Help me with my Seminary Tuition!

For: Jacob Wells
Organizer: Jacob Wells
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The Story

Dear Family Member, Friend, or Acquaintance,

Though the "short description" does at least brief justice to my cause, I shall try to add a just supplement. On 2 June 2014 Anno Domini, the Superiors of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest (ICRSS: http://institute-christ-king.org/) welcomed me into their religious community, a community that has grown to be my home for the past two years, a community I found while a philosophy student at UC Berkeley. I am truly thankful to them for their trust in me, and I am most of all truly thankful to God and humbled at His Will for choosing this vocation for me, having without fail drawn me by the hand my whole life. In just a few weeks, I fly off to a little place called Gricigliano, Italy, north-east of Florence where the Saint Philip Neri Seminary is located (the seminary of the same religious community). Merely contemplating this future fills my soul with excitement and peace, but I still need help. Above all, of course, I need your prayers: both for me and my discernment as well as for those in whose charge I am commended. Secondly, and hence the site, with my tuition. The seminary asks its seminarians to pay 750€ per month for tuition, which currently is $845.70 (about $8,457 for the academic year), not including other expenses.  I placed the limit at $12,000 in order to provide for those other expenses and to raise money for the following years.  Remember: when you generously donate to the cause of my ordination, when, God willing, I am ordained I in some way become your priest.  Now I pray for your intentions with a little black book with the names of my benefactors in it; one day, I will say Mass for them.  Thank you for your generosity!  God Bless.

May Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary keep you and you families.

In Christ the King,

Jacob Wells
Candidate for the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 1, 2016

Posted on April 1, 2016

Christus surréxit, allelúia!  A most joyous and glorious feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord to you all.

I am currently writing you from the Institute's seminary in Gricigliano where I decided to stay for my vacation, which this year is only about a week since in a few days all the seminarians and superiors will meet in Annecy, France for a pilgrimage.  This is the town where began the illustrious Order of the Visitation, founded by Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jeanne de Chantal, the former being the Institute's third patron (our model for the spiritual life) and the latter being the patroness of les Soeurs Adoratrices.  In Annecy are still kept the relics of Saint Francis, which we will have the grace of venerating.  It is sure to be an exciting trip, if not only to leave Italy for a little while and to venerate spitirual father of all members of the Institute as a family. I will surely keep you all in my prayers while I am there, especially for the members of the Sacred Heart Society!

Upon return we begin the last of the trimesters before the end of the year, which will mean many changes, especially for us first year seminarians.  We were informed just last week that all fifteen first years will, in just a little more than three months, receive the holy cassock (http://www.icrsp.org/Pages/Photos-2015.php?nom_dossier=Ordinations/01-prises-de-soutane&z=1) on 4 July, and holy tonsure (the pontifical haircut: http://www.icrsp.org/Pages/Photos-2015.php?nom_dossier=Ordinations/02-ordres-mineurs&z=1), from which point we will be introduced to the clerical state and cease to be lay people.  This, as you can imagine, is extremely anticipated, but nevertheless is not to be taken lightly, as afterwards we represent the Church, which is why the superiors do not permit us to remove the cassock and replace it with lay-dress, even on vacation.  Our lives have to be modeled on the life of the Church, manifested in the liturgy, and daily prayer.  We will need many many prayers to help us correspond with the special graces of this vocations. Those receiving the cassock and tonsure are the future Messieurs les abbés:
1.  Marcelo de Oliveira (Brazil)
2.  Mattieu Trézières (France)
3.  Paul McKown (USA)
4.  João Almeida (Portugal)
5.  Cédric Pétré (France)
6.  Jacob Wells (USA)
7.  Yann Kerrand (France)
8.  Samuel Kubacki (USA)
9.  Tim Zakosek (Slovania)
10. Bartimée Zurek (France)
11. Pedro Duarte-Carvalho (Portugal)
12. Pierre-Alban Lauzier (France)
13. Martin Henri (France)
14. Anne-Evroul Quiliquini (France)
15. François Journé (France)

Thank you for your prayers!  You are all invited to come to the various ceremonies in July, which should be posted relatively soon if not already; we pray to have 11 priests ordained on the 7th, Deo gratias! 

Of course, when it comes to anything in life, there is always the practical/monetary side to things.  Unfortunately, the cassock is not exactly à bon prix, if you get my meaning, and we each will need, for now at least, two cassocks (one for feasts, and one for regular days), as well as one or two cinctures/sash (the black belt all the way to the left: http://www.thehouseofhansen.com/cands/sashes.html) and a biretta (but with blue pompom: http://www.thehouseofhansen.com/chzb/beret.html).  All of this we will procure on our own, since the superiors have already decided which articles we will procure and from where (for example, the cassocks will come from the ecclesiastical tailor in Florence, and the cinctures from our very own Sisters Adorers), all we need are the funds.  The cassock is 500€ (as of 1 April 2016, $569.15), the biretta 55€ ($62.61), and the cincture 75€ ($85.37).  As you can see this is a bit demanding, but if many help with even just a little, a bit dent can be made in a short time.  The preliminary sum is $1286.28, which means if 25 generous souls can give $50, I'm practically there.  Our community asks for these things not to laisser nous nous en orgueillir, that is, to inflate our egos (though, admittedly, this does happen), but to give glory to God and to keep ever before us the responsibility of our new office as clergy (when was the last time you saw a bank CEO in his office in tee-shirt and shorts?).  Please help me with this project, and pray that when I receive the cassock, that the holiness and cleanliness of the exterior habit reflects on that day and thereafter the purity and holiness of the interior!

Do not hesitate to share this with your friends and family members who perhaps are looking for ways to contribute and to help seminarians, or who perhaps need a way to come back to the life of the Church by exciting their generosity!  Not many nowadays know or have seen the cassock, this is sure to incite their curiosity.

Thank you very much and may God bless you and your families.

Constantly in prayer in union with Christ the King,

M. Jacob Wells

Laudétur Jesus Christus in aetérnum! Amen.

Posted on January 4, 2016

Posted on January 4, 2016

Dear Friends and family,

I'm writing you all from the Institute's house in Maria Engelport, where I have spent the good first half of my post-Christmas vacation, as well as sorting out my visa situation with my confrere Samuel Kubacki.  Well, though it is a bit late, we are both legal Italian students!  Thank you for your prayers, as it has been a stressful past few months.

I'm sorry I haven't been able to let you all know how things are going: the seminarians receive, during the regular semester, only those emails sent to [email protected] with the seminarian's name as the subject.  In any case, the seminary is quite an incredible place; truly, as Canon Stein said to us candidates over a year ago, "It's not the seminarians that make the seminary, but the seminary that makes the seminarians", and as Canon Poucin de Wouilt, prefect of first years, says often "Le seminaire est une ecole de saintete", that is, before all else, even before being a place of study, the seminary is a school of sanctity.  Even in just a few months, you realize how incredibly well the seminary prepares you for the future ministry, which is why after seven years or more, our canons are models of holiness.

At the seminary, I have two charges: first, I am the aide for electricity in the "atelier", which I suppose best translates as "workshop".  This means I spend most of my working hours changing lightbulbs and minor electrical repairs, since all the really big projects were done before my time.  My second charge is the cave, as extraordinary aid.  So, each Saturday during the work period I help fill bottles with our very own seminarian-made wine, making sure there is enough for the whole week (lunch and dinner, seven days, 60+ seminarians).  Abbe Braun and Abbe Kenny also give me work to do in preserving the aging wine in barrells, all of which is very interesting; and contrary to popular belief, the cavists, I would say, drink less than everyone else, especially on feast days since we are the ones serving (we have to make sure everyone else is...ahem...happy).  Being in the cave, by way, makes Institute seminary history: the number of non-French (Two Americans, no less!) outnumbers the number of French (One, Abbe Braun, who, granted, is the chef).

All in all, my seminary studies are great, and all is well, but all thanks to your prayers!  Keep them coming; again, words of wisdom from Canon Stein, "we feel carried by them!"

I keep you all in my prayers.  God Bless.

In Christo Rege,

Jacob

Posted on November 22, 2015

Posted on November 22, 2015

Dear Friends of Jacob,
I am writing this on his behalf, I just spoke with him by phone in Griciliano and he is enjoying Seminary life very much!  He is very appreciative of the financial assistance and prayers you offer.  He has asked me to pass on that If you wish to write a check to the Institute and would like a tax write off, you can send funds straight to the Institute with no message in memo.  Just an email to them to let them know how to delegate the funds will do.   [email protected]  
Jacob will be joining a fellow Seminarian at his home for Christmas in eastern Europe but will be home around Easter.  They finished olive harvest in Italy and are back to studies.  Thank you so much for your support in every way.
Deb Wells

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