New Quo Vadis camps explore vocations in depth

| July 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sister Mary Joseph Evans of the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus talks with, from left, Grace Welter of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Anthony; Elizabeth Trksak, St. Paul, Ham Lake; Jasmine Quinlan, Maternity of Mary, St. Paul; and Caitlin Oglesbee, St. Agnes, St. Paul. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Quo Vadis camps launched in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis this summer to provide youth with an introduction to vocational discernment.

“This is just to raise vocation awareness and to ask the question, ‘Quo Vadis, [Latin for] where are you going?” said Father David Blume, the archdiocese’s vocations director.

The Office of Vocations started the camps to help youths ages 12-17 learn how to “intentionally discern” God’s plan for one’s life. The Quo Vadis camp model is used in other U.S. dioceses.

Brother Conrad Richardson of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace in St. Paul visits with Quo Vadis campers. Courtesy/Office of Vocations

Thirty boys attended the camp at St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul July 9-12, followed by 20 girls at the July 16-19 camp. The camps included prayer, talks from priests or religious sisters, small group discussion and recreation.

“The theme [of the camp] was sacrificial love,” said Paul DiFuccia, 17, a camp attendee and parishioner of St. Hubert in Chanhassen. “I appreciated the emphasis on what that meant, especially through the lives of the saints, not all of whom were priests, but nevertheless good, young examples of sacrificial love.”

Both camps drew youth from around the archdiocese and beyond. Attendees and sisters Anna, Cecilia and Gianna Sechser, who live in the Diocese of Duluth, said they enjoyed visiting local religious orders, playing ultimate Frisbee in the rain and getting to know the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus from New Ulm, who led the camp.

“We also got to ask [them] hundreds of questions,” said Cecilia Sechser, 17, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Pine River.

Handmaids Sister Mary Joseph, who led the camp, said it helped the girls “experience the joy and the beauty of religious life and most importantly, for them to have a time to encounter the Lord.”

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