The quarterly Newsletter of
The Serra Club of the Bay Area
12 December 2016
From Left: Bill Clary; Fr.Truong Nguyen; Sister Anita Brenek; Fr.J. Courville; Melba Porteau; Fr. T.J.Dolce; Cardinal DiNardo; Auxiliary Bishop Sheltz; Fr. J.Kuczynski ;Kurt Metyko.(Picture courtesy of Lee J. Boler)
After intense planning and preparation we conducted our Annual Christmas Dinner this past December 9 to honor the Priests, Deacons, and Professed Religious working in our Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.
As Serrans we hold this event to honor the Clergy with whom we work in the promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood, Permanent Deaconate and Consecrated Religious Life. Our celebration was conducted in the hall of Mary Queen Parish in Friendswood where we hold all our working meetings.
The magnificent decoration of the hall gave the place a warm and elegant feeling that invited the attendants to participate and enjoy the proceedings. The place was decorated by the Serrans with an especial touch from Ana and Omar Martinez who recently joined the ranks of Serra. The exquisite menu was prepared by our brothers the KC's from Council 8494. The spirits were donated and served by generous Serrans Ed. Hartman and Doug Wrinkle.
His Excellence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo graced our evening with his presence asking Almighty God to bless and allow Serrans to continue their work for Vocations. His message to us Serrans was once again a reminder of the urgent need for Vocations.
Our featured Speaker was Father T. J. Dolce, the Director of the Office of Vocations of our Archdiocese who provided a rich list of significant items relating to potential indicators relating to the existence of a Vocation. Among these the candidate must have a rich affinity to PRAYER in every aspect of his life, as this communication with the Lord is the essential link where everything starts and ends.
Many other practical aspects of the qualification requirements for admission to the Seminary were covered by Father T.J. these being no different than perhaps those required to secure admission to Medical or Engineering School, this criteria will enhance our ability to successfully seek and promote quality Vocations. We will try to adopt many of Father T.J's recommendations to our Vocations work.
This past October the Texas Catholic Herald published a comprehensive article “Recognizing trends in the vocations the Archdiocese, nation” by Father T.J. where he recognizes important trends controlling vocations. Comprehensive study of this information should empower us to take a fresh look at our approach and improve the results.
By all accounts our dinner this year seemed to have a special joyous touch inspired perhaps by the beautiful decoration of the hall; everyone seemed happy smiling and enjoying the food and fellowship. There was a contagious joy reflected in each of the new Serrans as their participation validated their contribution to the planning of this glorious event. Especial recognition is due to Tim Rouen the “rooky” organizer of this event who assimilated the wisdom from Jerry Schrader, and to Rodney Preuit that served as a superb MC.
We salute Shirley Smaistrla one of our Club's past presidents and devoted Serrans who was unable to attend because of a recent accident.
Our festivities were graced and enhanced by the presence of Serrans that for health related issues are not able to participate in our regular events and include Mary LeCompte who with her sons has worked in so many of our projects. Frank Descant, husband of Ann who for some time has participated in our Vocations work.
On this festive occasion with love and affection we honor the memory of two of our Serran brothers who recently were called to their reward by our Lord Jesus.
Tommy Blake, the gentle and steady Serran that quietly but firmly gave of himself in multiple ways to our Vocations work in our Bay Area Club.
Clarence Cantini, a gracious Serran that worked diligently for Vocations in his native Galveston .
As we await the Birth of our Lord Jesus, let each one of us rededicate ourselves to intensify our Vocations promotion work, increase our support to our priests in the work of our parishes, and study Father T.J. his Vocations trends findings to maximize the effect of our Vocations work.
And before we say our “hasta luego” let us go reenergize our Vocations work as we look for the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora