About the new “SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary Foundation”

On February 6, the Polish Mass was celebrated by the vice-rector of the Seminary, Fr. Jacek Kowal. Participants of the Polish mass accepted the invitation and went to dinner, later to be able to hear information on: “What’s next for the Polish Seminary?”

The dinner was organized by Ania Bieciuk, employed by the North American Institute of Polish Cultural and Research (former Polish Mission) as an administrator for the Polish diaspora.
The meeting participants could meet Ms. Bieciuk, who welcomed the gathered people and introduced three young Poles, students of the St. Mary’s.
After dinner, Mr. Richard Walawender, regent and chairman of the Board of Directors of the North American Institute of Polish Cultural and Research – informed us about the previously announced new foundation, the purpose of which is to support St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary financially.

A couple of months ago, it was established and incorporated a new foundation: the “SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary Foundation”.

The Foundation is a separate legal entity incorporated in the State of Michigan as a nonprofit corporation. The four incorporators were: Ann Bankowski, Michael Obloy, Dr. Walter Knysz and Richard Walawender. The Articles of Incorporation is a public document and can be accessed on the State of Michigan website.
The Foundation is completely independent of Orchard Lake Schools and has its own board of trustees, which governs it. The four incorporators are in the process of appointing trustees, but each trustee will be Polish, Catholic, and fully in support of the Seminary.

The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds for the Seminary. I realize that many potential donors to the Seminary are hesitant to give money to the Seminary because they are concerned that if the Seminary is closed, their money would go to OLS for other purposes. To address this concern, none of the funds raised will go for any other purpose than exclusively to support the Seminary. As the Articles of Incorporation state:

In the event it is announced by a governing body controlling the Seminary that the Seminary is to be closed, cease operations, or not accept any more seminarians, or if in fact the Seminary does close, cease operations or not accept any more seminarians, the Foundation shall be dissolved.

Furthermore, the Articles of Incorporation provides that if the Foundation is dissolved:

All of the Foundation’s assets shall be distributed to another organization that must be actively engaged in furnishing education and formation to seminarians leading to their ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, and no assets shall be distributed to the Orchard Lake Schools or any division or part thereof.

At this time, they are still waiting to receive from the IRS the 501(c)(3) tax exemption classification. But in the meantime, they will be soliciting “pledges” from donors who wish to express their intention to donate a specific amount on the condition that the Seminary remains open. A pledge form will be available in the next week or two.

Finally, they intend on actively soliciting funds for the Foundation throughout the U.S. and Canada. Once they have the first draft of the plan that Fr. Witek is working on, they hope to use that to convince larger donations. But in the meantime, they would encourage us to spread the news about the Foundation and consider submitting a generous pledge.

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