The Quarterly Newsletter Of


September 22, 2014


The Serra Club of the Bay Area takes pleasure and united with ALL Serrans from District 10 extend our warmest and sincere welcome to Father TJ as the new Director of the Office of Vocations in the Archdiocese. As Father TJ joins Sister Anita in his new assignment he is not a total stranger to the Vocations World as some Serrans had met him before in different settings, some others met him when he substituted for Father Dat in the presentation of “Vocations Breakfast with Father Dat and Sister Anita” presented in Baytown within the recent past.

Recently we had occasion to hear Father TJ's most inspiring and Faith motivating homily to the 0verflow crowd of more than two thousand youngsters (more than 600 were turned away by the venue) at the Annual Archdiocesan Youth Conference this past April. It is imperative we learn about Father TJ as the Beacon we need to guide us in our relentless pursuit of vocations.

As we were preparing these discordant thoughts we received a most informative note from Rhonda Gruenewald about Father TJ, and with Ronda's permission here it is:

Hi, Serrans!

Fr. T.J. Dolce, Vocations Director for archdiocese, has a website at www.fathertj.com where he posts all his homilies.  Just today, he spoke at St. JPII School and gave an amazing talk about “John the Baptist: A Different Kind of Birthday Party”; he was inspiring and engaging. He gave a heartfelt plea about vocations at the end, too.  AMAZING!   The reason why I encourage you to check it out is to get to know our vocations director a little more.   The Cardinal picked him for a reason to walk with young men during their discernment process and to light a fire of vocations into our archdiocese. If you listen, you totally understand! You can also hear his talk at the Archdiocesan Youth Conference this past summer! If you want to receive links to his homilies in your inbox, just click subscribe and follow the directions.  

God bless you on your long weekend! St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!

Praise Him,

Rhonda Gruenewald



Responding to invitation of Sue Cantini to attend the regular meeting of the Galveston Serra Club on August 8, our Club President Bill Clary, Jerry Schrader and myself attended and had occasion to share in the discussion of their gathering.

Megan Tay, the contact person from the NEWMAN CONNECTION accompanied by her husband shared with the membership a comprehensive presentation of the Newman Connection. Focus of her message was the ever increasing need to maintain and increase in our youngsters a firm hold in our Catholic Faith as they initiate their travels thru the halls of higher education institutions.

In her talk, Megan explained the new methodology that greatly simplifies recruiting of prospective High School Seniors planning to go to College. Salient in her remarks is the development of a strong tie with the Youth Ministers of our Parishes because of their natural access and connection with the youngsters.

Equally significant, Megan explained, is the need to reach and offer to prospective youngsters thru any of the various Parish Ministries. Lastly, she emphasized the need of extreme persistence, as she recently learned from a good source that it takes a good salesman about ten (10) visits to successfully complete a sale.

Bill, Jerry and I enjoyed Megan's presentation and the hospitality of Sue Cantini and the attending members of Galveston Serra Club.


With eager anticipation the Serra Clubs of Greater Houston await the renewed visit to Houston from Father Brett A. Brannen , author of the most instructive and inspirational book about Vocations “ To Save a Thousand Souls “.

Father Brannen's book has been extensibly utilized by Houston-Galveston Serrans as it has provided a definition and better understanding of vocations in general and our own in particular that facilitate the promotion of Vocations . It is our understanding the book has been instrumental in providing answers in the discernment process that have led local young men to apply for admission at St. Mary's Seminary.

Programs of Vocations Prayers for family's participation have been initiated in several local Parishes for the promotion of Vocations using excerpts from Father's book that enrich the discussions and promote a better understanding of Vocations.

An outstanding and generous Serran made possible the translation of Father Brannen's book onto Spanish thereby extending the Vocations promotion for the ever increasing Spanish speaking population.

The wisdom and teaching of “To Save a Thousand Souls” has provided an inspiration to all Serrans to increase our zeal and devotion for Vocations.

In cooperation with the Office of Vocations and support from the Serra Clubs of Galveston-Houston and the University of St. Thomas Father Brannen will hold three sessions that have been extensively advertised locally and again given here:

For College Students – Friday night , men and women, ages 18-35, held at the University of St. Thomas September 26, 7:00pm. Go to go to register at: www.Serra10.com/1000Souls .

For High School Boys – Saturday morning , held at St. Mary's Seminary September 27, 8:30am-1:00pm. Go to http://www.houstonvocations.com/be-active-in-your-discernment/our-vocational-programs/expos/   & scroll down to find the necessary paperwork to register.

For the General Public – Saturday night ,  held at St. Thomas University September 27, 7:00pm. Go to www.Serra10.com/1000Souls to register. 

And finally, “Welcome to Houston Dear Father Brannen! “ And may Jesus our Lord continue His choicest blessings on you and all the men answering YES to God's call to the Priesthood.


Sponsored by the Archdiocese Office of Vocations and under direction of Jerry Schrader assisted by various Bay Area Club members and with the cooking and cooperation of Joe DeBonis and Tony Scarpa from Knights of Columbus Council 8494 at Mary Queen Parish, preparations are underway to hold the 2014 Myriam Dinner.

Women ages 15 – 35 who are interested in learning about religious life will spend the evening enjoying the reflections of His Eminence Cardinal DiNardo the honor guest speaker , and Religious Sisters of the Archdiocese .

The event will be held Friday Oct 10, 6-30pm-9:00pm at the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province Convent, located at 5250 Gasmer Dr., Houston, TX 77035


Sunday October 26 has been designated Priesthood Sunday a day to honor our Priests by manifesting our love and support for their devotion providing for the spiritual welfare of all parishioners.

There are multiple ways to reach out to our Pastors in every one of our Parishes and in no uncertain terms express our gratitude for their day in, day out constant attention for our spiritual needs.

There are multiple sources facilitating ideas to express our thanks to our Priests in this occasion. To explore additional ideas you might try: www.serraus.org/serra_top_vocations.htm


NOVEMBER 2 – 8, 2014

The Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has invited all Parish Vocations Committee Members, Religious Vocations Directors and everyone that supports Vocations to join in a morning of adoration and Mass on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 from 9:00am to 12:00pm in St. Mary's Seminary to kick-off the National Awareness Week.

The ever inspiring atmosphere at the Seminary's Chapel provides a most worthy frame for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Liturgy of the Mass, as we renew our commitment to the work for Vocations.


We express our solidarity sympathy and our Prayers to Tommy Blake and wife Joan who recently have and are undergoing medical intervention, and to all other Serrans in need of our prayers including Mervin Elmore of the Serra Club of East Harris County, who suffered a tragic accident recently. May our Lord Jesus ease their burdens and grant them a speedy recovery.

As we bid our –hasta la vista- let us acknowledge all the blessings of our Creator and pray to increase our love and zeal to continue and increase our vocations work, and lastly pray for those having no one to pray for them, as we search for the face of Jesus in one another.

Miguel A. Zamora

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