Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Annual Serran Event Honors Priests And Their Work

Published February 22, 2007

More than 200 attended this year’s annual Shepherd’s Night dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta. 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.

The gala event featured an elegant dinner and a vocal performance by Annie Karto, a Catholic singer and songwriter from Florida, who has won awards for her work and is featured on the Eternal Word Television Network. One of the songs she performed, “You Are a Priest Forever,” was written specifically to encourage those serving in the priesthood.

Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue filled in as speaker for Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who was unable to attend due to illness. Archbishop Donoghue said that he had learned of his speaking duties just prior to the event, saying “these young bishops,” and earning a laugh from the audience. He noted that this was the 14th year of Shepherd’s Night in Atlanta, “celebrating our life as priests together.” He expressed his gratitude to the Serrans for their work, noting in particular that their marriages are an inspiration to the priests, in “how much you love each other and serve each other.” He said, “You realize even better than we do how important the priesthood is.” Archbishop Donoghue asserted that with “God’s grace we will continue to (serve) for many years.”

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.