The Quarterly Newsletter Of
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
December 7, 2014
Our next issue will include a reflection message from our beloved Chaplain Father Benny,
Where have we been this 2014 year?
A review of Serra District 10 activities during 2014 as the year fast approaches its end we observe some of the salient events during the year included: the change of Father Dat as Director of the Office of Vocations to become the founding Pastor of a new parish in the Archdiocese to be named St. Mary Faustina; Father TJ Dolce was named Vocations Director for the Archdiocese where he joined Sister Anita; The Annual Serra Club Mass where His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo was the Principal Celebrant; and the most successful visit to Houston to energize our Vocations efforts by Father Brett A. Brannen.
Some of the principal activities sponsored by our Serra Club of the Bay Area during the year included: support of the Newman Connection during the Archdiocesan Youth Conference, and the canvasing and registration of College bound High School Graduates from our assigned parishes in the Newman Connection; providing supper for the ladies attending the Myriam Dinner held Friday Oct 10, 6-30pm-9:00pm at the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province Convent, located at 5250 Gasmer Dr., Houston, TX 77035.
Our premier event for the year our Christmas Banquet Honoring Priests and Religious for this year is to be held Friday December 12, 2014. We felt appropriate to provide a brief note about Serra for the benefit of newcomers which will give some context to our work and activities.
The Serra Club of the Bay Area is one of seven Clubs within District 10 operating within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston that support the Vocations Promoting Activities scheduled by of the Office of Vocations, St. Mary's Seminary and some of the local Religious Communities. Each of the seven Serra Clubs has been assigned to serve a number of parishes within the Archdiocese; our Bay Area Serra Club serves fifteen Parishes.
Some Historical Prospective
The Serra Christmas Banquet was celebrated for the first time in 1988 the year the Serra Club of the Bay Area was chartered as we recently learned from our current President William (Bill) Clary who was present and participated in that blessed event. Bill talks with much love and pride of those days when the Serra Club of the Bay Area was born.
Fond memories prevail of numerous Priests and Religious with whom Serrans have thru the years made and continue to make a labor of love the quest for Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life.
Bill affectionately remembers some Serrans from those days still active and working today :---- please note the number in parenthesis given next to each Serran correspond to the number of years active at Serra--- they include: Alicia Casmus (23), Jerry Schrader (19), Rodney Preuit (15), Tommy Blake (12), Virginia Thompson (12), Wade Adams (11), and Annette and Tim Healy (11). Present members with less than 10 years at Serra are not included.
Principal motive to hold the original Christmas Dinner was to honor and celebrate the Priests and Religious with whom Serrans began their effort to learn about the A,B,C…s of Vocations so that they could make a difference. The fact the Dinner was held in that early year suggest they were celebrating their labor and their newly acquired friendships as they began the promotion of Vocations.
Much rain has flowed since that 1988 time when our Lord Jesus through Priests and Religious provided to the pioneering Serrans an inspiration and understanding of the work of Vocations.
The Christmas Banquet became an Annual celebration and much honor and thanks are due to past and present Serrans who for the last 26 years have made the promotion of Vocations part of their lives.
Since Serra found a home at Mary Queen Parish in Friendswood to conduct its meetings, its facilities also became the place to conduct the banquet where it has been held for some time.
Jerry Schrader who joined Serra in 1995 participated and learned the organizational and promotional details required to hold the Christmas Dinner. Those that showed him the ropes did a great job because he learned well and thru the years has not only organized the banquet but has managed to improve the performance from year to year.
Jerry has used his organizing skills to enlist many of the resources of various groups at Mary Queen's Parish. The Knights of Columbus Council 8494 prepares the food; members of the Mary Queen's Youth group become the servers at the banquet, and at the end assist in the cleaning of the hall and the silverware in the kitchen. This has become an adjunct to the banquet and served to show the participating youngsters a glimpse to the “Vocations World”, and the work of Serra as they mingle and interact with the many Priests and Religious attending the festivities. One year Daniel Cardinal DiNardo who was the principal speaker that year was “mobbed” by the youngsters as a super star and took a picture with him.
Other aspects of Jerry's work include his great talent to solicit funds from various sources that make possible a very nice meal and the offering of at least one gift to every Priest, Deacon and Religious in attendance to the banquet. Equally significant in this regard are Jerry‘s skills to procure donors that provide the wine and spirits served at the dinner. Other contributors provide cash that help to purchase some of the gifts given to the attendees and also defray other costs. The list of these generous donors is large and their contribution makes this event possible.
Congratulations to Jerry and his wife Christine who assists him in many organizing aspects of this event. And many thanks to the foot-soldiers; the unnamed Serrans from the Bay Area Serra Club that assist Jerry and have for all this years made this event such resounding success.
One last aspect of our Christmas Banquet is the fact that any residual monies after covering all the expenses of the event are used to help Vocations related activities, such as contributing to the Seminarians Emergency Fund and other worthy Vocations related activities.
Anyone interesting in viewing many s interesting facts and activities relating to the early days of the Bay Area Serra Club is encouraged to visit http://www.serra-bayarea.org/, our website that has for some time being faithfully maintained by Tim Healy another earlier Serran.
Pope Francis Proclamation of Year of Consecrated Life
On November 30, 2014 Pope Francis opened the Year of Consecrated Life. Cardinal DiNardo asked that the Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life composed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
(USCCB) be prayed frequently during the year.
PRAYER FOR THE Year of
O God, throughout the ages you have called
women and men to pursue lives of perfect
charity through the evangelical counsels of
poverty, chastity, and obedience. During this
Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks
for these courageous witnesses of Faith and
models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy
lives teaches us to make a more perfect offer-
Iing of ourselves to you. Continue to enrich
your Church by calling forth sons and daugh-
ters who, having found the pearl of great
price, treasure the Kindom of Heaven above
all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen.
This event will provide the Serrans ample opportunity throughout the year to learn about the consecrated life of men and women and increase our promotion for the much needed Vocations.
As we approach the end of this 2014 year we take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Merry and Blessed Christmas as we express our gratitude to God for the blessings He provided us during this year; let us pray to Him to give comfort to those seeking relief from physical ailments; and allow the unemployed to find a job.
Hasta pronto, let me hear your suggestions/comments… till we meet again let us go and look for the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora