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Christ the King Seminary is conducting its annual fall fundraising campaign throughout the month of September. The Rev. Joseph Gatto, president-rector, said this year's goal is $355,000, which represents an increase of 9 percent from last year's total of $325,000.
"We continue to see growth in enrollment in our graduate programs and currently have the largest number of seminarians in 20 years," said Father Gatto. "While this is a very positive development, it requires increased financial support to meet our students' needs. Funds raised will allow us to further our mission of educating sponsored candidates for the priesthood, as well as our permanent deacons, religious and lay ministers."
Father Gatto said it costs more than $35,000 per year, per student to teach and spiritually direct the seminarians. "Donations of any size are deeply appreciated and will help support the formation and education of our Catholic priests, deacons and ministers to serve the future of the Church here in the Diocese of Buffalo and beyond.
"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.
The fund drive is being conducted in parishes throughout the eight-county diocese. Secure online donations can be made by credit card through the seminary website donation page, or by mailing a check to Christ the King Seminary, P.O. Box 607, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052.