|Offered exclusively by the artist for the Seminarian Education fund-raiser will be three rare limited edition Papal Prints (Edition 8/195, Edition 9/195, Edition 35/195). Papal portrait artist, Maestro Igor Babailov, Hon. RAA, with provide certificates of authenticity and photos of himself with Pope Francis, all beautifully framed and signed by the artist. Other edition numbered prints will also be available. The original sketches were completed from life in the Vatican, in preparation for the grand oil portraits.
For the sixth year, the Serra Clubs of Williamson County and Nashville and the Knights of Columbus will sponsor the Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, at Holy Family Church in Brentwood.
Proceeds from the dinner and auction will help pay the cost of educating the Diocese of Nashville’s seminarians.
“People don’t realize with the number of seminarians we have the average cost of seminarian education runs close to a million dollars a year,” said dinner chairman Bob Rudman, a member of the Serra Club of Williamson County and a board member for Serra International. The Serra Club is dedicated to promoting vocations in the Church.
The first year the dinner and auction was held, organizers raised $6,000, Rudman said. “Last year, we gave the bishop a check for $100,000. This year he raised the ante to $125,000. So we’ve tried to be extremely creative,” he added.
“I’m amazed at some of the auction items we have and the generosity of some of the donors,” said Rudman, a parishioner at St. Matthew Church.
Highlighting the live auction this year will be two sets of five rare acrylic prints of Pope Francis by world renowned portrait artist Igor Babailov, who lives in Brentwood. During his career, Babailov has painted portraits of Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, numerous leading politicians and business leaders from around the world.
“The unique thing about him is he goes and he lives with these people, and gets personally involved,” said Rudman.
The prints typically sell for tens of thousands of dollars, Rudman said, and the suggested opening bid will be about $5,000. The successful bidder will receive a certificate of authenticity.
Along with the prints, Babailov will attend the dinner and will autograph his book “Greatest Portrait Moments” for the successful bidder. The winning bidder also will receive a Vatican photograph of Babailov with Pope Francis.
The framed prints are “exclusively for this particular fundraiser,” Rudman said.
There will be several live auction items featuring a specially prepared meal.
|Up for bid is a “Chef’s Table” dining experience with Bishop David Choby for eight guests prepared by the Clean Plate Club, which has been voted the number one caterer in Nashville every year since 2001.
The Clean Plate Club, which has been voted the number one caterer in Nashville every year since 2001 and has been featured on the Food Network with celebrity chef Bobby Fay, will prepare a “Chef’s Table” dining experience with Bishop David Choby for eight guests.
Master Chef Chris Holmes and his staff will prepare an eight-course meal with wine pairings.
Attendees can also bid on a Dominican style luncheon for 10 served at the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and on a dinner for eight cooked and served by Father Justin Raines and three of the new priests ordained last July, Rudman said.
Also in the live auction will be a piece of art titled “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” from Gloria Galdos Bell, who recently had an exhibit of her work at the Tennessee State Museum. A painting of the late Msgr. William Bevington by Nashville artist Phil Ponder will be included in the live auction.
For those who enjoy vacationing on the Gulf Shore, they can bid on a week’s stay in a five bedroom, three bath beach home, including a seafood dinner prepared by Paul and Tricia Halladay, the parents of Nashville priest Father Phillip Halladay. An opening bid of $1,000 would be equal to $29 per night for five couples, and an opening bid of $2,000 would be $57 per night for five couples, Rudman said.
The silent auction also will feature a long list of items, including:
• A print of an image of Christ’s face, donated by Paul Halladay. The original image, “The Holy Face of Manoppello,” is on a piece of cloth that is believed to be the cloth that covered Jesus’s face in the tomb and is mentioned in the Gospel of John (20:7-9).
• Rounds of golf at Temple Hills, West Haven Country Club, Forest Crossings and Old Natchez Trace golf courses.
• A week’s stay in a Panama City, Fla., condo.
• A Cajun dinner for 10 prepared by Paul Garvey in the bidder’s home. Father Mark Beckman, pastor of St. Matthew Church, will celebrate Mass for the people at the dinner.
• A large painting by Phil Ponder titled “Nashville Tops 2014.”
• A leather Titans jacket.
• Two VIP tickets and a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry.
• An icon painted by John Gerbich.
• Gift certificates from several restaurants, including Jimmy Kelly’s, Porta Via, Bonefish Grill and Stoney River.
• Baskets of wine and liquor.
• A golf putter and a two-hour lesson with golf pro Graham Honeycutt.
• Dinner for 20 at the Pub in the Woods
• Various paintings and other pieces of art, including a painting of the Divine Mercy icon by an inmate in a Tennessee prison. The donation was arranged by Jack Gerbich, who met the prisoner through a prison ministry, Rudman explained. “The prisoner wanted to give back,” he added.
All of the silent and live auction items are listed and can be viewed on the website for the dinner at futurepriestbenefit.weebly.com.
People can make an opening bid for live auction items before the dinner by visiting the website.
Tickets for the dinner and auction are $65 each and include a full dinner and open bar, Rudman said. “An anonymous donor donates all the wine,” Rudman said. “He’s done this every year since we’ve had it.” A table for 10 is available for $650 and a table of eight for $520.
Everyone from the diocese is invited to attend the dinner and auction, Rudman said. If people can’t attend but would still like to contribute, donations are welcome, he added.
Attendance at the event has grown over the years. “The word as gotten out. Our number of seminarians has increased,” Rudman said. “There’s an appreciation that without priests we can’t have the Eucharist and the sacraments.”
For more information or to order tickets, visit the website or contact Nancy Downey at (615) 771-5088 or