The Quarterly Newsletter


The Bay Area Serra Club

March 30, 2011

I think it appropriate to continue a bit of the reflection we initiated on our last visit in February regarding our Vocations work as we initiated our activities for the new year.

Events large and small occurring all over the world have dramatically changed the face of the earth. The monstrous earthquake and the devastating Tsunami that followed in Japan took the life of thousands of innocent people. The unrest and strife occurring in Egypt and the North African region have claimed thousands of innocent victims, and unfortunately we have not seen the end yet.

In our own Serra world we have experienced disquieting developments that do nothing but distract us from our real work, VOCATIONS.

In the midst of this devastation, misery and suffering God's hand can be seen as the world community extends its hands to support those victims of such disasters, in due time He will bring relief and heal the gigantic loss.

Similarly, in our own case He will settle things; in the meantime I would suggest each of us consider rededicating ourselves to our Vocations work with renewed enthusiasm and faith.

Chaplain's Corner

Circumstances prevented obtaining Father Benny's thoughts to include in this short edition, his contribution will be here on our next issue.

Our Sincerest Sympathy

We just learned yesterday that Virginia Thompson our beautiful and most efficient Secretary and dedicated Serran lost her brother this past Monday.

It is our prayer God grants him eternal rest and strength to Virginia in this most difficult time. We will share any additional information when we receive it.

Sister Pauline Troncale resigns

We just received notice that Sister Pauline Troncale has resigned as Associate Director at the Office of Vocations for our Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, effective May 7.

She and her gentle and dedicated ways will be greatly missed. It was always such comfort to know that after everything else was tried without success her wisdom always prevailed.

I am sure the membership of the Serra Club of the Bay Area will have occasion to express its gratitude to Sister Pauline.

Serrans on the mend

Our prayers continue for our fellow Serrans who have been experiencing various health problems so that they fully recover and enjoy good health. These include: Paul Centers who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy protocols for recently discovered lung cancer, Paul is the husband of Mary Lou; Maggie Adams, Wade's wife as she continues her chemotherapy and radiation treatment; Connie Floridia who is trying to get over a nasty cold; Mike Hilley; and Charleen Guilliams, and Jerry Schrader who continues his allergy and equilibrium battles.

Ongoing Activities

Multiple distractions have not prevented us from continuing our work and here is a glance at some of it.

“Called by Name”

Tim Healy and Jim Connors continue their efforts on this program at St. Helen's Parish in Pearland, and our President Shirley Smaistrla at her Sacred Heart Parish in Manvel.

“Vocations Cross”

It is almost a month ago that this program was started at St. Mary's in League City when four groups of parishioners received the Vocation Cross together with the associated Prayer folder to take home to pray and keep for a month.

The Vocations Committee at St. Mary's was elated last week when a lady parishioner from St. Jude Catholic Church in Blairstown, New Jersey called requesting information about the Vocations Cross Program which they learned from announcement in a Bulletin from St. Mary's. The information was sent and soon they will start the Program and praying for Vocations in that part of the world.

The seed planted at Sacred Heart Parish in Richmond with its ensuing success served to initiate the Program at St. Mary's in League City which is experiencing an exciting beginning; now the New Jersey initiative, and tomorrow the Moon.

Closer to home efforts at John the Baptist in Alvin have been started by Dennis LeCompte with a view to soon begin the Program. Similar efforts are underway at St. Phillip Neri with Father Robert to initiate this Program

It really does not matter who or how this and other Programs get started as long as they do start. Perhaps a better way to describe these phenomena would be to acknowledge the work of so many past and present dedicated Serrans in whose shoulders we stand day after day in our attempts to emulate their example.

College Connection Program

Preliminary work continues as we prepare to hit the ground running and get out to harvest High School graduates bound for College to keep them connected to our Faith while away in school.

We have communicated with Adrian Flores and Sue Zimmerman of the Chicago Office and established an account for the processing of our students data.

We will provide additional information to the College Connection Team so that we can get an early start with a goal to complete our information gathering process the early days in May.

Myriam Dinner

Something not so funny happened on the way to the Myriam Dinner; on March 8 Joe De Bonis our most reliable cook was taken to the intensive care of Clear Lake Hospital with a brain hemorrhage thus sending Jerry Schrader on a frantic search for prayers for Joe's to overcome his grave health situation, and an alternate plan for the spaghetti preparation for the dinner.

Thank God after a few days Joe responded to the treatment at the hospital and at present is in rehab and recovering nicely. The spaghetti preparation along with the salads, cakes and gifts assembled for the attendants were not needed since Sister Pauline was compelled to cancel the Dinner for lack of participation.

Jerry and his Serra team were most disappointed since this event has been well attended in the past. Spring break and other concurrent events might have contributed to the lack of participants.

Here and There

Mary Lou Centers, head of the Affirmation Committee completed a compilation of the Priests, Deacons and Religious in residence at each of the fifteen parishes in our Serra Club of the Bay Area. The data enumerates as well: Seminarians, Religious and other personnel from each of the parishes currently in formation. Additionally the compilation gives addresses, phone numbers and personnel assigned at each of our assigned parishes.

This information is of great help as it identifies the pastors and other people at each of the parishes with whom we can initiate and direct inquires in our Vocations work.

Mary Lou deserves a HUGE ATTA GIRL!!!

Hasta pronto, till we meet again let us look for the face of Jesus in one another.

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