The role of the US Vocation Committee of Serra International is to support and assist our Bishops and Vocation Directors in their vocation activities by promoting a culture of vocations in each parish and with Catholic families. This is accomplished with local pastoral authority by advocating the establishment of vocation ministries and activities in all parishes of each diocese within the US and by encouraging parishes to involve each family and ministry individually and collaboratively in vocation awareness activities and discernment founded on prayer.
The goals and objectives of the Serra Club are promoted in a special way through the work of the Vocations Committee. As the Vice President of Vocations your primary role is to lead your club’s vocation efforts. We encourage you to gather a strong committee of Serrans to help you further the culture of vocations in your club, diocese, parish, and community, as well as to affirm and help your committee to grow in holiness and together to spread the joy of God’s call in each of our lives.
Built by the US Council of Serra International for Vocation Directors and Vocation Promoters in collaboration with the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors and under the guidance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Serra Promotion And Resource Kit is a valuable resource for anyone involved in vocation work. Serra Clubs can both learn and expand their vocation activities with ideas and 27 tools available along with numerous resources. All tools can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your club.
The Serra SPARK Sampler contains five easy-to-use tools that are proven to create a culture of vocations in your club! The five tools (with active links to the SPARK website) include:
Adopt a Seminarian – #1: As parish-level efforts, Adopt a Seminarian programs are grassroots means for the faithful to encourage, pray for, and provide for the materials needs those who are discerning a call of service as a priest or religious. The programs are a great way for Serran families to get involved in supporting seminarians.
The 31 Club – #14: With decades of history behind it, The 31 Club is a simple, easily-established program for clubs to use in their vocations-related efforts. It is an ideal program for the involvement of busy Serrans who want to help with vocations but need to be able to fit it into their schedules.
Traveling Chalice / Crucifix Program for the Parish – #4: The Traveling Chalice / Crucifix provides a constant visual reminder when it is taken home from church after Sunday Mass. The family (or individual Serran) prays for vocations during a week-long period of time while also using the provided journal for writing down their experiences in prayer.
Annual Vocations Events Resources – #11: Planning for Priesthood Sunday and other major vocations-related events during the liturgical year is easier than one might think. Try these resources for idea and inspiration!
Holy Hours – #20: A Holy Hour conducted as Eucharistic Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament is a program that can be utilized by small or large groups of Serrans. Information includes a template for a Holy Hour for Those Called to the Priesthood or Consecrated Religious Life.
The Vocations Committee of the US Council of Serra International has a long-term goal of having a parish vocation ministry in every parish in the United States. In collaboration with the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, the Serra Vocation Committee offers free workshops for Vocation Directors in their dioceses. The purpose of the workshops is to educate attendees on the best way to: set up a Parish Vocation Ministry; incorporate Serran programs into their vocation work; and utilize Serra SPARK.
Parishes that participate in the workshop have an opportunity to learn about Serra SPARK tools that they can use immediately to foster and affirm vocations. Information is provided about Parish Vocation Ministries – their purpose, functions, and structure. Practical data about forming a Parish Vocation Ministry — that is, the reasons, organization, membership, publicity, and a first meeting to-do list, are included in the day-long session. Discussions about the responsibilities of a Parish Vocation Ministry include how to operate in the parish, craft a Mission Statement, write goals, objectives, and action items, and create a strategic plan. In order to ensure that the program continues, parishes will receive ideas on how to keep your Parish Vocation Ministry functioning. Finally, the workshop presenters will talk about sustaining the Parish Vocation Ministry and how to get the help the parish needs from Serra.
A unique feature of this Parish Vocation Ministry workshop is the built-in success factor! Parishes that attend the workshop will be paired with a Serran who will mentor the parish for one year. This Serran will contact the club monthly to offer support, advice, and to serve as a sounding board for the parish ministry. In addition, quarterly reports will be sent to the diocesan vocation director so that they can track the vocation initiatives in the parishes in their diocese.
Dioceses that are interested in hosting a workshop should have their Diocesan Vocation Director or Bishop contact Dr. Anne D. Roat, Vice President for Vocations of the U S Council of Serra International at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the tools contained in Serra SPARK, the US Council Vocations Committee has other documents and resources available. These documents and resources are updated regularly and may be accessed by clicking on the link below. The National Conference Calls also contain a wealth of information on successful vocation initiatives that Local Serra Clubs have developed and used. A list of topics and presenters for each of the conference calls is available below.