VERSAILLES – The North Deaneries Seminarian Fund of the Darke County Foundation is seeking donations to support local men and women pursuing religious vocations in the Catholic Church.

Last year, 20 local individuals pursuing religious vocations in the Catholic Church received $1,000 scholarships in support of their studies. Recipients included 17 men studying for the priesthood and three women studying to be religious sisters.

Awards were provided by the North Deaneries Seminarian Fund of the Darke County Foundation and given to individuals from the Sidney and St. Marys deaneries of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The number of recipients has grown since the fund started in 2013, when 12 local seminarians each received $500.

The founders of the fund, Melvin and Mary Ann Stucke, of Versailles, encourage the community to contribute to this fund that provides annual support for local men and women discerning a call to the religious life. The Stuckes will match any gift up to $300, and 100% of donations go directly to the scholarship awards.

Melvin Stucke emphasized that most seminarians incur tuition and living expenses aside from any financial assistance provided by the archdiocese or religious order. Undergraduate students in college seminaries receive limited assistance from the archdiocese.

“We invite the community to join us in this effort to reinforce men and women in their religious studies,” Melvin Stucke said. “We feel that through the encouragement and prayer of so many supporters, the number of Catholic priests and religious will continue to increase.”

Donors may make a tax-deductible donation to the fund by writing a check to the Darke County Foundation (memo: Seminarian Fund). Mail to: Darke County Foundation, P.O. Box 438, Greenville, OH 45331.

For more information, contact Melvin Stucke at 937-423-5991.