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Golfing for a Purpose

Desert Golf Classic Supports Holy Land Pilgrimage

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

Each year groups from across the Archdiocese of Detroit and beyond congregate on the links for a fun day of golf, fellowship, and support for seminarians studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

The Desert Golf Classic outing is a benefit for first year Theology students studying at Sacred Heart. As a major part of their formation, this class embarks on a thirty-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land and other parts of Europe to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. For the 2019-2020 academic year, twenty-one seminarians are preparing their hearts for the Desert Formation Experience in May. This class is one of the largest groups of seminarians to take part on this journey. It is largely due to the generous support of attendees at the annual golf outing that this unique formation experience is possible.

This year, the thirty-seventh Annual Desert Golf Classic took place on September 16, 2019 at the Inn at St. John’s Golf and Conference Center in Plymouth, Michigan. The Desert Classic boasted another sell-out crowd with 148 golfers banding together to form 36 individual teams. More guests arrived in the early evening for a cocktail reception and gourmet dinner and program.

At the base, the Desert Classic is a fundraiser, but it is so much more important. It sees the entire class of graduate students coming together to be a witness for Jesus and their personal vocation journeys. The men who just returned from the pilgrimage a few months prior have an opportunity to engage with donors and recount their experience.

During the dinner program, Diocese of Marquette seminarian Brandon Yanni took to the stage to give witness to the significance of the trip. He said that leading up to it, the Holy Land was never on his bucket list of places to see. Looking back on his experience, “I think that list might have changed a bit.”

Shortly after Yanni spoke, the big winners of the night were announced. Andrew Eischeid won the “Closest to the Pin” contest and received the desired Dearden Cup, while Tim Trombley won the “Straightest Drive” contest.

The first-place team comprised of four members: Brian Bastic, Greg Pope, Don Roe, and Fr. Charles Canoy. The runner-up team was not far behind, its foursome included Dr. William Grace, Ron Grace, Zenon Grace, and Colten Christensen. The third-place foursome was made up of Joe Kloka, Ron Silos, Harvey Braun, and Tim Lafferty.

To close the night, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, offered closing remarks and a final blessing before seminarians David Kruse, Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Benjamin Rivard, Diocese of Marquette, and Ryan Eggenberger, Archdiocese of Detroit led the ballroom in “I Am the Bread of Life.” Singing this song has been the traditional closing of the Desert Golf Classic for many years.

Please consider joining us next year for the Thirty-Eighth Desert Golf Classic on September 21, 2020. For more information please visit

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

MOSAIC Editorial Team

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.