Seminarians Express Gratitude for Recent Scholarship Distribution

CHICAGO, IL [DOM] – The Diocese of the Midwest has a long standing practice of offering support to their seminarians. This has come by visits to the students and their families by the diocesan hierarch, and by fundraisers to offer them monetary support while they are focusing on their studies and formation. This effort continues to be renewed and a focus of the diocese, especially with the increase in diocesan seminarians.

As previously reported, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest issued a letter thanking all of the donors of the diocesan “Support Our Seminarians” campaign which raises money that goes directly to assisting the diocesan seminarians.

The Chancery of the Diocese of the Midwest reported that over $20,000 dollars was collected in during 2023 effort, which was more than double the amount raised the previous year. After receiving these scholarships, the seminarians expressed their gratitude. Here are a few of their comments:

Thank you so much for your generous financial support. While it is not talked about much, finances are one of the most difficult aspects of transitioning to seminary life, especially for families. Your support goes a long way toward making our preparation at seminary possible, and we want you all to know that it is not taken for granted, our family sincerely thanks you. Along with gratitude, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to ensure that each moment of our time here is well spent as we hope to continue on a path to full-time ministry and service to our Church. Once again, we are humbled by your generous support and are deeply grateful. – Seminarian Jarrod Huffman, SVS M.Div.
Receiving the scholarship from the Diocese of the Midwest means the world to my wife and I.

Believe it or not, the real estate market in Northeast Pennsylvania is quite expensive. Without ample housing from the seminary, most of us, including our family, are ‘on our own’ to find a place to rent.  So when the scholarship came from the Diocese, and it covered nearly the entire cost of tuition, it brought us to tears.

We are blown away by the generosity and support from the faithful of our Diocese.  As we are living off of our savings, the financial support is crucial for our efforts.  But just as important, is the spiritual support that it tangibly shows.  It is so good to know that people all across the Diocese pray for us and think about us and, of course, support us monetarily.  Be assured that we pray for the faithful of the Diocese as well. – Seminarian Cole Schlafer, STS, M.Div.

“He who refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11.25)

We cannot thank everyone who contributed to the recent Support Our Seminarians campaign enough! Expenses for tuition, housing, and other costs of living can make life as a seminarian difficult, and these contributions – like receiving a “care package” from family – not only assist with daily life in a practical way, but more than this, they remind our seminarians that their Diocesan family are thinking of and praying for them. The Diocesan SOS funding not only helps alleviate the material costs associated with attending seminary, it makes tangible the love and support the Diocese has for her seminarians and clergy.  – Priest John York, STS, M.Div.

The Midwest currently has 10 students studying at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary to assist the diocese upon graduation. Three of those seminarians are expected to graduate this spring and be assigned to parishes in the diocese.

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