Encouraging parents of those in formation through fellowship and prayer
SOUTHLAKE — Jennifer and Daniel Proctor recently joined the Serra Club because they believe in the group’s mission of supporting those who are in the priesthood and religious life and those who are in the formation process.
As parents of a young seminarian, the Proctors are learning firsthand about the needs of those pursuing religious vocations. Coming out of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Grapevine, their son Reed Proctor is in his third year of formation for the Diocese of Fort Worth. He is currently studying at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, La.
“It’s really special to know so many people are praying and wanting to understand what they’re going through,” Jennifer Proctor said. “I know it means a lot to the seminarians.”
The Proctors were among about 30 people who attended a fellowship dinner Oct. 22 hosted by the Northeast Fort Worth Serra Club for parents of men and women in formation.
The dinner was held at the Southlake home of Mike and Lisa Arth, who also belong to the Serra Club and have a child pursuing a religious vocation. Their daughter is Sister Adelamarie of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Waukesha, Wis. The Arths are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Keller.
The Northeast Fort Worth (NEFW) Serra Club is one of three in the Diocese of Fort Worth. The other clubs are in Fort Worth and Arlington. The Diocese of Dallas has four Serra Clubs. The seven groups join together to host the annual Vocational Awareness Program, a June retreat at the University of Dallas for young men and women considering religious vocations. The clubs also find multiple ways to encourage priests and the religious, like sending gift baskets and encouraging cards.
The Serra Club started in 1935 in Seattle and now has more than 10,000 members worldwide.
Mary Elwood, NEFW Serra Club President, said the event was the first fellowship dinner their club held to support parents of those pursuing religious vocations.
“We’re considering making this part of our ministry,” Elwood said.
The dinner gave parents the opportunity to share their joys and challenges with one another and with club members who have made a commitment to pray for those in religious vocations.
John and Cheryl Corpany, parishioners at Good Shepherd Church in Colleyville, talked to the group about their journey with their daughter AnnElise, now Sister Mary Avila with the Dominican Sisters of Mary in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Cheryl Corpany said that AnnElise showed an interest in religious life at an early age, like dressing up as a Dominican nun for career day in third grade at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School.
Letting go can be difficult, they said. Although they get to see their daughter just a few times a year, they see how God is at work in her.
John Corpany said, “It was not easy, and we still miss her every day, but there’s a blessing of knowing what an impact she’s having. You hope your child lives the dream they have for their life, and this is her dream.”
Joe and Sue Marincel, parishioners at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Lewisville, said they appreciated hearing the stories from other parents. Their oldest daughter, Sister Maria Bernadette, is in a Franciscan convent in England, and son Michael is his second year of seminary for the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Sue Marincel said, “It’s nice for me to hear the stories from the other parents and know that our kids are in a good place.”
The evening ended in praying the Rosary because prayer is an ongoing commitment of the Serrans.
Danny Apodaca, vice president of communications, said, “We support vocations because without them we wouldn’t have a Church.”
The NEFW Serra Club would welcome new members, said Larry West, vice president for membership. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at St. Francis of Assisi in Grapevine. For more information, email West: .