Auction to highlight Virtual Seminarian Education Event

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One of the most enjoyable parts of the annual Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction has always been the live auction, when bidders push up the prices on a host of items, from art work to vacations to dinners with the priests of the Diocese of Nashville, all in a friendly competition.

This year’s event, to be held on Tuesday, July 28, won’t be live because of the safety restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fun will remain as the auction will be held online. 

The auction will feature a host of items, including: 

• Vacation at a house in Gulf Shores, Alabama, with five bedrooms and three baths.

• Bourbon tasting for eight people with Father John Hammond, judicial vicar and vicar general of the diocese and pastor of St. Patrick Church in Nashville, and Father Andrew Forsythe, chaplain at Pope John Paul II High School.

• A Brazilian dinner prepared by Father Gervan Menezes, the chaplain at University Catholic and a native of Brazil.

• Artwork by Nashville artist Phil Ponder, a parishioner at St. Stephen Church in Old Hickory.

• Gift certificate from Morris Orthodontics in Hendersonville.

• A dinner featuring wild game with Father Eric Fowlkes, the pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Hendersonville who will begin a new assignment as pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation on July 27.

• Four Club Level seats for a Tennessee Titans game.

• An Italian barbecue dinner with Father Rhodes Bolster.

• A hamburger cookout with Deacon Javier Suarez, who will be ordained on Aug. 15.

A complete list of the auction items will be available at the event website,, said Ashley Linville, stewardship director for the diocese.

The online auction will open at 6 p.m. July 22.

Sponsorship opportunities also are available online at the event website. Sponsorship levels include: Presenting Sponsor, $25,000 and above; Platinum Sponsor, $10,000 to $24,999; Gold Sponsor, $5,000 to $9,999; Silver Sponsor, $2,500 to $4,999; and Supporting Sponsor, $1,000 to $2,499.

So far, this year’s sponsors include: Marina Manor East; Mary Queen of Angels Assisted Living Facility; Villa Maria Manor; St. Henry Property Development; Catholic Community Investment and Loan Inc.; Wood Personnel Service; Carter Group; Taylor, Pigue, Marchetti and Blair Law Firm; Steier Group; Miracle Ford; Miracle Jeep/Eagle; Knights of Columbus Insurance; Athens Distributing; Prenger Solutions; Father Ryan High School; Pope John Paul II High School; and WBOU Radio.

“We would like to thank all our generous sponsors who will help make this event a success,” Linville said.

People also can make an online donation at the event website. If people register online before the event, they will receive updates via email, Linville said.

All proceeds from the event will be used to help pay the cost of educating the diocese’s seminarians. In 2019, the Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction raised $325,000 for seminarian education, which costs the diocese a total of about $1.4 million a year.

People can log in at to watch the 2020 event, the 11th annual Virtual Seminarian Education, Mass, Event and Auction, which will begin with a livestreamed Mass at 6 p.m. followed by the event at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature video presentations from Bishop J. Mark Spalding; the diocesan Director of Vocations Father Austin Gilstrap; one of the diocese’s current seminarians; a recently ordained priest, and Deacon Suarez.

The event is sponsored by the Serra Clubs of Williamson County and Nashville and the Knights of Columbus and will be hosted by Bishop Spalding.

For more information, visit or contact Linville at 615-645-9768 or or Anna Beth Godfrey at 615-783-0775 or

“We hope everyone can join us,” Linville said.

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