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Message from our Leadership

Dear Fellow Serrans and Supporters,

When the Serra organization was begun in 1935, its mission was to encourage and support vocations. Eighty eight years later that remains our primary objective. That is why Priesthood Sunday is an important date in the Serra Calendar.


What is Priesthood Sunday? Well, it is a special day set aside to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the vocation of priesthood. It is a day to consider and acknowledge the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church as a truly essential one. Remember, without priests there cannot be a Mass and the Eucharist cannot be consecrated and offered.  


Each year Priesthood Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of September (this year it is on September 24th). Compared with most vocational events in the Church year, Priesthood Sunday is a more personal one for parishes. It is an opportunity for parishioners who have developed close working relationships with their priests to express their gratitude, and to thank and honor their priests in a distinctive way.


It is important to note that the number of priests and ordinations in the United States has steadily declined over the past few decades. As a consequence, the number of parishes without a resident pastor has greatly increased, as have the number of parishes that have been combined to ensure that each one has a priest. Thus, the men who have answered the call to priesthood are special indeed, and they are working harder than ever before.

At the same time that we are thanking our existing priests for the blessings they have brought to the Church and to our faith journeys, we must pray for an increase in their vocations so that our families will have the support going forward that we have experienced in our lifetimes.  


Please tell your parish priests on Priesthood Sunday how much you appreciate what they do for your parish and pray for them every day as you do what you can to encourage new men to discern and commit to this important vocation going forward.


God bless you all,


Thom Field, President

St. Serra Vocations Ministry


This months focus is on Priesthood Sunday, the state of our seminaries and Parish Vocation Ministries.

Please read on and I hope you enjoy the great articles, Serra content and columns by our dedicated crew.

Yours in faith,

Mike Roberts

Thank You to the Fairfield County Catholic and CNA for some of our great vocations content.

Click Here to read the FFCC.


Central Regional Conference - September 8-10

Priesthood Sunday

Sep 24

Deacon Sunday

Oct 8

Pacific Northwest Regional Conference - October 27-29

Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, patron of seminarians

November 4

National Vocation Awareness Week

Nov 5-11

North Central Regional Conference - November 17-19

Serra USA Rally in Miami, FL - January 18 - 21, 2024


Some U.S. seminaries report surge in enrollments even as nationwide numbers remain flat

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 12, 2023 / 08:00 am

Seminarian enrollment in the United States has been on a decadeslong decline as fewer young men seek out the priesthood and the number of active priests in the U.S. continues to dwindle. But some dioceses are reporting a notable surge in enrollment, signaling a potential turnaround in some regions.

Annual data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, released in June of this year, showed “a continuation of relatively slow long-term decline” in priestly vocations at the pre-theology and theology levels, falling from over 6,400 men in 1970 to 2,759 in the most recent academic year. 

Similar sharp drops have been observed in both college- and high school-level seminarian enrollment over the same time period. In recent years the decline in priests and seminarians has been observed globally as well.

Yet some seminary and diocesan officials told CNA that the number of seminarians they have in training for the priesthood has increased in recent years.

Father Joe Taphorn, the rector of Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in Minneapolis, said the school’s current class of seminarians is the largest of his nearly five-year tenure there. 

“That first fall we had 70 seminarians,” Taphorn told CNA. “We’ll probably be at just over 100 this fall. And that’s basically almost full. We’re kind of nearing capacity.”

The school’s growth has been ongoing. In 2021, the seminary experienced its largest one-year increase in enrollment since 1975, going from 70 seminarians to 90 seminarians. In the spring of this year, 16 seminarians from the school were ordained transitional deacons.

“We’re never going to be the largest seminary, just because of our facilities,” he said. “But if we do formation well, and prepare our men well, and cast a positive vision — that’s attractive to young men. There continues to be interest and vocational visits from young men who want to learn more.”

Taphorn said the Church needs to be proactive in how it encourages young men to seek out the priesthood.

“We need a mindset not of retreat but of advancing,” he said. “I think young people are looking for something that is more than the world offers. I think there’s aspirations for greatness. That’s really found ultimately in holiness and in sacrificial love.”

The decline in vocations around the U.S. has for years impelled dioceses and bishops to take sometimes-drastic measures to address priestly shortages. A major initiative to merge parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, for example, is being driven in part by a looming priest shortage on the horizon as more priests retire and not enough are being ordained to replace them.

Read More

Get Ready !

St Mary,Bethel starts a Vocation Ministry

St Mary in Bethel has taken a new approach to praying for vocations, supporting vocations and raising awareness of catholic vocations. All while helping our parish and its ministries grow in faith.This novel approach creates a small group of vocation ministers and leverages existing resources like the Knights of Columbus, Women's and Mens's Ministries, Religious Education and the Parish School to create a vibrant parish based vocation ministry.All supported and mentored by The Serra Vocations Ministry of Bridgeport.

This approach allows each parish to put together a parish based vocation ministry that best suits their resource in their parish. If you are interested in starting a ministry in your parish, please contact Mike Roberts by CLICKING HERE. You can also CLICK HERE to see the St Mary Model.

A Priest Forever

Deacon Dave’s Corner

Who do you say that Jesus is?


The question Jesus asked His disciples in the recent Sunday gospel reading, “Who do you say that I am?” is also pertinent to us. “Who do we say that Jesus is?” The answer is revealed not only in our words, but also in our actions, our thoughts, how we live our lives, and what we worship. The answer comes from how we are formed in our faith.

A young priest recently said that good, holy priests inspire vocations. At least, that is what inspired his, he said, and he is right. Good holy priests help us see Christ in person. As do good holy parents, and grandparents, and other Catholics living virtuous Christian lives, but priests help set the course for all of us by their example.  

Let’s continue to pray for men and women to answer God’s call to serve His Church as priests and religious brothers and sisters, who help form our faith, and through their example, we will come to know Jesus so that we will answer the question as emphatically as Peter did.

The Serra Vocation Ministry of Bridgeport is launching a video training program on catholic vocations that you can use to raise awareness for Parishioners, Religious Education, Youth Groups or the Parish School ! Here is the current rollout schedule.


Vocation Overview available now !

The Priesthood available now !

The Diaconate coming 4th quarter.

Religious - Sisters, Nun and Brothers coming 1st QTR 2024.

Marriage and Celibacy coming spring of 2024


Catholic Men’s Conference To Focus On Priesthood

By Joe Pisani

HARTFORD—The 16th Annual Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference will give men an opportunity to have “a stronger awareness of God in their lives” at a time when our culture no longer embraces faith.

This year’s theme is “The Priesthood: God’s Gift and Our Responsibility.” The day-long event will be held Saturday, September 23 at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford. Tickets, which are $45 for adults and $30 for teens and include lunch, may be purchased online at The doors will open at 7:30 am, and the event will conclude with a Vigil Mass at 4 pm. celebrated by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair, with a homily by Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt of the Archdiocese of Hartford.

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Joshua addressed the tribes of Israel saying, “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.”

We all know nothing is by coincidence. Just a few days after hearing these words from the reading from Joshua, two interesting points from two completely separate sources clearly brought the question front and center, “whom will you serve?” On the occasion of the Memorial of St. Rose of Lima, the homilist making a very convicting observation said, “I think one of the greatest things we do not talk about that often, that is a vice of our time…, is the vice of vanity. He went on to say, “When the phones were able to start taking our pictures and the selfie became popular over the last decade, I often thought the opportunity to preach on a homily, and I will use it now, would be: ‘cell phone, cell phone in my hand, tell me who is the fairest in all the land.’ And then you take that picture of yourself and put it up.” The very same day, an article on a military Website speaking to the idea of the military having become “woke” stated, “Allegedly, U.S. enlisted personnel and officers are being subjected to compulsory exercises in groupthink that devalue the American historical experience, spread contempt for traditional American values and diminish the appeal of military service in favor of other alternatives.” Joshua warned the tribes of Israel to the sin of serving idols. Summing up these two points, Joshua’s warning unambiguously applies today, to the sin of serving the idol of vanity and to the sin of serving the idol of individualistic moral relativism precipitated by secular culture. He warned, "You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God.” No one can serve idols and claim serving God in holiness at the same time. Nonetheless, the choice will most certainly be made; he will serve someone. Like we hear in Bob Dylan’s 1979 song “Gotta Serve Somebody:”

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed

You're gonna have to serve somebody

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you're gonna have to serve somebody

In search of assuring a life lived correctly by faithfully making the right choice of whom to serve, one only needs to look to St. Paul. The ways of the tribes of Israel long ago and the ways of the world today all point to the old self. St. Paul tells us in chapter three of Colossians, “You have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.” No one would serve idols, serve vices, or submerge to worldly cultures if Jesus is all and in all in his life. Bishop Robert Barron writes, “God’s revelation draws us beyond what we can know and introduces us to a dimension of being vibrating at a higher pitch. To be a person of faith is to know that the universe of the senses is but the tip of the iceberg, a gateway. And it is to resist the idolatry of Enlightenment rationalism, which tells us that only superstition and obscurantism lie beyond what we human beings can measure.”

With eyes always fixed on Jesus, one’s practices will be in the image of God. With eyes always fixed on Jesus, he will “think of what is above, not of what is on earth,” as St. Paul tells us in Colossians. He will boldly echo the words of Joshua, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Pray everyday for Vocations. Ask people if they have thought about Catholic Vocations.Then Pray some more. Please Pray the Rosary for Vocations, Pray with Invisible Monastery or Pray on FB or Twitter for different Priests, Deacons or Religious daily !



Do you think your parish really understands what catholic vocation are ? You might be surprised ! Do your parishioners want to pray and support all our blessed vocations while growing their faith ?


Vocation Curriculum

Equip Catholic educators to teach vocations! Different packets for grade schools or high schools, designed for both Catholic school teachers and parish catechists. Includes creative content that presents a positive and compelling view of marriage, priesthood, and religious life. Teaches kids to remain open to God’s call as they grow older. The packet includes a one-year subscription to Vocation Lessons, a comprehensive online vocations curriculum! Materials come in a handsome 9”x12” folder.


Contact Us

St. Serra Vocations Ministry

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