The Serra Club of Cincinnati is a member club of Serra International, a lay vocation apostolate of the Roman Catholic church. Pope St. John Paul II once said of Serra International, "Serrans accept as their responsibility the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. They possess a deep appreciation of the ministerial priesthood as being essential to the Church. Serrans have been generous in offering their support to those who hear the call to serve Christ in the priesthood." In 1951, it became the only lay organization aggregated to an official pontifical work; in our case, that is the pontifical work of vocations! Just this summer, Pope Francis spoke directly to Serrans across the world when he gave this message at the annual International Convention: "I encourage you to be true friends to seminarians and priests, showing your love for them by promoting vocations and through prayer and pastoral cooperation. Please, keep pressing forward! Forward in hope, forward with your mission, ever looking beyond, opening new horizons, making room for the young and preparing the future. The Church and priestly vocations need you."
The Serra Club of Cincinnati was established in April 1971 and has been actively promoting and supporting priestly and religious vocations ever since! Some of those founding members are still alive and active in the club today. Today, we are active in the life of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in various ways, the most important of which is our commitment to daily prayer for priestly and religious vocations. In addition to our daily prayers we annually pray through the entire Bible in a span of a 9-day Bible Reading Novena. We also pray a special holy hour for vocations prior to each of our 2 monthly meetings. To affirm men and women in their consecrated vocations, our club hosts the reception following both the transitional diaconate and priesthood ordinations as well as hosting a reception closing out the year for Consecrated Life in 2015. We also put on an annual dinner for all priests who participate in the Chrism Mass during holy week. We raise awareness for vocations by staying connected with parish bulletin editors to advertise any and all religious vocation-related events. We educate the young men and women of the Cincinnati area by speaking in Catholic high school classrooms about our own walk with the Lord and we invite them to consider the walk the Lord is asking them to take.
In addition to the goals of promoting and supporting priestly and consecrated vocations, our organization has a secondary goal of increasing the holiness of all its members. We do that through the programs at our regularly meetings and through an annual spiritual retreat.