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What is Serra?

Serra is an organization which promotes and supports vocations to Catholic priesthood and religious life; and encourages spiritual growth of its members. Serra brings to its members a deeply personal and spiritual experience through a variety of events and activities allowing members to fulfill their commitment to promoting vocations. These events and activities are organized by our St. Louis Club as well as those offered by Serra Region, USA and International.

Formally recognized by the Holy See as the global lay apostolate for vocations in the Catholic Church, Serra, is a voluntary association of some 20,000 Catholic laymen and laywomen called Serrans. Review what our popes and others have said about Serra.

Serra clubs are known worldwide for their efforts to foster and affirm Catholic vocations to the ministerial priesthood and vowed religious life. Serrans value not only their work, but also the sense of community they receive from knowing that they are not alone in their dedication to the men and women who have dedicated their life in ministry and service to our Church.

Serra clubs are very instrumental and dedicated to the formation and support of Parish Vocation Committees; contact your local parish office for more information for your parish vocation committee.

Each Serra club is part of a vast network of clubs, district, regions and national councils that comprise Serra International the “Lay vocation arm of the Catholic Church.”  There are many benefits to membership within a Serra club including:

  • Spiritual Growth: Spiritual growth and enrichment through the deepening of your faith and increasing knowledge of the church’s teachings.
  • Education: Study of current events happening in the public square in light of our Christian principles.
  • Service Projects and Social Activities: Association with priests, religious and Catholic men and women who are faith filled, dedicated and generous – all sharing the ideals of the church and Serra and working toward a common goal.

See St. Louis Activities for more information on activities and opportunities to seek vocations.

Membership is to be accepted with serious reflection and dedication to the work of Serra in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Members experience growth and fellowship.

Members take to heart Luke chapter 10 verse 2 … “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Serra Facts


(a)  To foster and promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood of the Catholic Church as a particular vocation to service and to develop appreciation of the ministerial priesthood and of all religious vocations in the Catholic Church

(b)  To further Catholicism by encouraging its members in fellowship through education to fulfill their Christian vocations to service

Membership There are more than 700 Serra clubs in 46 countries with a total membership of more than 12,000 lay women and men.  Membership in the local Serra clubs is restricted to Catholic lay women and men, and to those who have been ordained to the permanent diaconate.

Organization: The basic unit of Serra International is the local club.  Clubs are organized into Districts and the Districts are organized into national councils where appropriate.  Presently there are nine national councils (in order of formation):

Great Britain            Brazil                        Spain             Thailand

Italy                         Mexico                     Philippines

USA                         Australia                   Canada

In the United States the Districts are organized into 13 Regions that are identical to the regions established by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. (NCCB)

Serra International has a Board of Trustees that are proportional to the number of Serrans throughout the world.

Meetings and Conferences Serra clubs generally meet two times a month.  Regional or District conferences are held in the Fall of each year.  In the Spring, a Spring Leadership Planning Conferences (SLPC) ARE HELD IN EACH District to train the new club officers and to assist in the planning by each club in the District.  An International Convention is held each year in late June or early July and is attended by membership from throughout the world.

Historical Information: Four Catholic lay persons formed the first Serra club in 1935 in Seattle, Washington.  The founding Serrans chose as their organization’s patron Blessed Junipera Serra, the 18th century Franciscan missionary to Mexico and California.  Serra is aggregated to the Vatican’s Sacred Council for Catholic Education  and the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations.  In 1986, Serra International voted to welcome women as well as men to membership in the organization.