Blessed Serra's Patronage and the Miracle of Priesthood
From its inception, Serra International(SI) has been supportive of the holy priesthood. For more than 70 years, SI continues to fulfill its primary objective, fostering and promoting vocations to the ministerial priesthood of the Catholic Church as a particular vocation to service, to priesthood and of all religious vocations in the Catholic Church.
The first Serra Club was founded in Seattle in 1935. The founders were Harold Haberlie, P. Daniel Rooney, Leo F. Sharkey and Richard Ward. The Seattle Serra Club set the tone for working diligently to encourage and support vocations to the priesthood.
For 29 years, Archbishop Cornelius Power served the club as chaplain, cultivating young men for St. Edwards Seminary. John Bray, a charter member of the Seattle club is credited with naming the new Catholic civic organization “Serra,” after the Apostle of California and founder of the California missions.
John Jannette, a charter member of the Seattle Serra Club and a founder of Chicago’s club, prayed the rosary daily to Fray Serra for increased vocations. Jannette is recognized for recommending the first vocation objective of Serra Clubs to be thefostering of vocations to the religious life and supporting seminarians.
He worked closely with Fr. Kortendeck, rector of St. Edwards Seminary in Seattle. Jannette’s prayers to Fray Junípero Serra bore fruit in 1963 when his son Paul was ordained to the priesthood.