Chris Wickles of Natick, Father Brian Kiely, pastor of St. Patrick in Natick, Paul Gerry of Natick, and St. Patrick’s parochial vicar, Father Thomas Rafferty participate in the Stephen Rowen Memorial Golf tournament to benefit Blessed John XXIII National Seminary. Pilot photo/courtesy Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
WESTON — Due to the generosity of the participants and sponsors, the annual Stephen Rowen Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Blessed John XXIII National Seminary was the most successful to date.
A full roster of over 100 golfers participated in the May 22 event at the Weston Golf Club. The day included lunch at the club, 18 holes of golf, a social hour, a silent auction and a dinner with a tournament and door prizes.
The annual fundraiser benefits educational programs for the more than 60 seminarians currently enrolled at the seminary, a Weston institution since 1964. This unique national seminary prepares men who have already contributed to their community through a secular career and, upon graduating, will embark on a new vocation as ordained Catholic priests.
Tuition covers only half the cost of educating a seminarian. Proceeds from the tournament help bridge the gap and keep the cost of their education affordable.
Seminarians who have benefited from past tournaments include Father Thomas Rafferty, class of 2005, seminary golf-committee member, and parochial vicar at St. Patrick Parish in Natick.
“I am moved by the generosity of the benefactors who support the seminary. It is humbling to know that our vocations are being supported by so many people. Without their generosity, I would not be where I am today,” said Father Rafferty.
The tournament was supported by over 80 local businesses and sponsors both locally and nationally. Framingham Ford was the tournament “Hole-in-One” sponsor and was offering a 2006 Ford Focus as a grand prize. In addition, organizers expressed gratitude to the members and staff of the Weston Golf Club for allowing this event to be held at the private course.
The tournament is now in its 14th year, for the past six years it has been named in memory of its founder, Stephen Rowen, formerly of Weston and Wayland.