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Implementing “What Can I Do?”

by Norma Swanson, member, USAC Vocations sub-Committee

In January of 2010 at the Super Weekend in Chicago, two presentations were made by the Vocations Sub-committee. One was a film on the shortage of priests (film of priestless church) and the other was a play with actors discussing the shortage situation and how it affected them.

The presenters at Super Weekend professed that Serra is better at Affirmation, Support and Prayer than we are at Awareness and Inviting and, since Serra USA’s focus had been directed to NEW vocations by our 2010-11 President, Doug McRoy, the Vocations Sub-committee came up with a way to show every Serran that they, as individuals, can play a huge role in this effort.

The program is called: “What can I do?” The same film and play were presented at the 2010 Region 8 Conference/Retreat at King’s House in Buffalo. Packets of information on how to implement the process were made available to Clubs through the Chicago Office of USAC free of charge so this program could reach every individual Club.

The question put to the Clubs at this year’s Region 8 Conference was:
“Hopefully many have Clubs sent for the information” but “How many of you have seriously looked at implementing it?”

Unfortunately, the Serra International lawsuit with USAC brought the USAC Sub-Committee’s intended helpful articles and printed information to a halt while funds were frozen but the decision has been made to continue with the implementation since the Focus on NEW Vocations is extremely important.

The new approach will be through your own Club newsletter showing members what they can do as individuals to do the work of Serra – inviting good candidates to look into a vocation within the Church.

The whole original idea of this thrust is what can I do? So don’t wait for your Club Vocations VP to come up with a specific large program. There is a great deal that a single person can do on their own as a Serran and one of the most important is making sure all parishes in your area have, at the least, a Serra Liaison who can keep a parish thinking about praying and affirming their priests, deacons and religious while keeping their eyes and ears open for potential NEW vocations to invite them to consider ministry in the Church. Offer to be a Liaison. Then, if your parish has a Vocations Committee, be sure you are on it. In your Club: pull out those free materials from USAC, find a project you would like to implement and go for it!

Greetings to all U.S. Serra Club Newsletter publishers!

This year, U.S. Serra has been asked to focus is on NEW vocations. Serrans are to continue to affirm and invite as we have in the past yet put more emphasis on reaching out to those who maybe have not given a thought to a life of service in the Church.

The Serra U.S. Vocation Committee wants to help individual Serrans “think outside the box” a bit by asking you to insert a “What can I do?” column in your newsletter. The column will be dedicated to offering a fresh perspective on how to look for those NEW vocations. We will provide the column; you provide some space in your publication. This project will last for 6 months so you can expect to receive, via e-mail, 6 printer ready columns with a different project idea each time.

Most club publishers are always looking for something “different” to insert in their papers. Hopefully this will be a win/win situation for all of us. Let’s give it a true Serran try and see how the Holy Spirit will work through us. Trusting you are with us on this first of a kind effort, we thank you for your cooperation and may Saint Junipero Serra help us to “Always go forward, never turn back.”

"Focus on NEW Vocations - What can I do?" Poster 1 (PDF) - (MSWord)
"Focus on NEW Vocations - What can I do?" Poster 2 (PDF) - (MSWord)
"Focus on NEW Vocations" Ask (PDF) - (MSWord)
"Focus on NEW Vocations" Daily Mass (PDF) - (MSWord)
"Focus on NEW Vocations" Match made in Heaven (PDF) - (MSWord)
"Focus on NEW Vocations" Teach (PDF) - (MSWord)

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