The Quarterly Newsletter Of
THE SERRA CLUB OF THE BAY AREA
September 20, 2015
“Blessed Junipero Serra was a man of heroic virtue and holiness who had only one burning ambition – to bring the good news to the people of the New World”, writes Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez in an editorial in the diocesan newspaper, The Tidings , included in Maureen Pratt's “Junipero Serra Saint or Scoundrel?” article in St. Anthony Messenger article, August 2015.
As we avidly await the canonization of our Patron Junipero Serra to be performed by our Holy Father Pope Francis during his visit to the United States on the 25 of this month of September, we experience the great joy of being a Serran as we strive to follow his legacy in our quest to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life so urgently needed in our Catholic Church.
Miguel Joseph Serra born on November 24, 1713 in the Mediterranean island of Mallorca joined the Franciscans adopted the name Junipero and was ordained a priest in 1730. Some twenty years later volunteered to join the Franciscan missionary work in the New World, sailed out of Cadiz, Spain, in 1749 never to return home.
The zeal and dedication of our Patron, soon to become, SAINT Junipero Serra, in his unrelenting effort to evangelize the people of the new world [Mexico and Alta California (now the state of California)] are vividly manifested by his heroic work in establishing the missions he founded. As an exemplary Franciscan missionary he brought Christ to the local population leaving his indelible mark of DOING what he PREACHED in all aspects of his missionary work.
As we celebrate and reflect his glorious undertakings we pray St. Junipero Serra intercedes in our behalf so that Jesus Our Lord strengthens our zeal and devotion as He guides our work in the promotion of vocations.
On this monumental occasion perhaps it is instructive for us here in Houston, Texas to ponder our role as individual members of Serra and ask Divine Providence to guide our steps to maximize the productivity of our labor; just as in 1935 four devoted Catholic business men in Seattle, Washington , during a discussion at lunch decided to form a group to work for Vocations to the priesthood in our Catholic Church that they, it is my understanding, called Serra.
Did these four devoted Catholic men have an inkling that the project they formed at that time , with God's grace launched , was to become Serra International 80 (eighty) years later? Most probably not but in due time their effort surely blossomed by the work and inspiration of those following them. It is certain many vocations harvested during the formative Serra years flourished and became Ordained Priests and, or Consecrated Religious Women, it is also certain “the Seattle Four” may not have witnessed any of these events; that did not matter their job was to initiate the effort and God took care of the rest.
And so here we are, Serrans, a faithful arm of our Catholic Church that was with God's Grace to extend the world over, putting our best efforts in the promotion of the Vocations to the priesthood and consecrated religious life
The noble work to promote vocations has and continues to be performed by generous and devoted Catholic men and women throughout the world. Here in Houston the partnership between Seven Clubs in District 10 of Serra International and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston generate a rich agenda promoting Vocations throughout the year to the priesthood for young men and for young women Vocations to the Consecrated Religious Life.
Recently in an effort to increase promotion of Vocations, an enthusiastic group of Serrans from the Serra Club of the Bay Area led by Jerry Schrader have tiredly organized “Membership” drives to recruit “workers for the vineyard” at some parishes of those assigned to our Club .
The group above planned a “membership drive” to be held next Thursday September 24 at St. Paul's Parish in Nassau Bay one day after Junipero Serra was canonized a SAINT. Similar gatherings at some of the adjacent parishes are in the planning stage as we continue to seek the increase of our membership .
And so the labor of the good Serran is akin to that of the good Farmer; look for fertile ground, till the soil, plant the seed, keep the weeds away, provide fertilizer and water and let God reap the harvest.
On a personal note let us honor and pray for those faithful Serrans gone to their rewards and in particular on this occasion, for Leonard B. McKinzie my brother in law that died in Kansas City this past August 9. Leonard a devoted Catholic and dedicated Serran was instrumental in Frances (my wife) and I becoming Serrans.
In preparing 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