The Quarterly Newsletter
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
September 7 , 2013
Our Chaplain Father Benny's reflection will appear on our next edition.
Where have we been?
A casual observation at our surroundings will suggest we are leaving (really?) the hot days of summer and soon, just a bit over two weeks from now according to the calendar, we will feel the arrival of the crisp and cool air of autumn (really?) .
Most noticeable however during the past three months are the activities of ALL Serrans from District 10 whose heart and soul is the promotion of Vocations. These events as you know, started with the Serra banquet where we all received a good dose of inspiration by Cardinal Di Nardo during this homily at Mass and then at the reception. Support to the Archdiocesan Youth Conference followed where more than 2200 youngsters, potential candidates to the priesthood and consecrated religious life, from local parishes attended. The Life Awareness Retreat held at Holy Name Retreat Center followed where forty six young men and women attended to explore and learn how to discern God's call to follow Him.
In addition to the above, numerous other activities took place during the above period and each one of them seemed to have a common element; the presence and participation of a local seminarian. Frequent notices from the office of our Governor were invitations for participation on these events. This , no doubt , is one of the reasons the work at Serra is so rewarding, that allow us to get close and know our seminarians, and no wonder, these are the great guys who , God willing , in the near future will provide us the Sacraments.
Just prior to the completion of the summer activities on August 25 we were privileged to attend the opening of the 2013 / 2014 Academic Year at St. Mary's Seminary with the Mass by the Principal Celebrant Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston His Excellency George A. Shelz, D.D. who conducted the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders to eighteen seminarians. Concelebrants were Very Reverend Trung V. Nguyen, J.C.L. and Rev. Michael T. Grey, C.S.Sp, Rector and Vice-Rector of St. Mary's Seminary respectively.
In addition of being in attendance for this most impressing and blessed event, our early arrival at St. Mary's allowed us to witness the morning prayers by all seminarians present. The beauty of the Seminary's Chapel and the solemnity of the prayers was an inspiring and uplifting experience. After all, this is what our work at Serra is all about as we express our gratitude to God for the privilege of witnessing a small but important step in the formation of His priests. Enclosed is a picture of the chapel for the benefit of those not familiar with it, and which I, providentially, found on an unrelated file that came my way.
The attendance to this ceremony included the families of the Seminarians, Serra District 10 Governor and Governor Elect, Margo Geddie and Larry Massey respectively and additional members of other Serra Clubs in the Archdiocese. At the end of the ceremony a light brunch was served in the refectory of the Seminary which we were fortunate to attend. Attendance was curtailed by the very late announcement for this event.
Queen of Peace – La Marque
Decided to share with you note I wrote earlier.
On occasions things occur in such a manner that is difficult to ascribe their occurrence to anything other than God's intervention and today I had the opportunity to witness one of these events which relates to the Vocations Cross program and its promotion by the Serra Club of the Bay Area.
During recent visits to Father Chacko Puthumayil Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in La Marque we shared with him the desire of the Serrans to encourage the installation of the Vocations Cross at his parish. As we know the purpose of this program is the promotion, through prayer, of Vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.
On Friday August 9 Dennis LeCompte and I had a working meeting at Queen of Peace with Deacon Miguel Hernandez and some interested parishioners among them Julian and Martha Briones. Father Chacko was present and encouraged everyone to learn about the program that promotes the much needed prayers for vocations.
The discussion focused on the “Why, What, and How” of the program as defined in the instructional material we provided at the meeting, together with two Folders with the Prayers (in Spanish) for Vocations for every day of the week.
In addition to the instructions we provided Deacon Hernandez two Prayer Folders, and the Cross our Club recently purchased for this purpose.
After much discussion we concluded the meeting with a prayer from Deacon Hernandez, who thanked Dennis and I and advised us that he would be in touch. This was August 9.
Today Sunday August 18 I went to Queen of Peace to take the Prayer Folders (English version) I had promised to bring, and was there for the 9:15 Mass which is said in Spanish, this brought back many happy memories to me of my home and growing years in Mexico City.
After the announcements were read Deacon Hernandez began talking about the Vocation Cross and then called the first couple that had signed for the program to come forward to receive it. I could not believe I was witnessing this event; It was only a bit more than a week that we had tried to start it, I was overjoyed seeing this happening so soon and most confess with a bit of moisture in my eyes thanked God for His grace to allow this to take place.
The Vocations Cross has started and is alive and well at Our Lady Queen of Peace in La Marque where it will be presented to a new participating family every week. Our many thanks to: Father Chacko, Deacon Hernandez and Julian and Martha Briones who will coordinate and maintain the attendance log.
Promotion of Vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated religious life is our business at Serra; I believe the Vocations Cross is a precious element to realize our work by prayer and instruction.
St. Philip Neri – Houston
With the blessing from Fr. Robert Kajoh, pastor of St. Philip Neri Parish and the work of Mrs. Lynn Hubbard the Vocations Cross Program will be started at the 11:00am Mass, Sunday October 10.
We thank God for making this event possible and pray this initiative will foster interest, devotion and love for the promotion of Vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
Interested in the Vocations Cross Program in your Parish ???
Would you like to join parishioners of: St. Mary's in League City; St, John the Baptist in Alvin; Queen of Peace in La Marque; St. Philip Neri in Houston, with your own bilingual (English-Spanish) Vocations Cross Program at your parish? Ask , we will be happy to tell you how.
Where are we going?
Transition from summer to autumn brings the start of preparation for our participation in District 10 activities, as well as those of our own here at the Bay Area. Each one of us is an indispensable element required to play a part in order to reach our promotion of vocation goals.
Training Session at ST. Mary's Seminary
Next Saturday September 14 a training session will be conducted at St. Mary's Seminary. There will be talks by Msgr. Borski, Lee Vigil (FOCUS), a seminarian, a novice, and an attendee of the recent World Youth Conference in Brazil with Pope Francis. Additionally sessions will be conducted by for all Serra officers. The day will end with a meal with the seminarians.
Our own Jerry Schrader will have a presentation on the Newman Connection, the organization with which the College Connection Program merged recently. This is a success story of the work of Serra to keep our college bound youngster connected to our Catholic Faith. All Serrans should embrace and support this program.
The Myriam Dinner will be held Friday September 27, 2013 sponsored by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, at their Convent located at 3400 Bradford Place, Houston, Tex 77025. This event, and evening of prayer, dinner and sharing with religious sisters from around the Archdiocese will have Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo as the Special guest.
This event, a “premier” occasion for our club requires everyone's prayers and support to maximize attendance by young ladies contemplating potential vocations to consecrated religious life. Here is a great opportunity to learn about the life and specific goals and work of various religious communities.
Initial preparations are well under way as communication with our distinguished KC “chefs” have been established and again our own Jerry Schrader will distribute pertinent personnel assignments at our next meeting. We better prepare for a Big Event knowing Cardinal Di Nardo will be there.
On the Mend
We need to continue our prayers for dear Mary Le Compte who continues her rehabilitation battle subsequent to her heart attack this past month. She was discharged from the ICU at the Clear Lake Regional Hospital and transferred to Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center to continue her rehab program, may God assist her in her recuperation. We include in our prayers the complete mending of Frank Descant; and Shirley Smaistrla.
Your comments / suggestions are welcomed…….and as we bid our “hasta pronto' let us all go work and pray for Vocations and look for the face of Jesus in one another.
Miguel A. Zamora