Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Spokane to host Serra International convention in June

Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the June 8, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Helping plan the Serra International convention are, from left, Mike Doohan, Martin Weber, Max Mendez, Jim Bertis, and Phil Brennan. (IR photo)

Four years ago, the International Board of Serra Club International invited the Serra Club of Spokane to host the 64th International Serra Convention, in 2006. Members of the Spokane Serra Club accepted the invitation and have spent many hours preparing for the convention, which will meet at the Spokane Convention Center June 29-July 2.

Serra members will attend from Italy, South America, Mexico, England, Scotland, Thailand, and Canada, and for the first time a member will attend from a newly-formed Serra Club in Pakistan.

Serra was started in 1934, in Seattle, by a group of four Catholic men. The men decided to meet regularly over a meal to discuss how their Christian values could be lived out in their professional lives. Soon more friends were joining them, and within several months they had decided on an additional focus: the encouraging of vocations to the priesthood and Religious life. They chose Padre – now Saint – Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the noted Spanish missionary, as patron.

Major speakers for the 2006 convention will be Bishop William S. Skylstad; Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer, president of Gonzaga University; and Dr. Carole M. Eipers, D.Min., excecutive director of catechetics for William H. Sadlier, Inc.

In addition to various committee and board meetings, participants will attend leadership training sessions, planning sessions, national council meetings, liturgies, lunches and dinners, and a presentation on the history of Serra. On Monday, July 3, following the convention, the Serra International Foundation will sponsor a golf tournament. Scramble teams will play Spokane’s picturesque Indian Canyon Golf Course.

The convention will also include daily, all-day teen and pre-teen programs for youth whose parents attend the Serra convention. Featured speakers will include Father Darrin Connall, rector of Bishop White Seminary and Director of Seminarians for the diocese; Sister Cathy Bryant; Fred Bell; Jesuit Father Craig Hightower; and Tom Crean, all from the Diocese of Spokane. The teens and pre-teens will participate in various activities including workshops and a basketball clinic. The young people will view a couple of movies, spend a day at the Silverwood theme park in north Idaho, and attend an Indian Dance and Barbecue.

The Spokane Serra Club meets the second Friday and the last Saturday of each month. For further information, call (509) 926-8540.

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