It’s the Serra Club
By Janet Stoica
Not to be confused with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization which defends our natural resources and nature, the Serra Club of Southern Worcester County is a dedicated group seeking to keep our faith in Christianity by promoting religious vocations of the Catholic Church.
Roland Malboeuf and John Hickey are men on a mission for the Serra organization in this area. They have successfully sought to rejuvenate and add members to the local chapter of the Serra Club of Worcester County whose motto is Always Forward, Never Back. The Serra Club is an organization that was founded in 1935 in the state of Washington and named after Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish saint born in the 1700s who was instrumental in establishing California’s Catholic missions. The Serra Club’s mission today is to promote vocations of religious life. Currently, there are more than 700 clubs in 40 countries. Members meet monthly to attend Mass, socialize, and have dinner together with the goal of supporting vocations.
Mr. Malboeuf, president, previously served as treasurer of the local Serra chapter and when membership dwindled, he made the decision along with Mr. Hickey to personally advocate for new members and with recent meeting observations, their objective appears to be well on its way to great success. At a recent meeting held at Point Breeze, there were 26 attendees enjoying camaraderie along with refreshments and dinner. The evening’s speaker was Reverend Daniel Moreno, administrator of St. Anthony’s parish of Dudley. Reverend Moreno stated “I attribute my vocation to my grandparents who were devout. I have no regrets. We are channels of God’s words.” Originally from South America, Reverend Moreno said, “Having lived here for many years I do miss seeing my parents. It’s not easy seeing them age via computer images but I am here to support my faith and parishioners. We should not idolize priests or other clergy. We need your prayers, support, and companionship. The Serra organization is a valuable resource.”
John Hickey, vice president, commented that “the beginning stages of getting the club back to its former strength of helping seminarians and being there for them was a worthy mission. Being Christian will not get easier as the years go on. It will become more challenging. We are here to support our clergy and to promote those who are the backbone of our values.”
Half of the club’s funds raised is to support newly ordained seminarians and/or those who have chosen the religious life, women and men. In current times, however, most of those who choose these types of vocations are men but the group has supported women who have chosen a devout lifestyle as well. The remaining monies raised through dues, donations, and fundraisers are used for operating expenses. The group is positive, uplifting, and devoted to the future of those who will lead the local parishes. Their mission is strong and focused. A recently held Christmas fundraiser offering wreaths and garlands was a great success.
Officers are: Roland Malboeuf, president; John Hickey, vice president; Jo-Anne Canty, treasurer; and Cynthia Rawson, treasurer. Father Michael Roy of St. Roch’s parish in Oxford is the Serra chaplain. Publicity coordinator is Lee Gendron, who is also their photographer. This year’s theme was Journey to the Priesthood with many of the club’s speakers being priests from the local parishes describing how they came to be part of the priesthood. All ages are encouraged to become members. To join, you may contact your church’s priest who will put you in touch with the group. They are also on Facebook: Serra Club SWC. “Give us a year once you decide to join us,” said John Hickey, “you can then see how our group supports the goals of our and your faith.” The Serra Club of Southern Worcester County will be holding its next meeting on January 6, 2022, with an introduction of current seminarians of the Diocese of Worcester.
Contact Janet: [email protected]