On Wednesday 10 May, at Corpus Christi Seminary in Carlton, the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria held the official launch of their annual Archbishop’s Dinner in support of the KSC Priests Support and Education Fund (KSC PSEF).

Traditionally, this launch has taken place on Pentecost Sunday, but this year, to ensure that a number of people could attend, it was held earlier and, for the first time ever, was held in the evening as a dinner rather than the usual luncheon following Mass.

Before dinner, guests were able to attend a 6pm service of evening Vespers, conducted by seminarians at their chapel and showcasing the fine voices of Victoria’s future priests. Vespers were led by Fr Cameron Forbes, Rector of Corpus Christi, who assumed the role in January.

Following Vespers, approximately 80 guests made their way to the nearby ‘Clunies’ dining room to prepare for dinner. Guests included the seminary staff, members of the organising committee of the Archbishop’s Dinner, patrons, current and potential sponsors, and seminarians. After Fr Forbes had welcomed the guests and said grace, KSC PSEF Chairman Carmine Miranda formally announced the date and location of this year’s Archbishop’s Dinner: Friday 1 September at Moonee Valley Racecourse.

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Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of bursaries to two seminarians on behalf of the Fund and long-time Fund patrons and sponsors John and Barbara Ralph. The bursaries support the recipients in travelling to the Holy Land as part of their formation.

Mrs Ralph and Mr Miranda presented the bursaries to seminarians Jean-Sebastien Gery and Tue Pham, who will be be putting the bursaries towards their pilgrimage to World Youth Day in August this year, which for them will include a detour to the Holy Land along with nearly 200 youth and clergy.

Prior to the bursary presentation, last year’s recipients shared their experiences of the trip they made to the Holy Land last Christmas. Tribute was also paid to recently deceased patrons and sponsors Pat LaManna and Mal Dubock (a past KSCV state chairman), and to past committee member and past KSCV state chairman David Pignolet.

The night concluded with KSCV Deputy Chairman and Secretary Andrew Vaccaro sharing the story of Thomas Michael (TM) Burke, the first Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria state chairman, who a century ago personally donated about a tenth of the funds required to purchase Werribee Park for use by the Archdiocese of Melbourne to found their new regional seminary in 1922. Werribee Park was the location of Corpus Christi College’s first iteration, followed by campuses in Glen Waverley, Clayton and now Carlton. This story highlighted the long-standing link between the Knights and the seminary from the very beginning, a relationship that has only solidified over the past 25 years.

The evening concluded with the Corpus Christi Schola Cantorum singing ‘O Salutaris Hostia’, which was followed by dessert and coffee provided by the seminarians and staff.

The Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria would like to extend an invitation to the Catholic faithful throughout Victoria to attend the 2023 KSCV Archbishop’s Dinner for the Priests Support and Education Fund, to be held at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Friday 1 September, commencing at 7pm.