The Quarterly Newsletter
The Bay Area Serra Club
Our traditional Christmas Banquet is the last activity our club celebrates during the year to honor and celebrate our priests, deacons, and religious serving in our area within the Archdiocese.
Following that tradition this past Friday December 14 we gathered at Mary Queen's Parish in Friendswood for that purpose and the event was a resounding success.
On this happy evening Daniel Cardinal Di Nardo's was able to grace us with his presence manifesting his gratitude to the Serrans for our continued work at the same time that he expressed his ever present exhortation for the urgent need for the promotion of Vocations in the Archdiocese. Cardinal Di Nardo blessed all in attendance and then led us in blessing the food after which we proceeded to delight ourselves with a hearty menu of prime rib and chicken with mash potatoes, carrots and green beans. The excellent meal was graciously prepared by members of the Knights of Columbus council 8494 at Mary Queen. Young men and young ladies from the Youth Group at Mary Queen graciously served as waiters and their attitude and excellent skills made the meal that much more enjoyable.
Our honourees' were represented by Most of the Pastors, Priests and Permanent Deacons of our area Parishes together with Priests from the Seminary, Office of Vocations and many other friends of Serra. Numerous Sisters from local communities with whom we have the opportunity to promote vocations to the Consecrated Life were also in attendance.
Auxiliary Bishop Sheltz, our guest of honour, delighted all present with an inspirational reflection of his life of nearly half a century as a faithful, dedicated and loving parish priest in the Archdiocese; ministering and befriending rich and poor alike some of whom at times advised him of his being welcome in their neighbourhood during daytime hours only, but never after dark for safety sakes.
Details of Bishop Sheltz appreciation for the work of Serra are detailed in our web page www.serra-bayarea.org , together with numerous and interesting pictures of the banquet taken and incorporated by Mr. Tim Healy, a most talented member of our Club. You are encouraged to visit our web page it is possible you might even find your picture there.
Prominent in Bishop Sheltz's remarks was the importance the work of Serra had in his decision to enter the Seminary and become a priest. A member of Serra introduced an “Altar Boy of the Year” Contest that he won as a member of Annunciation Parish where he served Mass when he was in the eighth grade. Promotion at that time of this item by the Serran appears, although well intended, routinely inconsequential and perhaps it was. Yet, who could predict that it was to become part of the reason a young boy decided to enter the Seminary study to be a priest and ultimately become a bishop.
In similar manner one can wonder of all the “small” and “inconsequential” items encountered by any of our honorees when discerning their respective vocations. Surely none of them were struck from a horse like Paul was when on his way to Damascus, but rather they listened to God's voice that came to them in normal, routine, and small events and circumstances. There is a gold mine here for us Serrans to explore by asking whenever possible our Parish Priests to share with us their own stories.
No doubt we will discover the many and varied circumstances that God has chosen to make His will known to people inspiring young men and women to leave family and friends and even abandon one's own country to follow His Divine calling. No matter what the circumstances when called all our honorees answered a resounding YES to God and that is the reason we Serrans offer on this day our prayers, honor and gratitude to each of them.
We Serrans thank God for the privilege and opportunity to promote Vocations, and maybe as we start our Vocation promotion in the new year we might follow Cardinal Di Nardo's hint and look for a young men in our parish to whom we may say: “I bet you would make a great priest if God called you”
Before we close we would like to make you aware that our Chaplain Fr. Benny Thadathilkunnel, MS will be departing for his native India early next January to assist at the Ordination to the Priesthood of four seminarians at the La Salette Seminary. Among the new priests will be a nephew of Father Chacko Puthumayil, Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in La Marque, TX and a great friend of Serra. We rejoice for the near celebration of this most happy occasion and pray for an increase of Vocations at the La Sallete Seminary. Have a happy, safe and blessed trip Father Benny.
To everyone a most Happy, Holy and Blessed Christmas and until next time, let us go pray, work for Vocations, and search for the face of Jesus in each other.