Support an SSPX Catholic Seminarian

Campaign Created by: Janet Plonka
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Jeffrey Tillery.

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Goal : $15,000

Raised : $1,595

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Deo Gratias!


Greetings Friends, Family and Potential Benefactors in Christ!

I am seeking to enter Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary this upcoming Fall, 2022 for the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X and am asking for your generous support. As many of you know, the Latin Mass specifically and Traditional Catholicism more generally has been marginalized and under various forms of persecution since the Second Vatican Council.

It was due to incredible foresight in the wake of this and an unwavering devotion to our faith that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded this priestly fraternity to preserve the traditional Roman Rite as it has existed from time immemorial within the sanctuaries of our churches. With that being said, a little about me.

My name is Jeffrey Tillery and I am what would be classified as a later vocation. I wasn’t born into the faith but rather felt a nagging call to seek the faith out from an early age which began around the time I was 12-13 years old. At 14, I entered the RCIA program of my local parish and was brought into the church on the Easter Vigil of 1995, when I was 15. Even then, I felt a call to the Priesthood but sort of suppressed it and continued on in my life’s journey.

Within a few short years, I had graduated high school in the summer of 1998 with still a strong sense to serve a greater purpose. Instead of pursuing the diocesan priesthood however, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went to Recruit Training in January 1999. I subsequently graduated and became a Marine in March of 1999.

After completing my initial enlistment and returning from the Iraq War, I began my university studies eventually graduating with a B.A. in Government from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in January 2009. This coincided with working through school and even utilizing the GI Bill, incurring some debt which I am still paying on to this day, although reduced significantly.

After some time working in finance and other industries, I still felt like I needed to do more to help or serve but in my obstinance, I did not pursue a vocation to the priesthood still. Instead, I tried to fulfill the call to serve by becoming a Police Officer. In December 2017, I was commissioned in the Austin Police Department in Austin Texas.

While I am happy to have served and while I found that experience to be both a rewarding and enriching, it wasn’t something I was able to see myself continuing in for life as the nagging call deep within just continued to get louder and louder.

When I resigned in January of 2019, I moved back to NY and took up another position while I simultaneously started discerning the priesthood much more seriously. In effect, I surrendered to God because everything I had done up until this point, while still good, was never anything that brought a degree of fulfillment that I knew deep down that was possible when one surrenders to Christ which leads me to where we are today.

I began speaking to a Vocations Director for a rather large Diocese in NY but also started to attend Mass at a traditional parish and observe first hand the painfully obvious differences in the expression of the faith. I spent the next year going to the Latin Mass almost exclusively and then in 2020, the path became painfully clear. During the darkest days of the pandemic when the Bishops told us that Our Blessed Lord and the sacraments were not essential, but liquor stores and dens of ill-repute were, the Society of Saint Pius X was the refuge for faithful Catholics. For many, this was the first time they had come into contact with the Society and we came to know them, as Our Blessed Lord tells us, by their fruits.

When the sacraments were being denied all over the world and shuttered, the priests of the society were setting up missionary field chapels and bringing mass to the faithful. It was through these supreme acts of charity and self sacrifice that kindled in my heart the “expeditionary” and “missionary” zeal that was first cultivated during my time as a U.S. Marine and for a moment, I began to have some clarity. I now understood what the path before me was to be and attended a Vocations retreat with the society in July of 2021 at the old seminary in Winona, Minnesota. At its conclusion, I made a firm commitment.

With this very brief and condensed overview of what lead me to this point in my life, there comes the financial hurdle of leaving the world behind to attend seminary formation. Fr McFarland, the Vocations Director of the FSSPX here in North American has related to me that tuition on an annual basis is $10k. This coupled with the associated personal expenses come to about $15k annually. I am committed to continuing to work until the Fall to mitigate as much personal debt as I can prior to entry but once I leave my regular employment to begin my studies for the priesthood, I will no longer be able to earn money for myself and will rely solely on the generosity of the faithful. This itself, is something that is very uncomfortable for me to ask as I have earned my keep my whole life.

So now, in the spirit of giving, I humbly ask for your support in the pursuit of this vocation. Every dollar sent will be utilized towards formation in either tuition, or personal expenses associated with formation. If for any reason I am not able to attend seminary this upcoming Fall 2022, I will refund all money to all donors. Even if you can’t donate financially, I most definitely can use your good will as well as prayers. Thank you all for your consideration, your support and your prayers!

Remember the words of Our Lady when she said in 1917 that, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph.”

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https://fsspx.org/en

Note: All received donations will be held in escrow pending acceptance into the seminary for Fall 2022. If for any reason I am not accepted for admission, all funds will be refunded to their applicable donors. Thank you all for your generosity, support and prayers.



 

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