An Evening Dedicated to the "Heart of Jesus"
Over the course of this year, in the Office of Vocations, we have been steeped in prayer and planning as we think about how to best support our seminarians in formation and continue the promotion of the culture of vocations in the Diocese of Nashville. We have stepped up our outreach with new discernment groups in English and Spanish. We have designed a new formation image for working with the seminarians. You will recognize it from this year’s prayer card and poster. Now, we are excited to announce a new name for our annual fundraising dinner: Cor Iesu (Pronounced: Core Yay-Zoo). The name is Latin for “Heart of Jesus.” For anyone familiar with the formation program for seminarians in the diocese, the reason behind the name is obvious. Everything that we do is aimed at forming these young men to conform their own hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction (SEDA), as it has previously been called, was started in the early 2000’s by the Serra Club of Williamson County. The first dinner raised $6000, and it was a huge success. Over the years, the dinner has continued to grow in tremendous ways. More recently the Diocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development took over the management of the event and the Serra Clubs of Nashville and Williamson County have continued to assist in a supporting role. Last year’s dinner raised over $350,000! It really is incredible to see this amazing event continue to bear so much fruit.
Even more important than the financial component, however, is the deeper purpose of this event. The dinner’s primary focus is continued cultivation of the culture of vocations. The numbers are nice to see because we can quantify them, but the best part of this dinner (as any past attendee would tell you) is not something that can be counted at the end of the evening. It is not the pledge cards or the exciting auction items. The success of the Seminarian Education
Dinner and Auction is that every year the attendees leave the evening with a greater insight into the work that God has been doing in the hearts of young men in our diocese, a greater belief in the importance of the promotion of vocations, and a greater trust that God truly does hear our prayers and provides for his people. You may not be able to count that result, but, when you attend the dinner, you can certainly feel it.
It is our hope that the new name for the dinner will encapsulate that message. There will always be a financial component. We are certainly not ashamed to share our need with the local community, but at the same time, the overall goal is something much greater. Cor Iesu has been and will continue to be that annual rekindling of the love for the mission in the hearts of our closest supporters throughout the diocese. Jesus wants to raise up priests in the Diocese of Nashville after his own heart. That is why we gather. The heart of Jesus longs to bring this about, and he is delighted when we come together to support that mission.
I look forward to this dinner with so much joy every year, and I cannot wait to join with all of you again very soon. This year Cor Iesu will be held on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 in the new Unity Hall at the Catholic Pastoral Center. Save the date! This new space offers us even more capacity, so that we can invite even more of our friends and family to this wonderful event. Please spread the word, and I can’t wait to see you there!