By Neil Manias
The Serra Club — not to be confused with the environmental Sierra Club — is a group of Catholic men and women who pray and work to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life.” Club members are also committed to improving their knowledge of our faith and become better Catholics.
The Serra Club was originally founded in 1934 by a group of business men who wanted to learn more about their faith. The club was named after Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan priest who founded several missions along the west coast of California.
Father Serra also inspired several men to become priests. The founding members of the Serra Club gathered regularly for a meal and a program featuring some aspect of Catholicism. Eventually they decided to include the mission of praying for and fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life. At the time of the club’s beginnings, dioceses throughout the nation did not have vocation offices. But in the years since the Serra Clubs’ founding, clubs have been formed throughout the United States and in most countries around the world.
Our Serra Club in Louisville was formed in 1956, continuing the dual mission of learning more about our faith and working for vocations. Our members meet on the first and third Mondays of each month. We enjoy a fine lunch and a presentation on some aspect of the Catholic faith.
We hear talks by priests, religious, deacons, seminarians and lay persons about their own vocations and about the work they do in organizations in and around the Archdiocese, such as the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, Food For The Poor, the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministries and the Hispanic community. We’ve heard from those who minister to the sick and dying and from representatives of other ministries and programs, too. The speakers help us develop an understanding of the workings of our Church and community. Many of the speakers are those keeping our Church in order and guiding us.
These meetings offer Serrans a practical way to grow as Catholic Christians to become more mature in our faith and develop a greater appreciation of our great religion.
The Serra Club also offers a “Pray For A Priest” program designed to affirm our priests in their ministry and “The Traveling Chalice” program that involves praying for vocations. The Serra Club also hosts an annual luncheon for the seminarians in our Archdiocese and we hold a luncheon for retired religious sisters at Christmas, too. In conjunction with the Archdiocese of Louisville Vocation Office, we co-sponsor an essay contest for middle and high school students. Serrans also assist the Vocations Office in their projects and activities.
We are looking to expand our membership with people interested in our mission. Membership in the Serra Club of Louisville is open to any adult Catholic in good standing who wants to grow in their faith and promote vocations. If interested, contact Neil Manias at 267-5011 or any member.
The Serra Club of Louisville is a friendly group of fellow Catholics who work for a great cause.