Golf tourney to aid seminarians set for April 15
MADISON — The Luella and Floyd Q. Doolittle Memorial Golf Classic has been set for April and will once again aid seminarians in their journey to priesthood.
The tournament, organized by the St. Francis of Assisi Knights of Columbus, is set for Saturday, April 15 at the Whisper Lake Golf Club here.
The golf classic’s updated name honors the family matriarch who passed away in January, and the Doolittle’s devotion to seminarian education and the Knights of Columbus that goes back decades.
Roger Doolittle said he and his brother Floyd, who is a member of St. Francis Parish, are grateful to the Knights of Columbus for carrying on a great cause.
“Mom and Dad both felt strongly that there should be local support for seminarian education to educate priests for our diocese,” Doolittle said. “Our parents felt that this was a worthwhile case and enjoyed the fellowship with the Knights and their spouses in this endeavor.”
The tournament has raised about $15,000 in past years. It will take place at Whisper Lake Golf Club in Madison, and every penny raised goes toward priest education.
The day’s festivities begin at noon with lunch followed by a putting contest and closest-to-the-pin contest. The tournament begins at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. A three-course Cajun meal will be served after the awards presentation at 4:45 p.m.
Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Jackson, Father Nick Adam, said he wants to leave the door as open as possible for young men to discern the priesthood.
“Part of this is making sure that the cost of seminary education is never a hurdle they have to clear,” Adam said. “It costs around $50,000 a year to educate one seminarian. This includes tuition, books, room, board, and other necessary supplies and services that a seminarian needs during the year so he can focus on listening to the Lord’s voice during his discernment. This budget year, we allocated almost $400,000 for tuition, books and fees alone, and that’s before providing the seminarians with stipends, insurance, and other necessities.”
Tunney Vandevender, a past Grand Knight of the St. Francis Knights of Columbus Council, is an avid golfer as well as a strong supporter of the tournament’s cause.
“Having lately seen a surge in local Mississippi men making decisions to go to seminary, time is of the essence in generating support for them,” Vandevender said. “Seminarian education is essentially a college education stepped in theology and Catholicism. Given the cost to send one seminarian for one year to seminary, it is imperative to help lighten the financial strain on the Diocese and others involved. This tournament shows our support for their brave decisions in a world that is often against them and our faith.”
Vandevender described the golf course as being moderately challenging, with water in different places with varying elevations. He said it is shorter than many courses and mentioned a pair of hidden holes that make it fun.
To register an individual or team for the tournament, visit www.charitygolftoday.com, or email any questions or information to Art Ring at firstname.lastname@example.org.