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“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, …..they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

These familiar words from the Introduction of the Declaration of Independence come to mind when reflecting on the decision by the Serra Club of Savannah to withdraw from Serra International.

For the past five years, the jurisdictional dispute between Serra International and the USA Council, which has raged on and spilled into the courts, has tainted the atmosphere. In the meantime, local clubs have tried to soldier on, living out the Serra Mission of supporting and affirming vocations to the priesthood and religious life, with little or no guidance and support from the Serra hierarchy. However, instead of focusing on supporting vocations and enhancing our Catholic faith, we wasted much time in our meetings rehashing the latest iteration of the Serra International/USA Council dispute. 

During the prolonged disagreement, resources have been squandered on legal costs. This has made the club members realize that we get little or nothing from Serra for the dues we pay and can do better on our own by keeping our money here in Savannah to support vocations locally.

At the April 20, 2013 meeting of the Serra Club of Savannah, the membership voted unanimously to withdraw from Serra and establish a local organization to continue our ministry to support vocations here in Savannah patterned after the St John Vianney Vocations Ministry of Augusta, which recently received approval of its charter from Bishop Hartmayer.  

Some of our members agonized over this hoping that a satisfactory resolution might unfold.  But it took so long that everyone lost heart and we voted unanimously to leave Serra. Although emotionally committed to Serra, our membership decided to channel their time, talent and treasure into a new vocations ministry, because the need for more vocations is critical to the future of the church and this is why we got involved in the first place.

And so as we set off on our own, committed even more strongly to the principles which attracted us to this vocations ministry initially, we pledge to each other that we will support the new organization and continue to implore the Lord of the Harvest to send more laborers into his vineyard. 

 

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