By MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Executive Editor | Published March 3, 2005
The annual Shepherd’s Night dinner was held Tuesday, Feb. 1, at St. Joseph Church, Marietta. The event, which honors the work of archdiocesan and religious order priests who serve the archdiocese, is hosted each year by the Serrans, members of the lay organization that supports vocations to priesthood and Religious life. More than 200 attended the gala event, which was held in St. Joseph’s Marist Hall.
Father Paul Berny, pastor of the church, welcomed the priests of the archdiocese and Serra Club members to the festive event, noting that the parish is the “mother church of Cobb County,” as it was the nucleus for the many Catholic churches there, and giving a mini-history of the growth of the church in the county.
The night, though, was a night to “honor the shepherds and those who support the shepherds,” he said. He thanked the Serrans for their continuing support of the priests and their ministry.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, attending the event for the first time, addressed the crowd, “Tonight is a time for us to thank those who serve this archdiocese.” He spoke of his long association with Serra Clubs International throughout the years of his priesthood, remembering the devotion of the members and their “warm and affectionate support for the priests.”
As part of the Shepherd’s Night festivities, Dr. Patricia Carden was recognized as the “Serran of the Year,” not only for her efforts in promoting and affirming vocations in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, but also for her work at the national level. She currently serves as the director for Serra Region 14, which includes the states of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. She worked to develop and implement a list of programs to help the spiritual development of the Serra members across the nation. Carden is also one of the chairpersons for the 2007 International Serra Convention, which will be held in Atlanta.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has four Serra Clubs in the metropolitan area, including the Metro Club, the North Metro Club, the Northeast Metro Club and the newly formed Serra Club of Northwest Atlanta. Originally started in 1935 in Seattle, the international organization remains “dedicated to spiritual growth, continuing Catholic adult education, warm fellowship, and the encouragement of Church vocations.” Today, more than 700 Serra clubs in 36 countries have been established with a total membership of more than 19,000 men, women and permanent deacons.
For more information about the Serra Clubs in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, visit serraatlanta.org.