Ed Lupton admits that when he gets asked about his longtime involvement in the Serra Club, he is careful to make sure there isn’t a misunderstanding.

“Sometimes they’ll ask: Is this the group of people that climb mountains? No, that’s the Sierra Club,” Lupton said with a laugh. “It’s probably been said so many times, now it’s funny.”

While one of them may be a well-known group with a mission to protect the environment, the Serra Club is a worldwide organization of Catholics whose desire to protect and promote religious vocations comes second nature to them.

Lupton’s 12-year connection to the San Buenaventura chapter of the Serra Club has led to a district governor leadership role. But it all started when he was invited to a meeting at St. John’s Seminary in nearby Camarillo.

“When we would go to Mass, have dinner, and then go to the prayer room to listen to a seminarian talk about his journey, it was a fabulous, quality way to spend an evening,” said Lupton. “We are fortunate to have the seminary in our region and get to know many of the seminarians.”

To Lupton, the Serra Club is critical in the Church because of its call to action for more priests and consecrated religious, which gives the Church a foundation for the future.

“It’s a serious time in our faith, where the entire Church finds it more difficult to get younger people involved, and young people have to be the lifeblood of the Church,” Lupton explained. “The answer is vocations. It is talked about often in Mass, asking those to help with prayers, but there often isn’t enough action. It’s our mission to foster more of that support.”

Father Sam Ward, who with Father Mike Perucho serves as a director for vocations for the archdiocese of Los Angeles, said he was first aware of the Serra Club when he attended St. John’s in the late 1990s, leading to his 2003 ordination as a priest.

“The San Buenaventura chapter members loved being there with us,” said Ward, who often speaks at regional meetings. “They’ve always been like our cheerleaders, such a beautiful ministry to promote and support vocations.”

Th above comes from a Nov. 20 story in Angelus News.