By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer
JAMISON – Hiking and fishing, a ropes course and the rosary, campfire, confession, Mass and much more are in store for high school boys between the ages of 14 and 18 who attend Quo Vadis Days May 28-31 at the Diamond Ridge Camp and Conference Center in Jamison, Central Bucks County.
“Quo Vadis” is Latin for “Where are you going?”
Sponsored by the archdiocesan Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood, the four-day camp, held Friday through Monday, will focus on the themes “Leading as Christ,” “Sacramental Love” and “Vocation.”
Designed to help young men discern a possible vocation to the priesthood or wherever else the Lord may be leading them, Quo Vadis Days provides participants practical examples of how to apply their Catholic faith to everyday life and underscores the importance and value of forming good friendships.
The camp is staffed by priests of the Archdiocese, including Father Christopher B. Rogers, director of the vocation office, and by seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.
Mass is celebrated daily. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who assists Cardinal Justin Rigali in overseeing the archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults and the Office of Catholic Education, is scheduled to celebrate the Sunday morning Mass, May 30. Afterward, he will participate in a question-and-answer session with the young men.
Brian Burman, 18, of St. David Parish in Willow Grove, Montgomery County, attended the Archdiocese’s first Quo Vadis last summer. This fall, he’ll enter St. Charles Seminary. “It was an excellent camp, a great opportunity to get to know guys my age who were thinking about possibly entering the seminary,” Burman said.
“It helped me to take that next step in my discernment and hear the Lord’s call a little bit better.”
The ropes course and its focus on team building were highlights for him. Burman has some advice for like-minded men who will attend Quo Vadis this year. “Be open to everything, especially the opportunities for prayer. Take advantage of the sacraments, especially reconciliation.”
Dan Matour, 16, a member of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Norristown, Montgomery County, and a sophomore at Roman Catholic High School for Boys in Philadelphia, has signed up for his second trip to Quo Vadis Days.
Last year’s camp “deepened my relationship with God, and I got to have fun at the same time,” he said. “I can’t wait to go to Quo Vadis II on Memorial Day weekend.”
The ropes course, daily rosary walks and pulling an all-nighter in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament were what most spiritually moved Matour. He, too, is currently discerning a call to the priesthood.
“It was great to have all the priests and seminarians there for support and to talk to. That just helped me continue my journey to the priesthood,” he said.
Ample opportunities for reconciliation and spiritual direction and an early-evening outdoor Eucharistic procession are also scheduled. On Saturday night, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be available from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the camp chapel.
Basketball, flag football, hiking and fishing are among a range of activities scheduled for the structured free time.
Camaraderie will also be buoyed as the campers gather around a bonfire.
The accommodations are anything but rugged. The young men will sleep each night in the comfort of a modern residence hall.
Campers report to the conference center at 4 p.m. Friday, May 28. Their families are invited to stay for the 4:30 p.m. Mass and barbecue that follows. All campers depart at 2 p.m. Monday, May 31.
Registration is open through Tuesday, May 11.
“We’re looking forward to our second year of Quo Vadis to build from the momentum of last year,” Father Rogers said.
It is his prayer that the Christ-centered camp will help the young men as they discern their future.
“It’s an opportunity to see the big picture in their life,” he added. “Oftentimes, it’s the big picture that brings fulfillment.”
For more information or to register, visit the web site www.heedthecall.org; call the Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood at 610-667-5778; or e-mail the director, Father Christopher B. Rogers, at email@example.com.
CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.