Celebrate vocations at annual gala

Barb Arland-Fye
Father Robert Harness chats with Sister of Mercy Rose Mary Kucera and Sisters Marie Vittetoe and Kathleen Tomlonovic of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary during the St. Serra Club of Davenport’s “Thanksgiving” gala at the Outing Club in Davenport on Nov. 10, 2017.


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Each year, St. Serra Club of Davenport organizes a Vocations Appreciation Gala to recognize priests, women and men religious, deacons and their wives. It’s also an opportunity for others to interact with them and learn more about the different vocations of the church.

“Our priests, sisters and deacons devote so much of themselves and their time to our diocese, without always being recognized,” said Bill McAfoos, vice president of membership for St. Serra Club of Davenport. “It is wonderful to provide them with a relaxing evening without asking them to do anything.”

This year’s gala will take place Nov. 16 at The Outing Club in Davenport. Bishop Thomas Zinkula will celebrate Mass at 5:30 p.m., and a social and dinner will follow.


During the dinner, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the Davenport Diocese and St. Ambrose University from Father George McDaniel, a professor emeritus of St. Ambrose, historian and retired priest of the Davenport Diocese.

McAfoos said visiting with the priests, women religious and deacons in an informal setting is enjoyable, especially those who have retired or moved away from the immediate area. He cherishes the moments he spent in previous galas with persons in consecrated vocations who have since passed away.

Colleen Darland, vocations assistant, said she loves watching the tables as lay people, women religious and clergy mingle and talk with each other. “You don’t get to see that very often,” she said.

“The St. Serra Club would like to encourage all Catholics in our diocese to consider attending this event,” McAfoos said.

Register for the gala by Nov. 1 by calling Darland at (563) 888-4378. Cost to attend the dinner is $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10. Guests may choose to sponsor a vocation by making extra donations in $50 increments. Clergy and religious are invited to attend free of charge.

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