The Latin phrase ‘quo vadis’ literally means ‘Where are you going?’ and it is a fitting title to an event that prompts young men to reflect upon this fundamental question.
Quo Vadis is a five-day vocation discernment retreat that takes place at Belmont Abbey during the summer. It allows high-school and college-aged young men a unique opportunity to grow in their faith and delve into the meaning and mystery of the priesthood. Each year Bishop Peter J. Jugis and priests and seminarians from the Diocese of Charlotte participate in the retreat.
The event, now in its third year, strikes an effective balance between the activity of a summer camp and the quiet of a retreat. The day is structured to include Holy Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic Adoration, and time for personal reflection and interaction with diocesan priests and seminarians. There is also ample time devoted to activities and fellowship.
This camp helps young men to know Jesus more deeply and help them to discern their vocation in life while having a lot of fun with other Catholic young men. It is the perfect environment for young men to discern a call to give their life in service to the Church–while surrounded by like-minded peers as well as priests, monks, an abbot, and a bishop who are all joyfully living the life of total commitment to Christ.
In the last four years, more than 320 young men from the Diocese of Charlotte have participated in Quo Vadis Days.
For many young men, Quo Vadis is the first inquisitive step toward active priesthood discernment during the high school and college years. The spiritual fruit of the retreat is that a few will want to continue to discern, or even be quite sure that entering the seminary is what God is calling them to. In either case, the establishment of St. Joseph Minor Seminary is an immediately tangible way for them to continue on their path.
Instead of sending these interested young men away and back out into the world to discern on their own, in which their calling may be drowned out by a thousand competing voices, they will be invited to enroll at Belmont Abbey College to stay near this center of spiritual fruitfulness. Students can continue to consider the priesthood while working towards their degree in a faithful and supportive environment that is neither too religiously sheltered nor too secular. When and if the time comes, entering St. Joseph Minor Seminary is ready and waiting for them right where they are.
Quo Vadis and a Minor Seminary are the perfect pairing for helping our young men answer the call to the priesthood in an age and culture in which it is becoming increasingly hard to hear.