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You can make a difference!

Take steps to plan and implement a Serra Club Membership Strategy -- the USA Council Membership Committee is asking each Serra club to to prepare a Membership Strategy, more information may be found here in the USA Council Membership Strategy.

Are you interested in promoting vocations in your parish, but don't know where to turn?

Become a part of the Serra family!

Here is your invitation to become a member of......

The Serra club, Serra clubs are known worldwide for their efforts to foster and affirm Catholic vocations to the ministerial priesthood and vowed religious life. Serrans value not only their work, but also the sense of community they receive from knowing that they are not alone in their dedication to the men and women who have dedicated their life in ministry and service to our Church.

With more than 700 clubs in 40 countries, the Serrans are likely to be just next door. Serra clubs meet twice a month. In addition, each club schedules vocation awareness and affirmation activities throughout the year.

Serra clubs are very instrumental and dedicated to the formation and support of Parish Vocation Committees, contact your local parish office for more information for your parish vocation committee.

Each Serra club is part of a vast network of clubs, district, regions and national councils that comprise Serra International the " Lay vocation arm of the Catholic Church."  There are many benefits to membership within a Serra club. 

These are . . .

Spiritual Growth:

Spiritual growth and enrichment through the deepening of your faith and increasing knowledge of the church's teachings.

Education:

Study of current events happening in the public square in light of our Christian principles.

Service Projects and Social Activities:

Association with priests, religious and Catholic men and women who are faith filled, dedicated and generous - all sharing the ideals of the church and Serra and working toward a common goal.

I want to join! Who do I contact?

Call the USA Council headquarters at (888) 777-6681 and ask for the Membership Coordinator. You may also e-mail us at  serraus@serraus.org

To locate a local club near you we have added a Serra Club Finder that will list the Serra clubs by region.

In addition, should you find that there is no Serra clubs near you please, consider Membership-at-Large.

Consider becoming a member at large when...

Interested in promoting vocations, and there no Serra clubs in your area.

Relocating to areas where there are no Serra clubs.

Involved organizing a new Serra Club.

Our hope is that Serrans at large will be instrumental in starting new clubs. By becoming members at large, they will be kept informed about happenings in USA Council and Serra International.

Frequently asked questions

What is Serra?

Serra has been working for vocations since its founding in 1935. With over 65 years of experience under its belt, the organization has become a top provider of excellent vocations resources, not only to its members, but also to parishes and vocations directors everywhere.

What is the USA Council of Serra International?

Founded in July 1994, the USA Council comprises over 11,000 Serrans in over 300 clubs in the United States.

The mission of the USA Council is to foster and affirm vocations to the ministerial priesthood and vowed religious life in the USA, and through this common ministry, further their members' common Catholic faith.

What are the goals of the USA Council?

We hope to:

Affirm the priesthood and religious life as positive lifestyles

Invite all men and women to follow their baptismal call

Educate and inform our members, collaborators and the Catholic community of our commitment to promote priesthood and the religious life

Inspire and call forth a well-trained and dedicated corps of leaders at all levels of Serra by spiritual and practical formation

Develop openness to the opinions of others

What are the benefits of membership?

As a member, you have direct access to these resources, plus expert advice from staff and successful clubs, to help you in your vocations work.

By joining Serra International, you officially become part of what Pope John Paul II dubbed "the lay vocation arm of the church."

In December 2000, the Holy Father gave Serrans their own day in Rome for the Great Jubilee and granted them a private audience and blessing at St. Peter's Basilica.

Serrans are the only lay organization to be recognized by the Pope. What an honor to be part of a family so respected by the Vatican!

What are some of the activities Serrans and Serrans at large can coordinate to help foster and affirm vocations?

Here are only a handful of examples:

Called by Name: a program of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in which individuals are given a personal invitation to consider a church vocation

Send greeting cards to priests and seminarians: send cards to celebrate birthdays and ordination/vows anniversaries

Start a Traveling Chalice in your parish: a program in which a chalice goes from home to home and symbolizes the need to pray for church vocations

Parish Bulletin Inserts: submit short articles or prayers about vocations to the editor of the parish bulletin to increase awareness

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ORGANIZE A NEW SERRA CLUB

The New Clubs Task Force of the Membership Committee of the USA Council has identified 14 steps in the process of organizing a new Serra club. They are:

 Step 1: Pray!

 Step 2: Form an extension committee.

 Step 3: Identify a target area.

 Step 4: Evaluate resources and means.

 Step 5: Consult the district governor.

 Step 6: Secure support from the Ordinary.

 Step 7: Contact the USA Council of Serra International.

 Step 8: Ask the bishop to appoint an acting chaplain.

 Step 9: Target prospective members.

 Step 10: Plan the first meeting.

 Step 11: Begin regular meetings.

 Step 12: Work closely with club-in-formation.

 Step 13: Move toward charter.

 Step 14: Hold charter presentation and continue follow-up.

There are many resources and assistance available to help you. The membership coordinator of the USA Council is also a source of help in the form of both advice and resources and is just a toll-free phone call away.

We recommend that you first call the USA Council of Serra International (1-888-777-6681) so that we can send to you a Club-in-Formation portfolio. We will also contact the District Governor in your area for his/her help in getting started.

Get Help!

Consult your district governor. He or she has the primary responsibility for starting new clubs in the district where you are. If the district has a district extension team, this team is a source of valuable help and information. Individuals who in the past have experienced success in forming new clubs make up this team.

Get Started!

For starters refer to your copy of the USA Council of Serra International manual, "Organizing a New Serra Club." It's included in the club-in-formation portfolio.

The manual has a lot of detailed information about the process of organizing a new Serra club. In addition, the manual lists helpful resources, offers suggestions and includes sample letters.

Get Materials!

Materials used in starting a new Serra club are provided by USA Council of Serra International at no cost to you.

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Are you part of a winning team?

We'd like to hear about it!

The USA Council adopted a distinguished service and honor recognition awards program in Denver, CO at the Serra International Convention on June 25, 1998. This awards program has set standards of excellence for USA Council Serra clubs, club presidents, and district governors. This awards program aims to recognize all those Serrans and Serra clubs who actively advance the mission and objectives of the USA Council.

In addition, the awards program will have these benefits:

Clubs and their officers can use the awards as a standard and goal for a good and effective Serra club.

This program will provide an incentive for clubs, club presidents and district governors to excel in their work. All Serrans and Serra clubs meeting the requirements will be recognized.

This program will advance our primary objectives to foster and support vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and to enhance our own ministry and spirituality.

HONOR CLUB

Honor Club Goals and Objectives

To reach Honor Club status, a club must meet the criteria listed in each of the following departments: Service, Membership, and Communication and Leadership Development, as listed below.

Service Requirements:

The club must have performed at least four vocation service activities during the fiscal year; one activity from each of the four areas listed below is required.

Note, this listing is not inclusive of all available or appropriate activities. Projects not listed here may also qualify. Please fully describe your vocation activity when applying for the award.

Prayer Programs

Purpose: To petition God's help in providing priests and religious.

Suggested Programs and Materials:

31 Clubs

All-School Mass for Vocations

Daily Vocation Prayers

Family Prayer Program

Holy Hour for Vocations

Petitions

Prayer Cards

Traveling Chalice

Rosary

Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations

Awareness Programs

Purpose: To bring about religious vocation awareness among candidates, families, peers, parish communities, and other support groups.

Suggested Programs and Materials:

Parish Bulletin Inserts

Called By Name

Explore Week for Boys

Insight for Girls

Life Awareness Weekend Retreat

Story of My Life

Live-In Weekend at the Seminary

Project Andrew

Project Miriam

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Project Discover

National Vocation Awareness Week

Youth as Lector and Eucharistic Ministers

Altar Server Program

World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Affirmation Programs

Purpose: To show love, respect, and gratitude to those who have chosen the religious lifestyle

Suggested Programs and Materials:

Adopt-a-Priest/Brother/Sister/Seminarian

Altar Server Award Programs

Dinners/Luncheons/Picnics

Appreciation events

Thank-you cards and letters

Photo gallery

Visits by seminarians to parish

Visits to seminary and mother houses

Anniversary/Birthday cards, remembrances and gifts

Support Programs

Purpose: To assist either with personal involvement or by monetary means, seminarian or novice education and other related vocation activities.

Suggested Programs and Materials:

Fundraising Activities

Financial Support

Golf Outings/Sporting Events

Adult Education and Faith Formation Requirements:

The club must have at least one spiritual program for club members, such as a retreat, day of recollection or a series of programs on spiritual growth. Programs prepared by the USA Council Programs Committee, listed in the Program Manual - Part 2 are recommended.

Membership Requirements:

Increased local club membership with a net gain of 10% over the previous year's membership total for the fiscal year.

Increased local club membership diversity.

The Honor Club Recognition Award will only be awarded to those Serra clubs that are open to both genders.

Communication and Leadership Development Requirements:

Club attendance at regular meetings must average 55%. Attendance at a board meeting or other Serra activity will count as a meeting.

Publish a club newsletter at regular intervals, a minimum of four times per year.

Club president and most club officers must attend the Spring Leadership and Planning Conference (SLPC) and the district or regional convention.

The USA Council, and Serra International dues must be paid on time. (Within 30 days of receipt of per capita dues invoice). Also, pay any district and regional dues assessment to support district- or region-wide activities.

Host the district governor's official visit to a board meeting and a regular club meeting.

Submit required reports to the governor and USA Council office within 30 days of the due date.

At least 35% of the club membership must make a contribution to the Serra International Foundation during the fiscal year.

The Award

The Serra club that qualifies for Honor Club recognition will receive a podium banner with the club name and year awarded imprinted on it. The banner will be awarded at the District/Regional Convention. In addition, the club's name and achievement will be published in serraUSA magazine.

This award is approved and presented by the district governor to those clubs in the district that meet the requirements. Reporting forms for this award may be submitted by the local Serra club board, a district council or the district governor. The reporting forms must be submitted on or before May 1. The district governor will confirm the award and inform the club president.

Note: The district governor is responsible for sending copies of the reporting forms to the regional director, the USA Council Membership Awards Subcommittee chairman, and the Chicago office.

For more information

USA Council of Serra International
65 East Wacker Place Suite 802
Chicago IL 60601
Toll-free: 888-777-6681
Email: serraus@serraus.org


DISTINGUISHED CLUB PRESIDENT

Distinguished Club President Goals and Objectives Requirements:

The president's club must fulfill all requirements for the Honor Club Award.

Attendance at the International and Regional/District conventions.

Must have sponsored the charter of a new Serra club during the fiscal year.

Participation in and support of district-wide programs and initiatives, i.e., service on the District Advisory Council or District Extension Team.

The Award

The Distinguished Serra Club President will receive a Father Junipero Serra statue engraved with his or her name and year achieved. The statue will be awarded with appropriate recognition at the District/Regional Convention. In addition, an announcement of the achievement will be published in serraUSA magazine.

This award is approved and presented by the district governor to those Serra club presidents in the district that meet the requirements. Reporting forms for this award may be submitted by the local Serra club board, a district council or the district governor. The reporting forms must be submitted on or before May 1. The district governor will confirm the award and inform the Serra club board.

Note: The district governor is responsible for sending copies of the reporting forms to the regional director, the USA Council Membership Awards Subcommittee chairman, and the Chicago office.

DISTINGUISHED DISTRICT GOVERNOR

Distinguished District Governor Goals and Objectives Requirements:

At least 60% of clubs within the district must obtain the Honor Club award.

Must have sponsored the charter of at least one new Serra club during the fiscal year.

Attendance at the Regional Director-District Governor Planning Session, as governor-elect or governor, and at the district/regional and international conventions.

Must have conducted a training conference for incoming club presidents and a district Spring Leadership Planning Conference.

Make official visits to a regular club meeting and a board meeting of each club in the district during the first half of the year in office.

Establish the District Advisory Council and conduct a minimum of two advisory council meetings per year.

The Award

The Distinguished District Governor will receive a Father Junipero Serra statue engraved with his or her name and year achieved. The statue will be awarded at the District/Regional Convention. In addition, an announcement of the achievement will be published in serraUSA magazine.

This award is approved and presented by the regional director to those district governors in the region who meet the requirements. Reporting forms for this award may be submitted by the local Serra club, a district council or the regional director. The reporting forms must be submitted on or before May 1. The regional director will confirm the award and inform the district governor.

Note: The regional director is responsible for sending copies of the reporting forms to the USA Council Membership Awards Subcommittee chairman, and the Chicago office.

USA Council Awards Program Forms

Distinguished Club President Award
Distinguished District Governor Award
Honor Club Award
serraUSA Outstanding Serra Award

USA COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN

USA Council Membership Campaign Goals and Objectives

Since 1996-97, the USA Council Board and the USA Council Membership Committee have and will continue to sponsor a membership campaign for the Serra clubs in the USA. The campaign has been very successful and a significant incentive for clubs to diligently recruit new members. The Membership Campaign goals are as follows:

The Fall Campaign

The Serra Clubs that meet or exceed a net gain of five new members in the first six months of the fiscal year.

The Spring Campaign

The Serra Clubs that meet or exceed a net gain of five new members in the first six months of the fiscal year.

The Full Year Campaign

The Serra Clubs that meet or exceed a net gain of ten new members during the full fiscal year.

The Membership Campaign Award

The Serra club that meets or exceeds the membership net gain goals will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement. 

USA Council's Outstanding Club Newsletter Competition!

Are you proud of your club's newsletter?

Is it informative and engaging?

Then enter it into the ...

There are no annoying forms to fill out for this competition! No need to go through the district governor or regional director, or even your club president!

All you need to do is send 3 copies EACH of 2 CONSECUTIVE newsletters published since May 1:

USA Council of Serra International
Attn: Communications Coordinator
65 E. Wacker Place Ste. 802
Chicago IL 60601

Include your club's name and a club contact (name, phone number, e-mail, home address).

All newsletters collected at the USA Council office by the deadline will be forwarded to three judges (members of USA Council's Communications Committee) around the nation, who will critique the newsletters based on CONTENT (60 points) and APPEARANCE (40 points).

A winner is chosen from each district entered, and a grand prize winner is selected who will receive a framed, personalized poster of artist George Pollard's sketch of Fr. Junipero Serra.

The awards are usually presented at the USA Council Annual Meeting at the convention. If you are a winner, you will be contacted in advance of the convention.

For more information on the scoring process...

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