Serra international is an organization of Catholic Laypersons who promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and strive to develop their own Christian vocation to service. There are 20,000 members in 1,109 clubs in 46 countries.
The Serra movement began during the fall and winter of 1934, in Seattle, Washington, when four Catholic laymen who had been meeting informally, recognized the need for an association that would advance the cause of Catholicism through lasting friendships among Catholics and continuing education in their Catholic faith.
The Serra movement became a living memorial to a humble missionary, the "Apostle of California," Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan who founded "El Camino Real," the celebrated missions of San Diego, San Carlos, San Antonio, San Gabriel, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara, and San Buenaventura.
Blessed Junipero Serra (1713 - 1784)
The patron of Serra International may one day be canonized a saint for his fearles, untiring missionary and apostolic work. He is called the Apostle, the first citizen, and pioneer of California. His statue stands in the Capitol in Washington D.C.
Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations
Recognizing the great need throughout the world for vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, Pope Pius XII created in November 1941, the Pontifical Work for priestly vocations.
Because of the long-time objectives, Serra closely identifies with the purpose of the Pontifical Work, and on May 6, 1951, on request of Cardinal Stritch, an Episcopal Adviser, Serra International was aggregated to the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations.
The Purposes for the Pontifical Work are Threefold:
1. It is concerned primarily with setting forth a true and clear notion of the nature, the necessity, and the excellence of the priesthood.
2. It promotes the offering up for Masses, Communions, prayers, and works of penance and of charity to the end that God may grant many and excellent priestly vocations.
3. It encourages the growth of the projects for priestly vocations which are established in each diocese and tries to have such projects set up where they do not already exist.
A Message to Serrans from Pope John Paul II
“Prove to everyone, with clarity and without compromise, your sincere adherence to Christ and to the Church. Prove, at home, at work, in your associations, that the message of Jesus forms real men and women capable of coping serenely with the harshness of daily life.
Be available with all your strength to the construction of a civil society more worthy of mankind. Prove in your whole behaviour that, with the grace of God, it is possible to put into practice in the modern world the “Sermon on the Mount” and the “Beatitudes” with all the radicalism they involve.
With these wishes I invoke the abundance of divine favours on your meritorious activity, on you all and on your dear one and I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing”