SERRA CLUB MEMBERSHIP DRIVE CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF SERVICE
Dave Wayman, Serra Club
ERIE – The Serra Club of Erie recently began a new membership drive to attract Catholic men and women who share the club’s twin goals of affirming diocesan clergy and consecrated religious and encouraging young men and women to consider vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Erie has a vibrant club that hosts several annual public functions to thank priests and religious sisters for the unwavering gift of their lives in service to the people of northwestern Pennsylvania. Major events include a jubilarian luncheon to honor priests and religious celebrating jubilee anniversaries; an awards dinner for priest, religious sister, deacon and layperson of the year, and every other September, co-hosting a picnic for religious sisters serving in the diocese.
The club also hosts an evening with the seminarians at St. Mark Seminary and club members serve as ushers at diaconate and priestly ordinations.
The most important membership duty though, is to pray. Members pray daily for priests, religious sisters and deacons and especially for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Each member has a seminarian or novice to pray for and encourage in their process of discerning their vocations.
The club always had monthly membership meetings until the COVID outbreak, and will again after the pandemic subsides and life returns to normal. These lunchtime events include discussion of club events and news of interest to club members, as well as timely talks from prominent clergy, religious and lay members of the Catholic community of northwestern Pennsylvania.
Serra was founded in 1935 in Seattle, Washington, as a Catholic laymen’s luncheon club for the purpose of furthering Catholicism through association and friendship among Catholic businessmen. It adopted Father Junipero Serra, the heroic eighteenth-century missionary of California, as its patron, and was soon encouraged by the local bishop to adopt as its primary objective the fostering of vocations to the diocesan priesthood.
With the support of Archbishop John Mark Gannon, and under the leadership of E.J. Stinneford and Father James W. Peterson, the Serra Club of Erie received its charter at a dinner at St. Mark Seminary on February 24, 1960.
More information about the club is available at https://www.serraerie.org. Questions about membership can be directed to Club President Dennis Deiner at 814-746-0147.