EAST AURORA — Christ the King Seminary will conduct its annual fall fundraising campaign throughout the month of September. President-rector Father Joseph Gatto said this year's goal of $355,000 is needed to help keep pace with the seminary's continued growth in enrollment, along with enhancements to campus facilities and classrooms and ongoing faculty additions.
Christ the King expects 36 seminarians this year, including eight new seminarians, and approximately 100 graduate students. The fund drive will be conducted in parishes throughout the eight-county diocese.
To help support this year's campaign, Father Gatto will speak about the seminary's mission and current plans at Masses at the following parishes in September:
Fourteen Holy Helpers, West Seneca - Saturday, Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon
St. Gabriel, Elma - Saturday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 25 at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
"Funds raised will allow us to further our mission of educating sponsored candidates for the priesthood, as well as our permanent deacons, and religious and lay ministers enrolled in graduate programs," said Father Gatto. "Donations of any size are deeply appreciated and will help support the formation and education of all those who will help us to serve the future of the Church here in the Diocese of Buffalo and beyond."
Father Gatto said it costs more than $35,000 per year, per student, to teach and spiritually direct the seminarians, along with the additional expense of educating candidates for the Permanent Diaconate, and students pursuing a graduate theological education, a ministerial education, or a continuing education program.
"As the spiritual center for our diocese, Christ the King provides an environment for discernment, education and formation, serving countless men and women who are striving to follow the Lord's call in their life. Working together, we can ensure we have not only a strong seminary, but priestly candidates and men and women well prepared to serve for years to come," said Father Gatto.
Secure online donations can be made by credit card through the seminary website at www.cks.edu, or by mailing a check to Christ the King Seminary, P.O. Box 607, East Aurora, NY 14052.