The Serra Club International was formed in 1935 in Seattle, Washington. Then as now, the two great needs of the Church were for informed Catholic lay leaders who understand and live their own Christian vocations to service, and for dedicated priests and religious. The founding Serrans chose as the organization's patron Father Junipero Serra, the 18th century Franciscan missionary to Mexico and California who was so influential in creating missions there. His commitment to the Church was exemplary, to the degree that he is currently a candidate for canonization.
Today there are 608 Serra clubs in 30 countries, with a total membership of 20,303 lay men, women and permanent deacons. Each individual Serra club is a member of Serra International. Serra International, with an office located in Chicago, links Serra clubs around the world.
The Serra movement started in Seattle on February 27th, 1935, for fostering vocations to the priesthood. The name “SERRA” was chosen since the founders wished to adopt the name of someone truly Catholic and saintly in character, and identified with missionary work. Our patron is Blessed Fr. Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the Spanish Franciscan, who founded missions in Mexico and the first nine of the twenty-one California missions.
Serra International, consists of over 25,000 Catholic Lay persons in 1,150 Serra Clubs in 46 countries, who foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life within the Roman Catholic Church. With various programs members also encourage present priests, seminarians and vowed religious to persevere in their vocations. In addition, by reason of their spiritual and social activities within Serra International, members enrich their own dedication to Christian principles.
In order to promote vocations and to encourage others to pray and work for vocations, we recognize the need to deepen our own spirituality and the spirituality of those with whom we join in prayer.
These occasions might be:
- Monthly Mass for vocations (in conjunction with Club Meeting).
- Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration.
- Monthly oblation of Mass and prayer specifically for vocations by individual members.
- Annual retreat day under guidance of an experienced spiritual director.
- Regular monthly mealtime meetings featuring speakers on topics concerning vocations, spirituality, moral issues and pertinent religious subjects, thus giving a continuing education in faith to members.
These programs are designed to instill in our homes, parishes and communities an environment of faith and love from which Church vocations will spring forth, be nurtured and flourish. Parishes within the club’s assigned area
have a Serran providing a liaison with the pastor and parish staff to stimulate vocation awareness.
- Parish scheduled prayers for vocations during prayers of the faithful.
- “31 Club” Vocation Mass and prayers by members.
- Providing parish Bulletin inserts monthly on vocations.
- Catholic grade schools Essay Contests on Vocations.
- Special program for World Day of prayer for Vocations and Priesthood Sunday.
- Sponsor Ordination Reception for Diocesan Priests and Deacons.
- Affirmation of priests and religious with invitations to join us in our activities and their remembrance with cards on their anniversaries.
- Affirmation programs for seminarians and those in the discernment program, which include cards, letters and other recognitions.
Serra fosters lasting friendships with Catholic laity. Some events are purely social. Activities with other District clubs as well as Regional and International Serra conventions promote expansion of Serran objectives.