Local Catholic tapped to lead Serra International as president

September 12, 2023

Kurt Metyko gives his acceptance speech as newly installed Serra International President. (Photo courtesy of the SERRA Club)

HOUSTON — Kurt Metyko, a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Houston, traveled to Thailand in June, where he was installed as president of Serra International at the 80th Serra International Convention to increase vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Metyko, whose father Frank Metyko became Serra International president in 1977, said, “I was exposed to Serra by my father, who became a Serran about 1945. When I was in high school, he would take me to some of the weekly Serran Friday lunches at the Rice Hotel. When I came home from the Army in 1968, I joined Serra.”

Other local fellow Serrans who accompanied Metyko to Thailand included Ed and Candice Tyrrell, the latter who serves on the Serra U.S. Council along with Margo Geddie and Robert Anderson.

Serra International is a Catholic lay organization founded in 1935 in Seattle, Washington. It chose Father Junipero Serra, a frontier missionary and saint, as their patron. It was then incorporated by the Vatican Dicastery for the Clergy in 1951.

There are now 500 Serra Clubs in 30 countries with more than 12,000 members worldwide. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has seven Serra Clubs, with Metyko a member of the oldest of these, the Serra Club of Houston, which was chartered in 1942.

“The president meets by Zoom weekly with the executive director in the Chicago office and runs the board of trustees meetings and the executive committee meetings,” Metyko said. “My schedule already includes trips to Canada, to Mexico and to Brazil. I will also be traveling to Germany and France to discuss expansion in those countries.”

He reiterated Serra’s objectives and purposes are to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood in the Catholic Church and to support priests in their sacred ministry.

Second, Serra members encourage and affirm vocations to consecrated religious life in the Catholic Church and assist its members to recognize and respond in their own lives to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

Metyko, a civil engineer by trade, has held Serra club, district and U.S. council positions, culminating with the 2011 presidency of Serra’s National Council for the U.S. He also served as a member and past chairman of the St. Mary’s Seminary Advisory Board and has served since 1997 on the Board of the Shalom Center in Splendora, a counseling center for Catholic priests and religious.

In his local parish, he serves on the vocations committee for Holy Rosary Church.

Also attending the Serra International Convention this summer, Francis Cardinal Kovithavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok, and Charles Cardinal Bo of Myanmar, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference.

Conference discussions concerned conversion from Buddhism to Catholicism, vocations through media, youth in Serra and the role of parents in their child’s vocation choices.