Recently, at the Catholic Foundation's Archbishop's Dinner, Archbishop Paul Coakley said, "Some time ago, a friend asked me… Out of all the ministries and priories I have as a bishop, what is my greatest priority? 

"I must say that there are so many important ministries in our archdiocese.  All of them are important. But, of everything I do as Archbishop, my No. 1 priority is our priests. We must have good priests to have a thriving, vibrant, sacramental Church.  Your support for the formation and education of seminarians is absolutely critical. Each year in the Archdiocese, we have an annual ministry budget of about $8.5 million. The single largest item in the budget for the Archdiocese is the cost of our vocations and seminarian program. The Lord willing, and thanks to the great work of Father Buettner and others, I have every confidence that we will have increasing numbers of seminarians to prepare for priesthood. This is a great problem to have! The new Saint John Vianney Fund will be a critical part of our ability to educate and form future generations of priests to serve in our parishes. Again, I thank you for your gifts to support the Vianney Endowment, and I ask you to keep the Fund in mind in your future giving."

Through the Bishop's words and a Founding Gift of $50,000 the Saint John Vianney Seminarian Education Endowment Fund was established in the summer of 2017.  The Fund is named after Saint John Vianney, the patron saints of parish priests.  St. John Vianney was a French parish priest who was internationally known for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish in Ars, France, because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, his persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession, and his ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. His feast day is August 4th. 

The St. John Vianney Fund will benefit seminarian education in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City with a permanent endowment that will make grants to the seminarian education program at the Archdiocese. Through the creation of this Fund, the Catholic Foundation hopes to not only receive annual gifts of support, but also planned gifts and legacy gifts so that the Fund can grow. This will ensure there are not financial barriers to prevent our young men from answering God's call to serve as priests. 

Priestly Formation can last from six to nine years. It focuses on forming the entire person through four pillars of priestly formation outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Academic - Spiritual - Human - Pastoral.  The Seminarians spend four years in a seminary college and four years post-graduate in a Masters of Theology program (major seminary) with the possibility of additional programs to round out their priestly formation. 

Recently, the 2017 Archbishop's Dinner benefited the St. John Vianney Seminarian Education Endowment Fund and we would like to acknowledge our sponsors for the event:  Cherubim Level -- Two anonymous Gifts were received for the Fund at this level; Thrones Level -- Mr. & Mrs. John Hefner, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Luetkemeyer, Parizek Farms, Dr. & Mrs. Roger Schultz; Archangel Level -- Mr. & Mrs. James L. Blevins, Christ the King Church, Mr. & Mrs. James Connelly, Mr. & Mrs. Doug Eason, St. Thomas More University Parish, Mr. & Mrs. Danny Stith, Rick Jones Buick GMC, Mr. & Mrs. Darin Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Mulligan, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh O'Hara, St. John the Baptist Church, PDC Productions, Mr. & Mrs. Alan Aneshansley/Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Smail, First National Bank of Oklahoma, Aurora R. Nalagan MD in memory of Edwin C. Nalagan MD, Mr. & Mrs. Craig Crowder/Mr. & Mrs Larry Downey, Mrs. Cathey Cooper/Mrs. Shirley Miller, St. Mary Church Ponca City.

Donate to the St. John Vianney Seminarian Education Endowment Fund
To see the Current List of Seminarians in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City