Seminarian fund named for Msgr. Carton; dinner Aug. 6
A fund to support college seminarians of the Diocese of Peoria is being established and will be named for the late Msgr. George A. Carton, longtime diocesan chancellor.
The fund and its goals will be explained at a dinner scheduled for Friday, Aug. 6, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. Persons attending the dinner will be able to greet many of the diocese’s seminarians during a reception at 6 p.m. The dinner follows at 7 p.m.
The Msgr. George A. Carton College Seminarian Fund and inaugural dinner are being coordinated by the Diocesan Vocation Team, a group of married couples and individuals who assist parish vocation teams and seek to raise awareness of priestly vocations.
It was Msgr. Carton who founded the Seminarian Endowment Fund by asking a group of women if they would contribute a dime a day to help the seminarians. The group was called the Seminary Aid Society, and some of its original members are still supporting vocations today, according to Father Brian Brownsey, diocesan vocations director.
Eventually, through the generosity of the Seminary Aid Society and with the help of some generous bequests, the fund grew large enough to allow the diocese to cover not only the cost of studies of major seminarians, but all seminarians, including college men.
After the fund was evaluated last year in light of rising tuition costs and an increase in numbers of college seminarians, a decision was made to limit diocesan funding to major seminarians. College men studying for the priesthood now have to come up with their own tuition and room and board.
The Msgr. Carton College Seminarian Scholarship Fund hopes to ensure that no person is denied the opportunity to discern a priestly vocation in a college seminary because of finances.
Frank Kobilsek, a member of Holy Cross Parish in Mendota and a member of the Diocesan Vocation Team, said unlike endowment funds whose interest income is given away, the Carton Fund will fully be utilized. Future scholarships from the fund will be awarded in varying amounts to qualifying college seminarians, paid to their institutions to offset tuition, room and board. Any surplus will be given directly to the seminarian to help pay off loans or finance expenses related to seminary formation.
Msgr. Carton, a native of Moline, was ordained to the priesthood in 1944. He served as chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria from 1951 to 1978,
including six years of service as vicar general. He was also chaplain of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception (Heading Avenue Franciscans) for 46 years, and served the diocesan Marriage Tribunal.
He died March 18, 2000.
Those wishing to attend the dinner or learn more about the Carton Fund are invited to call Frank and Anita Kobilsek at (815) 866-5757, Ty and Lisa Hartness at (309) 838-3928, or the diocesan vocation office at (309) 671-1550.