Pope John Paul II
December 7, 2000
Dear Members of Serra International:
1. I am happy to live with you this intense spiritual moment on the occasion of your Pilgrimage Jubilee to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul.
I greet Monsignor Justin Francis Rigali, Archbishop of St. Louis and thank him for the cordial words that he has delivered on your behalf. I extend my greetings to all of you here present from various nations.
You carry in this celebration the spiritual sign that distinguishes you: by this I refer to the perception, particularly alive, of Christian existence as vocation. “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you….” (Jn 15,16): this word, delivered by Christ to the Apostles, extends to all of the baptized. We should have a joyous and pleasant awareness. Coming to implore the jubilee grace, you have come precisely to open yourselves with new availability to the fundamental call received in the baptism, renewing the radical choice of Christian commitment and of sanctity.
Bishop Anthony Tonnos (Hamilton, Ontario)
Serra Clubs promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life in various ways through their prayers and their practices.
One of the many benefits of Serra is a greater awareness in the minds of both young and old of the need for vocations.
Serra also encourages and enables people to take steps to provide for this need.
Serra Clubs are a blessing for the Diocese of Hamilton and I thank God for their presence and good work.
Pio Cardinal Laghi
“With Serrans coming from five continents to celebrate the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, in close participation, I join myself to the general giving of thanks to the Lord for the useful work done by the Serra family in favor of vocation ministry. To promote the vocation to grace, to the ministerial and consecrated life, is to give a meaning to the life of each man, of each woman who comes into this world…
“Indeed, Christians, by the power of baptism, are continuously stimulated to find their place in the Church and in the world of today… This can happen only with the most absolute respect for a few fundamental conditions: being faithful to the plan of God for man and paying attention to the signs of the times that constitute an essential point of reference for whoever wishes to consider the vocation as a service and not only as a personal achievement. The search for the meaning of life cannot be carried out only by the self. It becomes reality for us to the extent in which we relate to others.”
Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski
Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education
“Dear Serra members, allow me to express to you my deep gratitude for all the good that you have done in supporting candidates to the priesthood. In many particular churches, you have become the right arm of the bishops in vocations pastoral action, promotion and support. I admire this noble witness of Christian concern directed to the good of your dioceses, and I am delighted, at the same time, that this praiseworthy effort has been carried out by you with hearts that are open and attentive to the needs of the whole Church.”
Rev. Liborio Amaral
Vocations Director, Archdiocese of Toronto
In the Archdiocese of Toronto we are blessed to have an important group of dedicated men and women commissioned to promote Vocations, known as Serrans.
As a Vocations Director, I can attest to the great support that Serrans have brought to my ministry.
The men and women of Serra are dedicated to fostering a Vocation Culture in our Archdiocese; they accomplish this mission by prayer and action. Serra initiatives, such as our Ordinandi dinner, Altar servers’ awards, priest-appreciation nights, parish vocation activities etc., are highly anticipated by the greater community of the faithful. These yearly events bring about an awareness of the need for a Vocation Culture to permeate the whole of who we are and where we live.
I would strongly encourage diocesan Bishops and Vocation Directors to seriously consider founding a Serra club in their diocese. Just as the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League, bring graces to a diocese through their work of charity and service in the local church, so to does a Serra club bring to the local church the grace of prayer and promotion to priestly and religious life.