Each year, the Knights of the Southern Cross host the Annual Archbishop’s Dinner for the Priests Support and Education Fund (PSEF), usually held at Moonee Valley Racecourse. The Dinner is held to raise funds for the education of Victoria’s seminarians, the further education of priests, and those seminarians and priests studying to become chaplains for the Australian Defence Force.

Over the last 20 years, the dinners have raised over a million dollars for the education of seminarians. This year would have marked the 22nd event. However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 dinner was cancelled.

‘With the support of the Archbishop, the Committee continued to plan for the Dinner right up until the end of June, holding out hope to go ahead even when all indications were that it would be likely cancelled,’ says Andrew Vaccaro, State Secretary Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria and Secretary Knights of the Southern Cross Priests Support and Education Fund.

‘Once the decision was made to cancel, Committee efforts went from dinner planning to active fundraising, seeking sponsorships and donations, so as to continue to support the cause of the Dinner: the education of Victoria’s seminarians,’ Andrew says.

This week, members of the Knights of the Southern Cross who form the Priests Support and Education Fund presented a cheque for $60,000 to Archbishop Peter A Comensoli.

The funds will go towards supporting our seminary students to assist with educational needs, such as textbooks and other items, and will be divided equally between the Dioceses of Melbourne, Ballarat, Sandhurst, Sale, and the Military Ordinariate of Australia.


To present the donation were Carmine Miranda (State Chairman, Knights of the Southern Cross, and Chairman, The Priests Support and Education Fund; Very Reverend Father Denis Stanley, Rector, Corpus Christi College; and PSEF Committee Members, Gavan Tobin, Nadia Bolzonello, and Val Sumner.

In light of their significant contributions under these trying economic circumstances, KSC would like to acknowledge key sponsors, who would usually be recognised at the Dinner.

‘That they continued to sponsor when there was no visible benefit to them is the only reason we could give the Archbishop a cheque yesterday,’ says Andrew.

In no particular order, the sponsors are:

Wightons Printers, Tobin Brothers Funerals, John & Barbara Ralph, Pat & Helen La Manna, Dubock Funerals, Catholic Church Insurance, Hangan Construction, JA Cain Real Estate, Sumner Family, Mercy Health, Frank (RIP) & Helen Swan, Prowse Quantity Surveyors, Catholic Development Fund, Fergus & Judy Ryan, Victorian Insurance Solutions, and KSC Victoria Branches: Bendigo, Essendon/Keilor, Dandenong North, Northern Peninsula, Nunawading, Mentone, Mildura, Box Hill, Doncaster/Templestowe.