The Quarterly Newsletter


The Bay Area Serra Club

August, 2012

Chaplain's Corner   

     “From the wounds of Christ flow the life-giving waters of Vocation."

Where am I going?

I recently bought an I Phone and I am amazed with the communication technology of today.  I am impressed by what this phone can do. One feature that I have become quite reliant upon is the GPS maps and directions feature. More than once, when trying to find a school, church or meeting venue this feature has helped me get there on time. Basically your phone finds where you are and then maps out the path of how to get there. You can easily see your current location, shown by a pulsing dot, and see where it is you need to turn. On one occasion recently I forgot to check in on my progress on the screen and ended up missing a turn. I was well off track.

The beauty of the phone feature however, meant that I could not get lost. I simply had to look to the GPS tracker to find my way back to the original path and to my destination. Few years back when I was in the seminary working as a vocation Director in India we used to conduct “Quo Vadis Weekend”. These weekends are held to assist men in discerning “Quo Vadis – Where am I going?” The weekends are held with a particular focus on the call to the ordained priesthood. We had several young men who came to attend the weekend. Each had one task in mind for the weekend - “Where I am on the map and what is God leading me to?” The question that followed was then, “If I am called to be an ordained priest am I heading in the right direction and how do I get back on track if I'm a little off course?” John, one of the men who came on the weekend commented, “Every person who actually wants to do God's will should ask this question (where am I going?) of themselves prayerfully. The truth is that as a point of reference we need to constantly refer to God and the scriptures. Jesus' first call to every person is simply to follow him. For the men on the weekend some of them will be called to follow him into the ordained priesthood, and others won't. Some may be called to consecrated life, single life or marriage. No matter which way we are called it is only in following Jesus will we reach our full potential in glorifying God. Like that of my rushed trip in my car the longer we travel without looking at the point of reference the more chance there is of veering off course. When did you last ask “where am I going?” The beauty of God's promise is that we will never be abandoned. Unlike technology, that can always go wrong, God is always ready to point us in the right direction.


Everyday God invites us to a feast called the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Mass) Jesus invites us all no matter if we are rich or poor. He invites us because Jesus wants us to have that intimate relationship with Him and He also wants to know more about us.

Some of us respond, some of us do not even care to listen to His invitation because we give more priority to our life's daily grind. Let us give a little of our time for God we can spend time with Him also through reading His words in the Bible.

Let us always be reminded that we will all leave our material wealth. But we will be able to bring to the next life what is infinite and that is our intimacy with God.

With God's Blessings,

Fr.Benny Thadathilkunnel,MS

New Faces

Sister Anita Brennek D.P has become the Associate Director of the Office of Vocations of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese as she recently joined Father Dat in the much demanding work for Vocations. We extend a warm welcome to Sister Anita whom we hope to meet in the very near future.

Where are we

Traveling Monstrances. St. Mary's in League City as well as St. Bernadette Parishes is getting ready to host one of the five Traveling Monstrances blessed and commissioned by Cardinal Di Nardo last year to visit each parish in the Archdiocese to Pray for Vocations before the Blessed Sacrament.

Everyone is encouraged to make a visit to any of the above parishes – or to one's own - and have a dialogue with the Blessed Sacrament. This provides an opportunity to ponder on Father Benny's meditation of this month and ask ourselves the question Where am I going? With respect to efforts relating to my Vocation work. How is my attitude? How is my enthusiasm? My reliance on prayer; asking for God's grace and wisdom to succeed.

On the mend

Our prayers for the quick recuperation of our recent past President Shirley Smaistrla who underwent foot surgery this past Wednesday August 8 to correct an early condition that had greatly deteriorated; this condition will prevent her from walking for some time which we hope will be a short one.

Where to

In spite of the hot weather we have endured for some time summer is about over as we see school supplies being offered for sale and soon the children will be back in school with new Big Chief Tablets and pencils with nice and clean erasers to face the new year. Coincidentally we Serrans recognizing the start of our new fiscal year have initiated our activities that include: detailed discussion to define our new operating budget so as to maximize the benefit of our expenditures in the promotion of Vocations; and the evaluation of present Vocations Programs to insure participation and utilization of all our member's talents. There is still much work to be done in defining our activities for the present year.

First annual “Pot Luck”

One of our relatively new members, Melba Pourteau, recently suggested having a social hour in lieu of one of our business meeting and holding a “pot Luck” supper which will allow everyone a better understanding of each other that will benefit and improve our Vocations work.

Following Melba's suggestion in what may become the first annual Bay Area Serra Club Pot Luck Supper was held on July 26 at Mary Queen Parish Hall. We were graced with the attendance of Fathers; Phil “Skip” Negley, M.S Pastor of Mary Queen, our own Chaplain, Fr.Benny Thadathilkunnel, MS, and Fr. Maurice “Moe” Linehan, M.S.

About 2 dozen Bay Area Serrans arrived with prepared delicious dishes; pork stew, best ever brisket, homemade tamales, velvety shrimp, Italian meatballs…..assorted vegies and salads. And of course succulent desserts. Grasshopper Pie, strawberry icebox pie, from soup to nuts this was a resounding success as no doubt fellowship among Serrans was increased. Deserving thanks go to Melba for her idea and contribution to this report.

Vocations Resources

Tim Healy recently placed Vocare our July Newsletter in our website where all past issues are kept joining a wealth of information about the history, facts, programs and activities of the Serra Club of the Bay area. We can learn there and be inspired by those that in the past have devoted their energies to the promotion of Vocations.

Most important our website www.serra-bayarea.org includes information on our present Vocations activities which will instruct and help us to maximize the effectiveness of our Vocations message.

Similar websites that should be included in everyone's “Favorite” list are:

http://houstonvocations.com ; which is the Office of Vocations Website where all current and future Vocations plans and activities are published.

http://archgh.org: is the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese website where Cardinal Di Nardo's complete work plan for the Archdiocese is defined.

Until next time, let us go pray for Vocations, and search for the face of Jesus in each other.

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