1/13/2011 8:11:00 AM Annual camp helps young men know God
Quo Vadis Days photo
Campers at last summer's Quo Vadis Days camp, a time to learn about priesthood.
An annual three-day summer camp in southern Oregon gives young men a sense of where God is calling them. Camp organizers make sure the youths keep priesthood as one of the options.
Quo Vadis Days was started in the Jubilee Year 2000 by Msgr. John Cihak as a response to Pope John Paul’s request that the church begin “The New Evangelization.”
“Quo Vadis” is the Latin phrase for “Where are you going?” Legend says that St. Peter asked Jesus this question on the outskirts of Rome.
“We can’t have a New Evangelization without a new generation of priests who will be heralds of the gospel, heralds of the message of truth and love to the world,” Msgr. Cihak says.
Two priests of the archdiocese, Fathers Theodore Lange and Ron Nelson, are running this year’s camp and have been part of it in the past.
“I think, for true discernment, it is important to point out, right at the beginning that God loves you,” Father Nelson told campers during the 2007 session. “He wants the optimal good for you. He wants what is best for you; he made you.”
Father Nelson tells the young men that every life has hard days, “but if you follow the call God has for you, you will be most fulfilled and most happy.”
Other talks have examined priesthood as viewed in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and discussed virtue, sacraments and prayer as a three part “spiritual weapon system.”
Quo Vadis Days has spread to the Archdiocese of Seattle, the Diocese of Spokane and the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa.
“Quo Vadis Days is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had,” says a 19-year-old camper who has attended Quo Vadis Days in southern Oregon for five years. “Quo Vadis Days has helped me to realize that God has a plan for my life, even when I don’t realize it.”
The website www.qvdays.org includes articles about young men who have embraced priesthood, including a professional soccer player turned seminarian. The website is also the only place to register for the 2011 camp.
In past years, a bus has made the trip from Portland.