SJCS seminarians are looking forward to the Diocese of Charlotte’s sixth annual Quo Vadis Days, June 11 – 15. Many of them attended Quo Vadis Days before entering college seminary and are eager to assist other young men pondering God’s plan for their lives.
The 5-day summer camp on the campus of Belmont Abbey College provides an opportunity for young men to consider the question, Quo Vadis?, Latin for “Where are you going?”
According to tradition, when St. Peter was fleeing Rome for fear of being crucified, he had a vision in which he encountered Christ, carrying his cross and headed in the opposite direction. Paul asked him, “Domine, quo vadis?” (“Lord, where are you going?”), to which Jesus responded, “Romam eo iterum crucifigi.” (“I am going to Rome to be crucified again.”) Thus, Peter gained the courage to return to Rome and face his martyrdom.
As Christians, God calls each of us into his service in a unique and special way – each of us has a vocation. For some, it’s marriage, for others, the single life, and for still others, the priesthood or religious life. Quo Vadis Days focuses on helping young men discern their own vocations, with an emphasis on seeking God’s will and maintaining an open heart to the vocation of the priesthood.
Quo Vadis Days bore remarkable fruit in its first five years. The growth of our seminary bears witness to its efficacy – 15 of our 16 current seminarians once attended Quo Vadis Days.
First year college seminarian Noé Sifuentes was in first grade when he first told his mother he was going to be a priest. However, he forgot about that desire until he attended his first Quo Vadis Days camp. He shared, “[Quo Vadis Days] really put the interest in me to be a priest. I saw what a wonderful vocation this is and what priests really do.”
Christian Goduti, also a first-year college seminarian, attended Quo Vadis Days his junior year of high school at the suggestion of his pastor. “I saw the joy and the fraternity amongst the priests,” Christian said. “It attracted me, so I just started praying about it.” He added, “The vocation came about rather quickly, but I’m glad I received the grace to say yes.”
Quo Vadis Days combines prayer, Mass, reflection, engaging speakers, and Eucharistic adoration with recreation and community. Participants have the opportunity to meet other young men who are seeking God’s will in their lives, and to speak with priests and seminarians who have followed God’s call in a very special way.
“Our seminarians play a central role in Quo Vadis Days,” said Fr. Jason Barone, Vocations Promoter for St. Joseph College Seminary. “They lead small groups and answer questions such as, ‘What was your discernment process like?’ ‘What is seminary like?’ ‘Do you like it?’ and ‘What are the difficulties?’ Hearing the perspective of an 18 or 19-year-old seminarian close to their age can be really helpful.”
Please keep our seminarians and all of the young men attending this year’s retreat in your prayers!
To learn more, and to register, visit the Diocese of Charlotte website.