Seminarians exchange textbooks for golf clubs thanks to Serra Club, Knights

Inaugural ‘Seminarian Golf Experience’ held Aug. 2

NEW FRANKEN — Nine seminarians, on break for their annual retreat after a busy summer assisting at parishes, spent a Sunday afternoon hitting golf balls at Royal Scot Golf Course Aug. 2. The inaugural Seminarian Golf Experience was sponsored by two local organizations that actively support religious vocations: the Serra Club and the Knights of Columbus.

Dr. Jim Falk, left, visits with Mark Mleziva, a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and vocation director Fr. Daniel Schuster during the inaugural Seminarian Golf Experience at Royal Scot Golf Course Aug. 2. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

Dr. Jim Falk, a member of the Serra Club of Green Bay, proposed the outing as an annual event. “I have two brothers who are priests and golf is big,” he said, noting that many senior priests of the diocese grew up with the game and see it as an opportunity to fraternize. Falk said introducing a new generation of future priests to the game would bring them together and, perhaps, give them an opportunity to meet some of the diocese’s senior priests.

“Fr. Bill Rickert, who is 94 years old, golfed until he was 92 and he said to me, ‘Jim, this has made my priesthood happier,’” said Falk. “That’s an important aspect (of the priesthood). Exercise and a passion for something like golf or tennis or hiking. It’s so important for growth and manhood and spirituality. That’s why we came up with this.”

In addition to Falk, Mike Donart, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Fr. Claude Allouez Council 10714, welcomed the seminarians to Royal Scot Golf Course.

The day began with golf lessons by Larry Rand, owner of Royal Scot, and Bill Lindmark, retired men’s golf coach at UWGB. A scheduled nine-hole shotgun scramble was cut short due to adverse weather. Rain-drenched seminarians were then treated to lunch by event sponsors.

Fr. Daniel Schuster, vocation director for the Green Bay Diocese, joined seminarians at the golf outing. “This is great,” he said. “This is the first day most of the seminarians are back in the area after long summer assignments and school. To get nine of them together, it’s a good way to relax a little bit.

“It’s also a good way to kick off the seminarian collection,” added Fr. Schuster, referring to the annual diocesan collection for seminarians, which is held in parishes each August.

“This is really a special time for our seminarians,” the vocation director said. “It gives them an opportunity to have a little bit of recreation and to learn a little bit about golf.”

Seminarian Collection
The 2015 Seminarian Collection was launched in parishes the first weekend of August. This special collection supports seminary education and the Office of Vocations, which invites young men to consider the priesthood and young women to consider religious life. All gifts can be mailed to the Catholic Foundation at PO Box 23001, Green Bay, WI 54305-3001. Online gifts can also be made by visiting