The Quarterly Newsletter


The Bay Area Serra Club

April, 2012

Chaplain's Corner

Father Benny returned from his vacation just in time to help in the preparation for the consecration of the new Mary Queen church we look forward to his thoughts in our next edition.


Paul Centers a Serran member after a courageous and lengthy illness lost his battle with cancer and went to the Lord this past Sunday April 1, 2012. We, the members of the Bay Area Serra Club unite with our President Shirley Smaistrla to offer our sincere condolences and prayers to his wife Mary Lou, also a Serran member of our Club, and their family.

A privileged few that had occasion to visit with Paul during his last days found him a picture of serenity and calm manifesting his interior peace and acceptance of God's will as he made his way to heaven.

On the mend

Frances Zamora underwent shoulder surgery on April 2 and is recuperating at home. Frank Descant has been undergoing testing, we wish him well and pray his problem is diagnosed and soon arrested. On the great side is Michael Hilley who has recuperated nicely from the massive heart surgery he recently underwent, we join Linda in thanking our Lord Jesus for His help in this matter.

Where have we been?

Myriam Dinner. – On a stormy and wet night March 9 th we found our way to the Vietnamese Dominican Convent out on the West side of Houston. High water, lightning and thunder permeated the skies but all of this didn't stop any Serran from doing something we all enjoyed so much. This in spite of the work awaiting us in the preparing of the food.

Fr. Dat Hoang from the Vocations Office in the Archdiocese was the promoter in organizing this function. With Sister Christine and Nuns from other Orders, they wanted the Myriam Dinner for the ladies of the archdiocese, so these women could decide if they had a vocation to the Religious Life.

Sisters from each of the Orders in attendance gave a short description of what they did. Some nuns even drove over from San Antonio to give this talk. Also, some of the nuns

gave testimony to what their order was about. Each had an important word to get out to those ladies attending.

Mr. Joe De Bonis of Mary Queen prepared the dinner with the help of the Serrans. Mrs. Pauletta Jeter was responsible for the small gifts that were given to the ladies. And then, all of us enjoyed speaking with the nuns and the prospective candidates.

Our Serra Club has a lot to thank God for. He provided us an opportunity to give our TIME, TALENT, AND MONEY. Besides we all had a great time but “our feet” hurt afterwards; not one of the Vietnamese stop smiling the whole time we were there.

Vocations Expo

Our club attended the Vocations Expo held at St. Mary's Seminary on Saturday March 24. Even though he was recuperating from the “jet lag” from his trip to Rome His Eminence Daniel Cardinal Di Nardo treated the attendees to the Expo with his inspiring Invocation.

Our Serra Club of the Bay Area supported the Expo with two exhibits: “College Connection Program”, and “The Vocations Cross Program”. Our President Shirley Smaistrla, Jerry Schrader and Miguel Zamora provided information on these programs to several inquirers in attendance. Other Serra Clubs in our district attended and supported the proceedings.

Follow up contacts were made with Deacon Arturo Monterrubio to whom information on the Vocations Cross was subsequently mailed, and with our fellow Serran Mele Paul to support her initiative to establish a Vocations Committee at St. Paul in Nassau Bay.

Election of Officers

On our regular meeting Thursday April 12 our Serra Club of the Bay Area elected Officers for the next term, as follows:

President Bill Clary

V. P. Programs Melba Porteau

V. P. Vocations Shirley Smaistrla

V. P. Membership Ann Descant

V. P. Communications Miguel A. Zamora

Treasurer Michael Hilley

Secretary Virginia Thompson

Chaplain Fr. Benny Thadahilkunnel

1 st . Year Trustee Shirley Smaistrla

2 nd Year Trustee Tommy Blake

3 rd Year Trustee Wade Adams

We pray the Holy Spirit fills the hearts and minds of our new officers and help them to discharge their duties for the promotion of Vocations and the Glory of Almighty God.

Points to Ponder

Perhaps at this time it is fitting to make a short pause examine our recent past to look at some of our completed deeds and those requiring continuous and / or additional effort from everyone.

Every member of our Club should thank God for allowing us to work in the promotion of Vocations for the Priesthood and Consecrated Life. Whether our effort was to help serve fish on Friday's during Lent at Mary Queen; Recruit high school seniors for the College Connect program; grade Vocations related Essay papers from grade school students; Give talks at our local parishes seeking young men and women to attend the Vocations discernment retreat; Promote and work on the Myriam Dinner; Moderate youth forum talks at our parishes; Organize the Traveling Monstrances Adoration for Vocations at our parishes; Recognize our Priests and Religious with Birthday Cards; Assist Vocations Committees and other parish Ministries; Organize the Vocations Cross Program to pray for Vocations; Participate in the Vocations Expo and other functions organized by the Office of Vocations; Traveling Chalice Program; Called by Name; and of course the Christmas Banquet, the celebration of our Priests, Deacons and Religious at the end of the year.

The Christmas Banquet is no doubt a most special event because with our participation each member of our Club pays honor and tribute to our Priests, Deacons and Religious. The wisdom of the organizers is evident with the substantial contributions of “friends” whose treasure helps underwrite the event. In addition to the delightful evening the proceeds realized empower our Club with the ability to fund many worthy Vocations projects during the next year.

All in all we are a privileged group; let us pray our Lord Jesus continues directing our efforts to the promotion of Vocations.

Your observations and comments will be much appreciated let us go and look for the face of Jesus in each other.

Return to Newsletter Table of Contents

Return to Home Page

Back to