By: Joe Farrell
Joe has just finished his first year at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He is assigned to St. James Parish, Falls Church, this summer and will be returning to St. Charles in late August in the Pre-Theology II class.
Eighty high-school young men spent a week experiencing a lifestyle of which few of their peers can claim insider knowledge: that of a seminarian. They were participants in the fourth-annual Quo Vadis Days Camp. The aim of the program, sponsored by the Office of Vocations of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, is to raise awareness in high-school students about the various vocations to which God may be calling them. Coming from across the Diocese of Arlington, they spent five days living together at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
As a community, the young men prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, participated in Mass and attended various Eucharistic Holy Hours and devotions. They also had access to Confession and spiritual direction. Additionally, they had the opportunity listen to and interact with many priests, seminarians and married persons in order to become familiar with different vocations, so that someday they will discover and embrace their own.
Of course, there was also ample time for many spirited tournaments ranging from flag football and basketball to chess and pool. The culmination of the competitions came in the Seminarians vs. Participants softball game. After suffering a defeat at the Quo Vadis Winter Basketball Championship, the seminarians exacted revenge, defeating their younger rivals by eleven runs.
The success of the camp’s mission was perhaps best summed up by one of the participants: “Before coming I had a very different view of seminarians. It turns out that they’re all normal guys after all!”
Be sure to check back to www.arlingtondiocese.org for more information about next year’s Quo Vadis Camp. Or, if you know a young woman who may benefit from a retreat, encourage her to register for FIAT days.