Knights of Columbus to Give Pope's "Gift" to Seminarians

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, OCT. 2, 2003 ( To celebrate John Paul II’s silver anniversary, the Knights of Columbus are providing a complimentary copy of his book on priestly life to U.S. seminarians.

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«Gift and Mystery» was written by the Pope in 1996 to mark the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

«Be faithful to the end!» wrote the Pope to his brother priests. «Learn to see in your priesthood the Gospel treasure for which it is worth giving up everything.»

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said the fraternal organization published a special edition of «Gift and Mystery» for the papal jubilee and for the seminarians. «This gift expresses our esteem for Pope John Paul II and is a sign of our solidarity with those who are studying for the priesthood,» he said.

The books are being sent to seminary rectors for distribution to the nearly 4,000 men studying for the priesthood for dioceses and religious orders throughout the United States, at the North American College in Rome, and at the American College at Leuven in Belgium.

The Knights said members in 2002 raised and contributed more than $7 million for vocations promotion programs, for financial assistance and scholarships for seminarians and postulants, and for support for seminaries. The Supreme Council also administers two scholarship programs for seminarians in the United States and Canada, annually awarding more than 125 grants of $2,500 each to deserving students.

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