The Quarterly Newsletter Of
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
December 18, 2015
We celebrated our traditional Christmas Dinner this past December 11 at the facilities of Mary Queen Parish which by all accounts was a resounding success as we honored the Priests, Consecrated Religious and Deacons of our Archdiocese associated with the activities of the Serra Club of the Bay Area.
This event initiated in 1988 derives its success from the honor our club bestows on each of the attending honorees with whom we gather every year to thank and encourage to increase our search for workers for the Lord's Vineyard.
Early and timely in January, preparation by our own Jerry Schrader inviting Cardinal Di Nardo to be our guest speaker paid off and we were honored to have him again as our Guest of Honor.
“If you think the vocations work in our Archdiocese is over I have news for you said Cardinal Di Nardo as he opened his remarks. We have much work to do. “
The message of Cardinal Di Nardo clear and concise manifested his gratitude for the promotion of vocations work Serra has and continues to perform in the midst of the ever increasing population explosion in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.” I would open right now two new parishes if I had the priests” he added. As laudable as everyone's current efforts are the need for an increase in vocations presents a real challenge.
His expressed gratitude for the work of Saint Junipero Serra for his missionary work with the peoples of Mexico and California and to Serra for our current efforts was much in evidence but he also urgently exhorted to include something new to our present approach. We may update our present methods with a new technology and when approaching a suitable candidate ask the person:” Have you ever considered becoming a Priest?”, or Have you ever considered becoming a Consecrated Religious”?
A negative response would suggest a measure of persistence and ask the question anew.
Everyone would agree that the cardinal's suggested methodology is bold and direct, and that is I believe, the intent of his message if we ever hope to fill our Seminaries and Convents with future Priests, and Consecrated Religious. Surely, Cardinal Di Nardo would agree, a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance and support as we approach this new methodology will insure a modicum of success as we engage prospective candidates to deliver our vocations message.
One note of optimism and gratitude to the Almighty in the Archdiocese was manifested with the Ordination of thirty one men to the Permanent Diaconate by Cardinal Di Nardo early in January of this year. These dedicated men with the support of their wives and families came like a rush of fresh air to provide support to some of the overburdened pastors in the Archdiocese. Their contribution has had an appreciable and positive impact at the many parishes where they have been assigned.
The ever increasing greatness of this our annual celebration is made possible by an ARMY of supporters from many of the Ministries of Mary Queen's and other adjacent Parishes who enthusiastically share their good will in our Vocations Discovering and Promoting effort. Notably in this regard are the men of Mary Queen's KC Council 8494 responsible for the preparation of our delicious dinner; a good number of youngsters from the Youth Group at Mary Queen's Parish who graciously help in the serving and attending our guests; Edward Hartman and Doug Wrinkle from St. Mary's of the Expectation Parish in League City who for many years have and continue to provide and serve the wine enjoyed by our guests.
Special mention is deserved by a group of distinguished ladies from Mary Queen called “The Sisters of the Divine Wine” who delighted the audience with an entertaining song and dance presentation.
Lastly but not least is the participation of a multitude of anonymous donors whose participation make possible the presentation of gifts to our much deserving honorees.
And so it was a joy and blessing for each member of the Serra Club of the Bay Area having had the opportunity to honor all our distinguished guests, who in addition to Cardinal Di Nardo included Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz, and innumerable Priests, Consecrated Religious of varies Orders as well as Permanent Deacons, their wives and some Seminarians.
We like to mention that Bill Clary the current and distinguished President of our Club has been named Governor Elect of District 10 in Texas assuming this post at the Serra Officers Installation in June 25, 2016. We thank him for his dedication and devotion to the work of Serra knowing he will be a worthy Governor.
Not included in the celebration was the unfortunate occurrence that as the celebration concluded Jerry Schrader walking to his truck in the parking lot suffered a fall where his nose and right wrist were broken and had to make an impromptu trip to the hospital for repairs. Thank God he is on the mend after this unfortunate event that was not on the planned agenda. As most of you probably know Jerry has been enthusiastically associated with the planning, preparation and execution of our Christmas Dinner for quite some time. We take this opportunity to thank him and Christine his wife for their dedication and work and wish him a speedy recovery.
Our best wishes and prayers also go to Tim and Annette Healy as Tim seeks medical attention to overcome a debilitating and pain producing problem. Hurry up and get well Tim.
I take this opportunity with Frances my wife to wish all of you a Happy and Merry Christmas, thanking God for having allowed a great Christmas celebration and pray the New Year will bring a renewed interest and devotion to each of us for our sacred work at Serra.
As I prepare to close and bid my “hasta luego”……. let each one of us continue to pray and WORK for Vocations as we go and look for the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora