The Five Elements of Serra
Spiritual growth in Christ
Encouragement of Church Vocations
Religious Education of the Laity
Responsible Lay Leaders
Association in Christian Fellowship of the Laity
Objectives of Serra
At the time of Serra’s formation in 1935, the two great needs for the Church were for dedicated priests and religious and for informed Catholic lay leaders who understood and lived their own Christian vocations to service. These needs have not changed.
The objectives of Serra are:
- To foster and promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church as a particular vocation to service and to support priests in their sacred ministry;
- To encourage and affirm vocations to consecrated religious life in the Catholic Church;
- To assist members to recognise and respond in their own lives to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
Why the name “Serra”?
Serra is named after Father (“Fray”) Junipero Serra, the noted Spanish Franciscan missionary, who played a leading part in early missionary work in Mexico and California between 1749 and 1784.
Father Junipero was beatified in 1988 and canonised in September 2015. His Feast Day is celebrated on 1st July.
What do Serra Clubs do?
Serra Clubs work with their Bishops, Dioceses and Religious Vocation Directors to encourage and support vocations to the Priesthood and to the Religious Life.
Serrans pray daily for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood and the Religious Life and for the perseverance of existing vocations. They encourage others through the “31 Prayer Clubs” to attend an extra Mass each month for vocations and to pray, also, for vocations daily.
Other activities include arranging speakers on topics of importance for Catholics, vocations essay competition for youth, appreciation dinners for Priests and Religious and support for retired priests.
When do Serra Clubs meet?
Clubs meet at various times during the month. Please refer to Serra Clubs for more information.
What is the nature of Serra’s affiliation with the Church?
In 1953, the Holy See affirmed Serra’s role as a worldwide lay organisation committed to vocation ministry. Serra International is aggregated to the Pontifical Work for Vocations to the Priesthood within the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy.
Pope John Paul II on vocations
In his address to the Roman Clergy on 14th February 2002, Pope John Paul II said:
“Prayer for vocations is not the result of resignation but is putting ourselves in the Lord's hands and confiding in him.”
It thus becomes clear why the first and principal activity in favour of vocations can only be prayer: “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9,37-38; cf. Lk 10,2).
Prayer for vocations is not, and never can be, the result of resignation, as though we were to think that we have already done all we can for vocations with very meagre results and, therefore, there is nothing else to do but pray. In fact, prayer is not a kind of delegating to the Lord so that he can act in our place, it is confiding in Him and putting ourselves in His hands which makes us, in turn, confident and ready to do God’s work.
Consequently, prayer for vocations is the mission of the whole Catholic community but it should be practised intensely, primarily by those who are of the age and condition to choose their own state of life, as are the young.
The Episcopal Adviser for the Serra Council of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific (SCANZSPAC), Bishop David Walker, spoke about Serra’s responsibilities. Bishop David said “Take to heart that we all share the responsibility to provide ordained ministers for our community”.
Membership of Serra can assist us all to fulfil our personal responsibilities.
Who can join Serra?
Membership is open to all practising Catholic laymen, laywomen and to Permanent Deacons. Serra is all about doing more to foster vocations. Please use the “Contacts” section of this web site for any membership enquiries.