Scholarships were recently awarded to 19 men from the area who are studying to be Catholic priests. The North Deaneries Seminarian Fund of the Darke County Foundation granted $1,000.00 to every seminarian from the Sidney and St. Mary’s deaneries of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The awards were presented at the annual Serra Club dinner for priests and seminarians on Dec. 28 at the Maria Stein Spiritual Center.
The scholarship fund was established in 2013 by Melvin and Mary Ann Stucke, of Versailles. The first year, 13 local seminarians received awards of $500 each. Additional donations from the community have increased the award amount each year.
“We wanted to show seminarians that we support them and are so proud of their decision to serve the Church community,” said Melvin. “Becoming a priest requires so many years of study and discipline that we hope these scholarships give them a little boost.”
Catholic seminarians from the northern deaneries of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who received scholarships were David Morand, Sidney; Patrick Blenman, Sidney; Zacharias Schoen, Celina; Deacon Matthew Keller, Maria Stein; Adam Berning, McCartyville; Zach Cecil, Piqua; Elias Mwesigye, Botkins; Aaron Hess, Philothea; Greg Evers, St. Rose; Elijah Puthoff, Russia; Max Travis, New Bremen; Deacon Jarred Kohn, Philothea; Brice Berger, Yorkshire; Kraig Gruss, Coldwater; Ethan Hoying, Russia; David Slonkosky, Minster; James Walters, Sidney; and Nicholas White, West Manchester.
As an endowment fund, the North Deaneries Seminarian Fund operates largely from investment income, providing scholarships every year in perpetuity. Donations may be made to the Darke County Foundation, P.O. Box 438, Greenville, OH 45331. For more information, call (937) 548-4673. The Darke County Foundation receives, manages and distributes charitable gifts for the benefit of area residents.