A foundation that has supported priestly and religious vocations for more than 40 years is inviting Catholics to offer prayers and financial support to men and women making lifelong commitments to the Church.

The Serra Foundation was founded in 1982, emerging from Serra clubs, which were first established in the United States to support vocations. The first Serra meeting held in Australia was in 1968, with the first clubs formally convened in Sydney and Melbourne in 1970.

The Foundation began in 1982 with $4000 raised from across the country. In the decades since, tens of thousands of dollars have been donated and distributed to support vocations and vocations-related activities.

The Chairman of the Foundation’s board of trustees, Neville Hackett, says funds have been used to help seminarians and young pilgrims attend World Youth Day, to help people undertake discernment, to support and expand facilities at seminaries, to assist education and training, and to help people participate in retreats, among many other activities.

‘Our Church is deeply indebted to the men and women who commit to lives of prayer, service and ministry,’ Mr Hackett says.

The prayerful encouragement that the Serra clubs offer and the financial assistance that the Serra Foundation can provide are ways the faithful can express their gratitude and love for those servants of the Lord.

Membership of Serra clubs is open to all practising Catholic lay men and women, and to permanent deacons.

‘We have several clubs across Australia that meet regularly for prayer, fellowship and discussion,’ Mr Hackett says.

‘In addition to our focus on those already in ministry and those considering ministry, we also look for ways to recognise and respond to God’s call to holiness in our own lives.’

The Serra Foundation welcomes donations, whether you are a member of a local Serra club or not.

Bishop Michael Kennedy of Maitland and Newcastle Diocese has served for many years as episcopal adviser to Serra and the Foundation.

A prayer for vocations

Heavenly Father,
Help us to respond to, and live out, our mission in the Church.
Help all your people to know their vocation in life and assist them to prepare for it.
For Your greater glory and for the service of your people, call many to be Priests and Religious.
Give those whom you call the grace to respond generously and to persevere faithfully.

If you would like to know more about Serra clubs, call 03 97631590 or email serrasecanz@gmail.com.

The Serra Foundation Australia can be contacted on 03 98487564 or at talktonevnmary@bigpond.com.