What is the Bishop’s Vocation Dinner?

This is an annual dinner sponsored by a Knights of Columbus Chapter or Council. The main purpose of the dinner is to plant the seed with youth to consider saying yes to a vocation.  Also, to provide encouragement to priests and seminarians in their vocation and it is also a great way to raise funds for vocations.

Who should attend?

Your Bishop, Priests, seminarians, altar servers and their parents, discerners, catholic high school students, parish youth ministers and their outstanding students, Knights and their families.  Each council, or parishes that do not have a council, are asked to purchase one or more tables for the dinner.  Guests invited to the dinner are provided tickets purchased by the sponsoring council or parish ministry.

Bishop, honored priests, chapter president and spouse and speakers are invited to sit at head table or tables. Be sure to pick a date early, and make sure your Bishop can attend the dinner.

What is the program?

Pledge of Allegiance.

Invocation.

Introduction of guests by MC.  Best to have an informed master of ceremonies.

Bishop presents KofC Certificates of Appreciation to the altar servers. Servers names are announced as Bishop makes presentation.  Group photos with the Bishop are taken just before presentation of certificates.

Diocese Director of Vocations provides an update on vocations in the Diocese. He may also introduce the seminarians who may also be asked to introduce themselves. It would be a good idea to include the Vocations Director in event planning.

Keynote speaker on vocations, 8 to 12 min.  A young sister or priest sharing their vocation story is ideal for this presentation.

“Pastoral Excellence Award” plaque given to two or three priests nominated by a council for their outstanding work as a priest. Brief bio given for each priest (2 min).  Awardees are invited to share their thoughts on vocations or their vocation (3-4 min). Priest must be present to receive award.

Bishop is invited to speak (5 min).

Parade of Grands Knights for presentation of checks to the Bishop or presentation of check by Chapter President.

Budget issues.

Dinner tickets, sold by the table, reserved seating, $350 to $400 for a table of 10. Premier tables can be offered at a higher price ($750-$1000 or more) offering a premium location, refreshments and desert. A reduced table price can be offered to Catholic High Schools and parish youth groups. Tickets are numbered corresponding to each reserved table.

Raffle tickets sold at the dinner, try to obtain donated gifts to raffle.

Food service is quickest if buffet style.  Use double sided buffet tables, two lines for each 150 guests, try one starch, one vegetable, and two entrees.  Salads and dinner rolls on the table just before guests are seated. For example, 600 guests with 8 lines can be served in approx. 25 minutes.

Establish and promote membership in the “Seminary Club” for individuals who donate $50 or more to the Bishop for vocations.

Prepare a printed program for the dinner, include: program highlights, menu, honored priests, altar servers by parish, Seminary Club members, etc. Find a sponsor or sponsors for the printed program. They can advertise their business, and cover the cost of the program or more.  A cemetery or funeral home is a good prospect for this.

Other issues.

Invite the Diocese Newspaper to attend the dinner and publish a story on the dinner.
General Liability Insurance, Liquor Liability Insurance, ABC liquor licenses or permits as required.
Volunteers should take safe training as required.
This information is offered as guide based on vocation dinners held in the past.