The Quarterly Newsletter


The Bay Area Serra Club

February, 2012


Editor's note. After the unintended interruption of this newsletter we are glad to be back on the beat communicating our Vocations activities.

Publication of these lines coincides with the beginning of the 2012 calendar year as we prepare to complete some of our Vocation projects we also prepare to initiate our work for the current year.

Making a review of our last endeavor, the Christmas Banquet, is a good start as it embraces all that is good about our Vocations work and then some.

Under the tireless direction of Jerry Schrader with the support of Christine his wife and the tireless efforts of all club members this past Christmas Banquet was the best ever. We were blessed with the presentation of Daniel Cardinal Di Nardo. We made the greatest profit ever that will allow us to fund so many worthy Vocations related items. The Priests, Deacons and Religious each had a door prize and other favors which with the excellent menu made for a delightful evening.

The supporting efforts of so many people in the Mary Queen's community such as Pastor, Fr. Skip; the KC's; the Youth Group and then the long list of Jerry's benefactors, those unnamed but generous participants whose treasure make possible to provide honor to our Priests, Deacons and Religious.

Yet, it was not the delicious dinner prepared by the KC's, the great spirits donated and served by Ed Hartmann and Doug Wrinkle, or the door prizes and other favors bestowed in our honorees that make this event so successful. It was the spirit of each individual Serran whose effort made such a memorable evening.

As we start our Vocations activities for this calendar year let us pray to the Holy Spirit to kindle in each one of us the fire of His love so that we can persevere in our Vocations work.

Chaplain's Corner:

We will bring Father Benny's message when he returns from his vacation in his native India.

On the Mend:

Mike Hilley our treasurer underwent extensive and delicate surgery to overhaul equipment he has implanted to regulate his congestive heart condition. Our prayers continue flowing in Mike's direction as well as Linda and the rest of his family.

Paul Centers has been in precarious health as lung cancer and other maladies continue to afflict him, On short recent visit to bring the Blessed Sacrament to him and Mary Lou his wife, Frances and I were rewarded as we witnessed the peace and serenity of a man whose faith and acceptance of God's Will is clearly manifested. May our Lord Jesus continue at his side.

As we prepared to publish this issue we heard from Mike as he continues recovering from his extensive but successful surgery.

Where have we been?

Spring has not sprung yet but that has not prevented us from getting started on our work.

Essay Contest:

Efforts by Ann Descant on this project came to a successful completion for this year as we conducted the judging of entries submitted by eleven 3rd , and 5th grades. The winners are being contacted to make sure they receive their well earned awards.

Traveling Vocation Cross:

Work continues on this activity:

St. John the Baptist

Alvin; Parishioners have enthusiastically received this project implemented by Dennis Le Compte who in addition is now making available to the participants the Spanish version of “To Save a Thousand Souls”,”Salvando Miles de Almas”, the best seller written by Father Brett A. Brannen who visited Houston this past year.

The Vocations Cross Prayers are available in English and Spanish.

St. Bernadette

The Vocations Committee at St. Bernadette's is investigating and evaluating the Traveling Cross Program dynamics to ascertain the feasibility of adapting it for implementation using a “Traveling Cup” instead of the Cross to pray for Vocations.

St. Mary

It has been one year that Parishioners at St. Mary in League City started the Traveling Vocations Cross. A journal was added to the “Prayer Folder” to allow participants to write their experience as they pray for Vocations; the results have been very positive and it is possible some of these comments may be published in the Parish Bulletin.

At the initiative of Mrs. Susan Wood, a teacher, the Traveling Vocations Cross was introduced at St. Mary's Catholic School. The Cross provides the opportunity for the students to pray for Vocations as it remains one week in each of the class rooms.

College Connection for Catholiics:

After a couple of years struggling and stumbling with this program we really hit “pay dirt” last summer as we were able to submit names of about 80 graduating seniors from Mary Queen (46), St. Helen's (16), St. John the Baptist (12) and St. Mary's League City (6), to enable them to receive pertinent information about the available Catholic Ministries at the campus of their choice.

To Save A Thousand Souls:

Our President Shirley Smaistrla has made the dissemination of this best-seller book written by Fr. Brett A. Brannen one of her favorite projects. The book is an excellent resource to help in the discernment process for Priestly Vocations as it gives a comprehensive picture of the activities of a Diocesan Priest. No doubt this book will help greatly in the Vocations promotion effort.

To date more than sixty of these books have been presented to some Pastors of our different Parishes. Because of the marked interest of Spanish speaking folks at St. John the Baptist in Alvin, Shrine of the True Cross in Dickinson and many other Parishes it was deemed appropriate to translate it into Spanish, this effort has just been completed and the books are being made available.

Where are we going?

Myriam Dinner:

At present we are making plans to support the Myriam Dinner which will be held March 9 at the Convent of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province (5250 Gasmer Dr., Houston, TX 77035), instead of at Villa de Matel Convent where it has been held in the past.

KC's Fish Fry:

As it is a tradition we will support the KC's Fish Fry at Mary Queen

Region X Vocation Conference:

As requested by our District 10 Governor Margo Geddie we will support this Vocations Activity to be attended by people from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center on Monday February 6. We will provide a booth with information about the College Connect for Catholics Program.


Kurt Metyko the President of Serra USA continues to monitor and support proceedings relating to law suit instituted by SI.

To improve in all aspects of our Vocations Work please let me hear your comments and suggestions, and until next time may Jesus remain with us.

Miguel A. Zamora

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