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The USA Council and
Serra International Advantage

 
WHAT DO WE GET FOR DUES DOLLAR?
The USA Council and Serra International provide theses direct and indirect benefits:

BENEFITS OF BELONGING TO A SERRA CLUB (V. 2, 1-29-13)

BACKGROUND:
1. This document was revised on 12-1-10 and was page 3-6 of the 2013 USA Council DG Resource Manual. The goal of the USA Council Membership Committee was to update this document so it could become a flyer to be used by clubs as a recruiting tool.
2. Our timeline is to finalize changes and forward to the USA Council Executive Committee by 2-15-13 for their review, modification, approval and introduction to the Incoming Officers on 3-1-13 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.

The direct & indirect advantages/ benefits of membership in a Serra Club (to be revised by 12-1-13)
1. Worldwide recognition: Serra International currently engages more than 19,000 Serrans in more than 800 Serra Clubs in 36 countries working for vocations. This includes a network of 10 national councils, which serve the local Serra clubs in their regions, addressing their unique demands and needs of vocations.

2. International activities include the annual Serra International Convention which draws together Serrans from around the world for prayer and celebration of the Eucharist, fellowship, and workshops. The workshops are typically in communications, vocations, programs, and membership as they apply and benefit Serrans and Serra Clubs’ vocation ministry. The Serra International Convention also schedules keynote speakers that present topics of particular interest to Serrans worldwide.

Benefits for individual Serra Members in the U.S.A.
1. Feel a closer affiliation to the Pontiff and Vatican since Serra International is aggregated to the Vatican
2. Deepen friendships with fellow Catholics in your diocese and across America
3. Stronger personal spiritual growth (i.e. mountain top experiences through prayer and action)
4. Build and strengthen personal friendships with a many priests, brothers, and sisters in our diocese
5. Expand my perspective of the universality of the church
6. Build friendships with the seminarians and postulants discerning God’s plan about their future serving the
people of God as priests and sisters
7. Sharing the joy of ordination and profession of vows with good friends

Benefits for Serra Club Officers in the U.S.A.
1. Maintain Liability Insurance and Officer’s & Director’s Insurance
2. Maintain Club Officer Manuals for 24/7/365 on-line access
3. Toll-free voice and fax services to the fully-staffed Chicago office
4. Maintain the web page on the Internet www.serraus.org
5. Handle IRS Reporting and all other governmental registration and reporting as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation for all clubs
6. Assistance to all clubs, District Governors, and Regional Directors on all aspects of vocations, programs,
membership, new club formation, and communications
7. Record keeping, including maintenance of Serra Club and membership records
8. Collaboration with other key vocation-focused organizations like the NCDVD, NRVC, and NFPC

Services to Regional Directors and District Governors
1. One annual planning and coaching conference
2. Support for seminars at the Serra International Convention
3. Logistical and direct assistance to District and Regional Conventions (i.e. mailing labels to members, insurance certificates, materials and exhibits)
4. Creation and revision of the District Governor’s manual, District/Regional Convention manual, and Serra Club Officers’ manuals

Services to Board and Council
1. Preparation for three board meetings each year
2. Scheduling two meetings of 14 committees
3. Scheduling telephone conferences between Executive Committee, Board, and standing Committees
4. Maintenance of all Council records, Policy Manual, Council minutes, and Committee minutes.

THE SERRA INTERNATIONAL ADVANTAGE:

Worldwide recognition: Serra International currently engages over 19,000 Serrans in over 800 Serra Clubs in thirty-six countries working for vocations. This includes a network of national councils, which serve the local Serra clubs in their regions addressing the unique demands, and needs of vocations.

International activities include the annual Serra International Convention that draws Serrans, from around world, together for prayer, the Eucharist, programs, and workshops. The workshops are typically in communications, vocations, programs, and membership as they apply and benefit a Serrans’ and Serra Clubs’ vocation ministry. The Serra International Convention also schedules keynote speakers that present topics of particular interest to Serrans worldwide.

The Serra International Foundation is the fundraising arm of Serra International. The Foundation’s purpose is to develop the financial resources needed by Serra International to fulfill its objectives. The Serra International Foundation also makes grants to Serra International and to other organizations, whose programs promote the goals and objectives of Serra.
Serra International and the USA Council publish The Serran and serraUSA magazines, these magazines report on relevant news and features in vocation ministry of particular interest to the Serra International community and USA Council. At the invitation of the Holy Father, Serrans from around the world joined the Holy Father in prayer for vocations in Rome during the jubilee celebration for year 2000.

Serra International established the USA/Canada Council in 1994. In July 2000, Serra International established the Serra Council of Canada and the USA Council each work within the structure of Serra International. The USA Council is responsible for the planning and leadership development that will advance the activities and vocation’s ministry in local USA Serra clubs and Serrans. The USA Council accomplishes much its work at regularly scheduled planning, training, and national committee meetings. Furthermore, the USA Council encourages and supports annual Fall District and Regional Conventions modeled after the International Convention.

USA COUNCIL MISSION STATEMENT:

The USA Council captures the spirit of the sole purpose of Serra International in its mission statement
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; and
To assist its members to recognize and respond in their own lives to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.” The USA Council demonstrates this through our baptismal call of unity in holiness and mission to the church locally, nationally and around the world.


USA COUNCIL VISION STATEMENT:

With the belief that the Holy Spirit directs the formation of the flock to form a unified whole, so Serrans, as the “lay vocation arm of the church,” will encourage and support priests and religious.
We hope:

To affirm priesthood and religious life as a positive lifestyle
To invite all men and women to follow their baptismal call
To educate and inform our members, collaborators, and the Catholic community of our commitment to promote priesthood and religious life
To inspire and call forth a well-trained and dedicated corps of leaders at all levels of Serra by spiritual and practical formation
To develop openness to the opinions of others

  1. 1. The primary purpose of the USA Council organization is to assist and promote the local Serra club.
    2. The local Serra club primary purpose is to provide vocations related programs in support of the diocesan vocations initiatives, adult education, and faith formation for its members.
    3. District Governors, Regional Directors, National Committees, the USA Council Board, and the professional staff in Chicago support each Serran and Serra Club in their ministry.
    4. The Serra Clubs in the USA benefit from a national perspective as we have collaborative relationships with other national vocation organizations.
    5. Therefore, that by our works, we will be recognized and sought after as the organization that actively works and promotes vocations to the ordained priesthood and vowed religious life in the United States.

The USA Council coordinates dynamic national committees that strive to advance further its mission. These committees include the Vocations Committee that works to develop new and innovative ways to nurture emerging vocations to the ministerial priesthood and religious life. The Programs Committee dedicates itself to the Catholic adult education and faith formation of the Serrans by developing engaging programs for discussion, reflection, and catechesis. The Communications Committee recognizes the significance of awareness. It uses many platforms to communicate and inform the Serra International community of our accomplishments in vocation ministries. The Membership Committee is challenged to the invitation and expanding our membership to all Catholic lay people in the United States.

Pope John Paul II wrote: “The parish as a community bears witness to the perpetual witness of Christ who calls . . . Therefore the fostering of vocations cannot be considered a marginal activity, but must be incorporated fully into the life and activity of the community. “ Therefore, the USA Council and its Serra Clubs work to develop a network of laypersons in vocation ministries in the service of our bishops and vocation directors. This network also works to build cooperation and collaborates with other lay organizations in vocation work like the Knights of Columbus, National Council of Catholic Women, and your home parish ministries. Serra International and the USA Council pool the resources and put those resources to work for vocations.

The USA Council is continually working to inform and educate its members, collaborators, and the Catholic community of our commitment through contributions to the Serran magazine, newsletters, and the Internet. This effort hopes to inspire and call forth a well trained and a dedicated corps of leaders at all levels of Serra by spiritual and practical formation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES SERRA DO?
Serra Clubs unite internationally men and women with love and concern for their Church. Serrans devote their time, talent, and treasure to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
WHERE IS SERRA INTERNATIONAL, USA COUNCIL PRESENT?
Serra International is present in over 36 countries with over 19,000 members and more than 800 Serra clubs. In the United States, there are more than 12,000 Serrans and more than 300 Serra clubs.
WHEN DID SERRA INTERNATIONAL GET ITS START?
Serra began in 1935, when four Catholic laymen started the Serra movement in Seattle, WA recognizing the importance of fellowship and outreach for vocations.
WHO IS A SERRAN?
Serrans are active and caring Catholics that realize the need to call from our midst individuals to become priests, religious sisters and brothers, and lay ministers to serve the Church. Membership is open to lay men, laywomen, and permanent deacons.
WHY DOES SERRA PROMOTE VOCATIONS?
Through our baptismal call, we are deeply convinced that the Church and society needs priests and religious men and women. We take as a purpose of our commitment as Christians to pray fervently and work hard for the increase, development, perseverance, and assistance of vocations. Therefore, we promote vocations because it is essentially our mission and ministry, a calling learned from the example of Blessed Junipero Serra, the great Evangelizer of California. Following in his footsteps, we have come to share in the heartfelt concern of Christ himself; “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!” (Mt 9:37; Lk 10:2)
HOW DOES SERRA PROMOTE VOCATIONS?
A Serra club’s focuses its work and ministry toward building small Christian communities through faith formation and adult education programs in order to affirm and foster Church vocations. Serra is a complement to your ministry in your home parish community and to diocesan vocations initiatives. Serra clubs are empowered by prayer and shared Eucharistic liturgy so that we can invite one another to ask, “Have you ever considered being a priest, sister, or brother?” Serra clubs and Serrans promote vocations by implementing many prayer, awareness, affirmation, and support programs within the USA Council or supporting the vocation initiatives of the diocese. The USA Council organizes Serra clubs within a diocese with the approval of the Bishop. The USA Council supports the efforts of the Serrans and clubs by creating cooperative relationships with the bishops, diocesan vocation offices, and other lay organizations. In addition, the USA Council works in cooperation with vocation organizations’ National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD), and National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC).
Recently, the USA Council of Serra International Vocations Committee has implemented programs to encourage everyone to promote vocations. These programs include Celebrate Priesthood Sunday, National Vocation Awareness Week, and World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life and World of Prayer for Vocations. These programs have included creating and/or providing materials online and by mail for parishes, schools, and Serra clubs to put into action vocation awareness, affirmation, support, and prayer.

The Serra International movement has over 75-years experience, history and tradition of engaging lay people in the promotion and nurture of vocations. Please consider the USA Council of Serra International objectives and service opportunities to create a system of awareness, affirmation, prayer and support for the men and women who are discovering their vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

 


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