The Quarterly Newsletter
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
July 24 , 2013
Keeping Our Youth Connected To the Catholic Faith
District 10 members from the Serra Club of Houston, and the Serra Club of Bay Area participated in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesan Youth Conference held at the Hilton-Americas Hotel in Houston July 19-21. An enthusiastic crowd of over 2200 youngsters from over ninety parishes in the Galveston-Houston Area took part in the various Catechetical Sessions.
In his Homily at Mass celebrated Saturday morning Father Dat Hoang , Diocesan Vocations Director, enthralled one and all with his fervor and love for his priesthood inspiring all with the realization of the tremendous love God has for all of us as He reaches with His grace Into our lives. Father Dat urged the young adults in attendance to be brave, pray and be attentive to God's message to uncover and realize their given vocation.
The Youth Conference was a resounding success thanks to the organization and work of many people in the Archdiocese and that of the Directors of the individual Youth Groups, parents and chaperons of the participating Parishes.
Catechetical Sessions were presented to the young people assembled at various locations in the fourth floor and General Presentations held at the main auditorium. In addition, various stations were installed at the halls promoting discussion of varied themes.
Popular among these was a table / station staffed by Seminarians from St. Mary's Seminary promoting Vocations to the Priesthood; a cutout of Pope Francis attending –in spirit, provided by the University of St. Thomas, made this a very popular stop. The Seminarians were visited by many young people, answered their inquiries and provided a wealth of information. We pray in due time the Holy Spirit will contact some of these young people.
Larry Massey, District 10 Governor Elect and Ted Wandstrat of the Serra Club of Houston manned a table promoting Vocations and making Father Brett A. Brannen's Book “To Save A Thousand Souls” available to interested young men who may be discerning a vocation.
The College Connection Program (CCP) developed in connection with Serra in Chicago by the late Dick Stoley and an energetic and dedicated lady by the name of Judy Cozzens provided a mechanism to keep high school graduates connected to their Catholic Faith when they go to College. After several years of much work by many people at Serra the CCP grew in every possible way to the point that made its merging with the Newman Connection a God sent affair; because it came at a point when the growth of the CCP was becoming difficult to sustain and operate and perhaps due to become a casualty of its own success.
Hence merging with the simpler and more efficient Newman Club provided the CCP the opportunity to continue and expand its vision of keeping our youth connected to the Catholic Faith utilizing the vast resources of the Newman Clubs that operate across campuses nationwide, building; Community, Faith, Inspiration and Prayer.
Jerry Schrader, Ann Descant and Miguel Zamora from the Serra Club of the Bay Area (SCBA) had a table designed to provide information to the Youth Coordinators and / or Parish Vocations Committees about the Newman Connection. Jerry has actively supported the transition to the Newman Connection in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese and served as the conduit of information for distribution at the Youth Conference.
A packet of information relating to and provided by the Newman Connection was made available to more than fifty Youth Directors attending the Conference.
Through the generosity of the Newman Connection an instructional set of eight DVD's presenting The New Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church were also given to each of the Youth Directors visiting our table / stand. Upon registering at Newman Connection the Youth Directors can obtain free of charge a printed copy of YOUCAT The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Anyone having had the opportunity to be near in any capacity to the Archdiocesan Youth Conference must have felt the infectious enthusiasm generated by the attending young, no doubt would realize the rich inspiration of the Holy Spirit in every soul present.
We pray and thank Almighty God for His generosity in allowing for the apparent success of the Youth Conference. May every Serran be inspired to build up our relationships with our Youth to maintain our Catholic Faith and increase the promotion of Vocations.
The simplified version of the Newman Connection is being incorporated in our web site and suggests consideration of this item by the Serra Clubs of District 10. Jerry Schrader will be glad to help in this matter.
This past Sunday July 21 parishioners at the 12:00 Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in League City enjoyed the visit or Seminarian Luis Miguel Garcia in response to invitation of the Vocations Committee, and the Serra Club of the Bay Area. Luis Miguel, a native of the State of Zacatecas, Mexico is presently conducting his studies in Covington, Louisiana. After Mass Alan and Jean Ito of the Vocations Committee at St. Mary's joined Frances and Miguel Zamora at their home to meet Luis Miguel and enjoy a light lunch of Mexican food.
The mini celebration was further enhanced by the presence of a second Seminarian from St. Mary's Seminary as well; Ricardo Olvera a native of Guadalajara Mexico who is also studying in Austin as part of St. Mary's Seminary system. Ricardo had worked the day before at the Archdiocesan Youth Conference at the post sponsored by St. Mary's Seminary, it was there that Miguel saw and invited him to come and have brunch with the Vocations Committee folks from St. Mary's the next day.
Even though Luis Miguel and Ricardo are temporarily on “break” from their formal studies at the Seminary both are deeply involved in many related activities. Luis Miguel just returned the day before from an intense week of Missionary work in Guatemala assisting one of the few priests available in that country ministering to the spiritual needs of the local Catholic population. Ricardo likewise, has been working at the Archdiocese Office of Vocations helping Father Dat and Sister Anita in the study / development of a software project.
The visit with the Seminarians was a warm and rewarding experience as we shared a simple meal and got the opportunity to learn a bit from both Luis Miguel and Ricardo and about their families as well. The joyful attitude of both of these young men manifests the strong commitment to their chosen vocation.
We expressed our personal support and that of all Serrans and our promise to continue our prayers for their wellbeing and perseverance on the road to the Priesthood.
Your comments / suggestions are welcomed…….and as we bid our “hasta pronto' let us all go pray for Vocations and look for the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora