One of the easiest—and most direct—ways for the faithful to take part in the overall vocation-promotion effort, the 31 Club has become a mainstay at parishes around America and, indeed, around the world.
After signing up, a member picks any date of the month—from 1 to 31—that suits them; then, they commit to go to Mass or a Holy Hour on that day each month over the following year…and to devote that Mass or prayer to an increase in vocations, and for priests and religious already serving the Church.
The 31 Club does not hold meetings, nor does it require its members to pay dues. Membership is open to all—including parishioners who are homebound and wish to offer their sufferings and prayer for that day.
The history of the 31 Club goes back to the 1970s in New Zealand. A local priest saw a need for an increase in vocations in addition to a need for support of current vocations, and asked his parishioners to pick one date in the month that did not fall on a Sunday. After choosing the date, they were to attend Mass on that date, and offer it with prayers for priests and religious serving the Church, as well as for an increase in vocations. Thus, they'd attend one extra Mass every month as an offering for vocations initiation and support.
Catholics all over the world now pray for vocations through the 31 Club program. In some cases, parishes are bringing back the program to their locale as part of a renewed effort to promote vocations.
Membership in this club requires one to sign up via a simple form and pledge to attend an extra Mass or make a Holy hour once a month. The person signing up picks any date of the month—from 1 to 31—that suits them; then, they commit to go to Mass on that day each month over the following year…and to devote that Mass to an increase in vocations, and for priests and religious already serving the Church. Club leaders use a special calendar to track the names of members and the days of the month on which they've committed to attend the extra liturgies. Signing up for the 31 Club is often facilitated via sign-up sheets at the entrances of churches and notices placed in parish bulletins.
The goal, within a given parish, is to build up enough membership to cover all 365 days of the year.
The 31 Club does not hold meetings, nor does it require its members to pay dues.
31 Club membership is open to all—including parishioners who are homebound.
PDF of a template for/example of a 31 Club monthly calendar for club leadership's planning purposes; this is from the Diocese of Wichita (KS):
Pledge form for 31 Club—from Serra Club of North Central Dallas via the Catholic Community of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Omaha, NE):
PDF of a bulletin-board advertisement for the 31 Club at St. Stanislaus Parish (Erie, PA); can be used as a good example for a one-page, easy-to-read advertisement to be placed on a church bulletin board or even in a parish bulletin:
PDF of a brochure on the 31 Club of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church (in Huntington, WV); can be used as a good example of formatting and content for 31 Clubs to be distributed within a parish:
PDF of parish bulletin from St. Charles Borromeo (OH) with a good example on page 5 (bottom left-hand corner) of a weekly bulletin update regarding a 31 Club; includes a list of people committed to attending an extra Mass that week, a prayer, and information on how to join:
Web page of the 31 Club of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church (Dallas, TX); good example of a concise, easy-to-follow web page for a 31 Club:
Web page of the 31 Club of St. John Vianney Catholic Church (Omaha, NE); good example of a concise, easy-to-follow web page for a 31 Club:
PDF of document Establishing a Culture of Vocations Within the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon featuring (on page 6) a brief overview of the 31 Club with tips on facilitating the sign-up process for parishioners—from the Archdiocese of Portland (OR):
PDF of April 2017 issue of The Serran (from Serra International); page 7 has an article which includes a mention of the 31 Club and how it can be a lead-in for people to join a parish vocation committee:
Web page from the Serra U.S. website which lists the components of The Five Star Program, of which 31 Club is part; for information on the 31 Club, just click on the 'plus sign' next to 'The 31 Club' in the middle of this page:
Link to 31 Club Kit on the Serra Store website; this kit includes items for use by 31 Club members, including cards, calendars, and vocations prayers:
PDF of parish bulletin of Blessed Sacrament Parish (Erie, PA); on page 4 (top left-hand side), you will see a weekly update for the parish's 31 Club; this is a good example of a clear, concise 31 Club update:
PDF of parish bulletin of St. Hildegard Parish (Menoken, ND); in the third column from the left, you will see a good example of a brief write-up describing the 31 Club and encouraging people to become members:
SPARK: Built by Serrans for Vocation Directors.
A service of Serra International, United States Council, in collaboration with the NCDVD.