The Quarterly Newsletter


The Bay Area Serra Club

June 28, 2013


My reflections on vocation discernment

It is summer time and schools and colleges are closed and young people are considering or seriously thinking about their future. So let me share my reflections about Discernment. Dear Serrans let us pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. 

Discernment of the call to the priesthood or religious life is more than an intellectual exercise. Yes, the mind is involved, but so must be the heart.  According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “We cannot truly speak of the Catholic priesthood without reference to the priesthood of Christ. Only Christ is the true priest, the others being his ministers.” Both the common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood are a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The whole Christian community is a priestly one, but in order to effectively teach and lead, priests must first make their relationship with Jesus the center of their lives.

Through the ministerial priesthood “the Lord Jesus unceasingly builds up and leads His Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.”

Young people must have a personal encounter with Christ if they are to be truly able to respond to God's call to the priesthood. In our own lives and in the lives of those we invite to consider the priestly vocation, it is necessary to encounter Christ in prayer, to encounter Him in the Word, most especially in the Gospels, to encounter Him in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and in Eucharistic Adoration. It is necessary also to encounter the merciful and compassionate High Priest in the sacrament of Penance.

Our own prayer, our own relationship with Christ forms and changes us so we can then help form and teach and govern and sanctify the people of God. It all starts with our personal relationship with Christ. Everything else comes out of that. We all should have time for daily personal prayers. We have to pray for young people for discernment and encourage them to consider about Priestly life or religious life.

Let us also ask our young people to talk with some good priests or other holy people about discernment or share with them what's going on in their hearts.  But I think in the end it's that quiet, one-on-one conversation with Christ that will help them to choose the path they want to follow.  I had my discernment to the priesthood while praying at the Lourdes Grotto at our parish church In Kerala, India.  Blessed Mother also strengthens and nurtures that encounter with Jesus. Thank you very much Father Benny.

Affirmation Committee

One of our vital Vocations Activities most often going unnoticed is that performed quietly but effectively by the members of this Committee whose purpose is to remember and affirm our priests, deacons, and religious in our parishes through birthday and anniversary cards.

We gladly share with you here the conversation Pauletta Jeter, head of this committee recently had with Father Bob Matzinger, C.S.B.

Last week we received a phone call from Father Bob Matzinger, C.S.B. He is currently at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 3131 Eldorado Blvd., Houston, Texas 77059. (281) 286-7729. He used to be at Sacred Heart in Manvel with Father John Broussard, C.S.B. Father Bob called me last week after he received his congratulation card for his ordination to thank us. He was so incredibly sincere that we had remembered him. He also really liked the quote I included in the card from St. John Vienne. I explained to him we had passed out the book “To Save a Thousand Souls” sometime back. He said he did not receive one but sure would read it if he had one. I told him that I would try to get one for him and explained the purpose. He was so excited and humble to hear from us. It was truly an awesome experience talking to him and I look forward to taking the book to him.

Induction of New Members

On 25 April 2013 six new members were inducted during the celebration of Solemn Mass by our Chaplain Father Benny Thadathilkunnel as members of our Serra Club of the Bay Area they were: Pauletta Jeter, Debbie Clark, Frank Bejarano, Margaret Bejarano, Osby Allen and Juanita Solis.

A meal celebrating this blessed occasion was enjoyed by the new members and all other Serrans in attendance welcoming the new members. We pray the new members bring to our Club new enthusiasm, faith and dedication so that together we can focus our labors to the promotion of Vocations and the great glory of Almighty God.

Installation of New Officers for District 10

The annual Serra Mass and banquet with Cardinal DiNardo was held this past Saturday, June 15 at St. Dominic Center. As always all in attendance were treated to the substantive and eloquent reflection of his homily during the solemn celebration of Mass.

Following Mass we had the banquet and subsequent to that the installation of all Serra officers.

Congratulations to Larry Massey the newly elected Governor Elect of District 10 to whom we wish the best in his new position, may our Lord Jesus assist and guide him as he continues the effort in the promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life and the Diaconate.

Our most sincere thanks to our District 10 Governor Margo Geddie and to Larry Massey, Governor Elect; for their devotion, zeal, love and get up and get it done attitude that marks all the undertakings they have initiated and completed in the promotion of Vocations. May God choicest blessings be with you.

College Connect Program I

The activity to provide this year's (2013) High School graduating students information of available Catholic facilities (clubs, nearby parishes, Mass and Confession schedules,etc) at the College /University they have chosen to attend, is being processed as we write this note. The promised information will be provided in the very near future.

College Connect Program II

The College Connect Program that has provided for some years (including this 2013 year) the mechanism keeping our High School Graduates connected to our Catholic Faith away from home as they initiate their College years has become the “NEWMAN CONNECTION”.

It was a few years ago that the late Dick Stoley started this program in Chicago with the help of Judy Cozzens and her husband Jack. Hard work during the early years overcame starting difficulties and the desired information about available Catholic Facilities at a number of our Colleges and Universities began to be provided to incoming students.

Dick Stoley's untimely death thrust Judy Cozzens into the leadership of the program. Judy's tremendous desire and zeal surpassed only by her dedication and hard work was able, with support of Jack her husband and of able assistants, to transform in the last three years the College Connection Program onto a premier service keeping the ties to our Catholic Faith by our away from home College bound students.

The infectious dedication and zeal of Judy took hold of the imagination of Serrans here and there and with God's help and blessings COLLECGE CONNECTION has been transformed onto the NEWMAN CONNECTION.

The College Connect popularity and considerable growth among College Bound High School participants in the United States, and the attendant resource limitations, suggested to Judy the merging of College Connection with Newman Connection to be viable and valuable. Judy's judgment to complete the merger has proven to be the correct one.

College Connect would compile the High School graduates data for processing in a “spreadsheet format”; the simplified process of Newman Connect will distribute a “Card” to the High School graduates requesting their data for processing. Processing will provide the students the Catholic Availability information at their chosen Campus.

The information herein presented by our club at the Bay Area is intended to help increase awareness of the Newman Connect Program in every Serra Club in District 10. Subsequent discussions and / or instructional meetings can be arranged to help implementation of this important revision to the program in all District 10 Clubs. For additional or further information please contact Judy Cozzens ( jcozzens@msn.com ), Jerry Schrader (Jerry.Schrader@att.net ), or Miguel A. Zamora ( mzamora001@comcast.net ) here in the Houston Galveston Area.

Life Awareness Retreat

Presentations about the Life Awareness Retreat were made at Our Lady Queen of Peace in La Marque at the 08:00 (English), and the 09:15 (Spanish) Masses on Sunday June 16. Additionally, copies of “To Save a Thousand Souls” were presented to Pastor Rev. Chacko Puthumayil (English) and to Deacon Miguel Hernandez (Spanish) as gifts of the Serra Club of the Bay Area.

Vocations Cross Program

Efforts continue to implement participation in the Vocations Cross Program at some of our assigned parishes. We understand from Mrs. Lynn Hubbard of St. Philip Neri that the program will start there this coming August. Contacts have been initiated to present the program to Fr. Bob Matzinger for implementation at St. Clare of Assisi in the Clear Lake area.

The Vocations Cross is going along nicely at St. John the Baptist in Alvin, and at St. Mary in League City. Could we implement it at your parish???

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

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