SINGAPORE - The Serra Club of Singapore was inaugurated on Feb 10 at the Church of the Holy Cross where the Club is based. Holy Cross parish priest Father Richards Ambrose is its spiritual director and chaplain. The club was formed with the blessing of Archbishop Nicholas Chia who celebrated the inauguration Mass.

In line with Serra International's mission, the objectives of the Serra Club of Singapore are to promote vocations to the ordained priesthood and consecrated life in the Catholic church. At the Charter Night which followed the Mass, President of the Serra Club of Singapore Sean Yeo said that "the [Club] will reach out to spread the awareness on the need for more priestly vocations", to rally Catholics to pray for more vocations and do what they can to help this cause.

The Club will also encourage its members to fulfil their Christian vocations to service. Members will meet twice a month to plan programmes for the promotion of vocations, and for spiritual talks, discussions, and prayers contributing to members' education and spiritual growth.

Top: The "Serra Charter" is handed from Chainarong Monthienvichienchai (right), immediate past president of Serra International to Sean Yeo, the first chairman of the Serra Club of Singapore, in the presence of Archbishop Nicholas Chia.

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The Club originated in 2002 as the Vocation Promotion Team of the Church of the Holy Cross. The idea of forming a Serra Club in Singapore was mooted by Father William Goh, Rector of St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary, in June 2005. Past President of Serra International Chainarong Monthienvichienchai provided guidance for setting it up.

Serra International is an international Catholic organisation of over 20,000 Catholic lay persons belonging to about 800 Serra Clubs in 37 countries. The first Serra Club was formed in Seattle, U.S.A, in 1935.

The idea of such a Club was born when a group of four Catholic friends recognised the need for an association that would advance the cause of Catholicism through lasting friendships among Catholics and continuing education in their Catholic faith. The club is named after Blessed Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary in Western United States, who was referred to as the "Apostle of California" for having founded many missions there.

Serra International was formed in 1938 to direct and coordinate the clubs' programmes. It has since received affirmation from the Holy See as a worldwide lay organisation committed to vocation ministry.

(For more information about the Serra Club of Singapore visit http://www.serrasingapore.org/)

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