The Quarterly Newsletter Of
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
March 7, 2016
This is the first time we start this letter without the thoughts of our beloved Chaplain Father Benny since he went back to his native India early at the start of this year, we miss his presence and wisdom and wish him the best and pray for God's blessings on him and his work.
In father Benny's absence while we find a new chaplain thought sharing some brief thoughts with you. Subsequent to our retirement Frances and I had great joy discovering some of the magnificent beauty that God created in Alaska, during two separate visits to that paradise. Indeed, it is rumored that when St. Peter has an overflow of folks waiting in the “heaven admission registration process” he sends a few to Anchorage, Alaska for short waiting periods.
Rich memories of that marvelous and scarcely inhabited land bring into focus an equally significant event we had the fortune to experience while attending Mass at St. Anthony Catholic Church on a lazy Sunday morning during the summer of 2004.
How is your prayer life? Was the opening remark from the Deacon as he initiated his sermon, and as I remember he went on to remind us that prayer is the ultimate process we use to communicate with our Maker, and that our exposure to prayer began while as infants in our mother's arms as she thanked Him for the miracle of our creation.
During our formative years we learned to pray and aided by our Catholic education prayer eventually became an integral part of our existence and to this day is the mechanism we use to communicate with our God.
The deacon also mentioned that as time goes by we tend to use this communication mechanism as a “unique” method and to ask for God's assistance only when things do not appear as bright as we think they ought to be. Absent during most time our prayers of adoration, gratitude, devotion and love for our Maker and instead taking a demanding attitude of neglect and total dependency on our God.
The deacon also pointed out that because of habit our prayers have a tendency of becoming a monotone of words without much meaning, hardly understandable even by our own selves, instead of the attentive devotion, love and respect which should distinguish our communication with our Lord and Savior .
As Serrans, our work for the promotion of Vocations is heavily dependent in the appropriate manner and method we use to communicate with God, it would be not only beneficial but mandatory as well if each one of us makes a self-inquiry and follow the Alaska Deacon's suggestion and respond to his query: “How is your prayer life?”
Where have we been?
Our year has gotten to a great start with multiple efforts initiated by all our members. Our President Bill Clary is doing double duty serving as Acting District Governor until next June 25 when he will be installed as the District 10 Governor, along with all Officers of the District 10 Clubs.
Thanks to the efforts of Jerry Schrader and some other members recruiting efforts to increase our membership seem to be coming to fruition as seven new members will be initiated in as members of Serra next May 26.
During the last couple of month's efforts of Melba Pourteau resulted in the visit of two prominent guests for our Program meetings of January and February.
Father John Rooney, Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Mary's Seminary visited us Thursday January 28 and shared with us some of the many and diverse tasks scheduled for our Seminarians participation, which provided a better understanding of their lives and which will allow us to serve and help them better.
Mrs. Carol Wellingborg, visited Thursday February 25 and presented a compelling and interesting testimony of the “Divine Mercy” and its effects on her personal life. She exhorted the attendance to join this great devotion.
Due to the acceptance and the measure of success the Vocation Cross program has experienced for the past few years at a few of our assigned parishes the committee formed to develop “Vocations Projects Plan for 2016”, Rodney Preuit, Lee Boler, Tim Rouen and Miguel Zamora met several times and recommended implementation of the “Vocations Cross” as a suitable program at any of our assigned parishes.
As a result of the above, a detail presentation for implementation of the Vocation Cross was made to members of the newly formed Vocations Ministry at Mary Queen Parish. The presentation comprised a detailed description of the program as originally obtained from the National Religious Vocations Conference, with a comprehensive description for the initial implementation and execution of the program including a set of suggested prayers for use. It is our understanding the Vocations Ministry is in the process of initiating the Vocation Cross Program at Mary Queen.
Talking about the Vocations Cross, it is a happy imperative to mention that this Program is in the final stages of implementation at Sr. Clare of Assisi in the Clear Lake area of Houston thanks to the devotion and work of Deacon Robert Hebert, his wife Valerie and parishioners Lola and Luz del Toro, Luis Zepeda, John & Chrissy Keller, Martha & Peter Alandt, and Joanne Hardgrove .
The Vocations Cross Program, along with the Traveling Chalice have been in existence at Serra for quite some time and both are included and recommended in the “HUNDREDFOLD, a Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry” book, by Rhonda Gruenewald, and both of these programs are currently in practice at various parishes in our Archdiocese.
We are saddened by the death of our brother Michael Hilley as we pray God grant him the repose of his immortal soul, and comfort to his wife Linda and all their family at this difficult time.
On the mend
We pray for the speedy recovery from their ails of all our members. We also pray God grant clarity and wisdom to the physicians attending Joan Blake to discern her medical condition and initiate the appropriate treatment for her recuperation.
The Vocations Cross Program has been in practice for several years at St. Mary of the Expectation Parish in League City, and some of the members of the Vocations Ministry of the parish along with Serra members from Clubs in District 10 will be in attendance at the Vocations Expo to be held next Saturday March 12, at St. Mary's Seminary. These people will be happy to assist anyone interested in learning how easy it is to implement this Program .
In addition to the core value directed to “prayer” for Vocations to the priesthood and religious life by families in the sanctity of their home where the youngsters learn to appreciate Vocations, the program implementation is easy and its maintenance imposes no new demands on the Pastor.
As we prepare to say our………… hasta luego, let us continue our work for Vocations as we seek the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora