sacramental and spiritual needs.
The military chaplain scholarship aims to provide a solution to this problem. According to Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, the scholarship money will be dedicated to the archdiocese's "Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program," which was initiated to recruit priestly vocations for the military for the benefit of the armed forces as well as participating dioceses and religious orders throughout the country. Through this program, the military archdiocese contracts with each participating diocese to fund 50 percent of the cost of a seminarian's five-year education — typically $12,500 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.
Although Catholics account for approximately 25 percent of the U.S. armed forces, Catholic priests now comprise only eight percent of military chaplains. The number of active-duty chaplains has dropped from more than 400 to just 243 since 2001.
To help increase numbers of priests both in the military and in diocesan and community life, the Archdiocese for Military Services set up the Seminarian Co-Sponsorship Program in cooperation with U.S. dioceses and religious communities.
In support of this program, the Knights – who are the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world – have pledged $1 million to the McGivney Scholarship through 2015, but we need your donations to meet and exceed this goal. Please click on the WAYS TO DONATE button to support this critical program.
For more information about the Military Chaplain Scholarship, please click on the MORE DETAILS button.