November 21, 2017
Serra Club of San Diego East to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Chartered Nov 21, 1987. Serra was founded in 1934 in Seattle, Washington, by four men and named after Father Junipero Serra. Serra is modeled after other successful service clubs with the exception that it has a deep spirituality. Serra was always a men's organization until 1986, when at the San Diego Convention, Serra International voted to welcome women to membership. At that time there were two Serra Clubs in San Diego. The San Diego Club being the first and was chartered Sept 1964. Serra Club of North County was chartered April 1984. Neither club at that time was ready to accept women so it was decided to charter a new club with women being accepted as members. That's where I come in (Flo Murphy). Serra Club of San Diego East was chartered Nov 21, l987. John Rodee was President and Jim Carpenter was District Governor. We chartered with 25 members 6 of which were women. I'm the only one left from the original club. I guess that makes me the "last man standing”. Serra was a well kept secret until the women came along and let the "cat out of the bag”.
The 1st Board of Trustees met in Salt Lake City in 1946. They invited the Archbishop of Chicago to serve as Episcopal Advisor and suggested they desired to establish an international headquarters office to unify program planning, coordinate club activities and accelerate extension. In March 1947, such an office was opened in Chicago.
May 1951, His Holiness Pope Pius the XII aggregated Serra into the Pontifical Work for priestly vocations with its unlimited spiritual benefits. Serra is the only lay organization directly and independently so affiliated. Fifty-Four times a year the Serran is eligible to earn a plenary indulgence for himself or for the souls in purgatory. At the hour of his death he is able to earn, for himself, a plenary indulgence. All of these gifts impose an obligation, a gift back in service, in active membership.
On November 21, 1987, the Serra Club of San Diego East was chartered, at Mission San Diego de Alcala. We chartered with 25 members, both men and women. I am the only member left from that original group. We meet at the Mission, starting Mass and followed by a breakfast/meeting.
In 1992-1993 I became the First Women President of a Serra Club in San Diego. Then in 1996-1997 I became the First Women District Governor in San Diego. Msgr James O’Donahue was our Chaplain and he would love to taunt me by bowing when he saw me coming then proceed to tell anyone in earshot that I was the Governor.
I first met Father Dolan when he was a young priest and I was a younger Serran. We were a team and would to Catholic Schools and talk to the eight graders about vocations. I must have trained him well because Father Dolan is now The Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego. I’m still just Flo Murphy.
My daughter Kathleen was a member of the Serra Club of Las Vegas and one year Kathleen and I were Presidents of our Serra Clubs at the same time, a first for Serra InternationalIn. December 2000 Kathleen and I traveled to Rome to attend the Serra Great Jubilee Pilgrimage. It was special indeed to be at St. Peters with Serran's around the globe hear His Holiness Pope John Paul II address Serra International. The Episcopal Advisor was Cardinal Justin Rigali.
Being a Serra has taken me to many places that I would never had gone. I attended many of the Serra International Conventions and Conferences. New Orleans, LA. Guadalajara( Mexico), Minneapolis,Minnesota. Dallas, Texas. Kansas City Missouri. In 1988 at Father Serra’s Beautification in Rome. In 2013 in Majorica Spain for for Serra’s 300 anniversary of birth. 2015 found me in Washington. D.C. for Serra’s Canonization.
Pope John Paul II described Serra Club International as “The vocation arm of the Church.” The objectives of Serra, to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, to support our priests and religious, to grow in our own vocations, understanding of what our Church teaches and in virtue). The Serra Club is a “well kept secret” and people confuse it with another club of similar name. I like to tell people the Sierra Club is into hugging trees the Serran’s like to hug their priest. The Sierra Club is into climbing mountains, we hope to get to heaven and that’s the highest mountain we hope to climb.
We welcome new members in both clubs.