by Kyle Ratuiste, for the Inland Register
(From the June 21, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)
A group photo from Quo Vadis Days 2011, which hosted 98 participants from the dioceses of Spokane, Yakima, Boise, and Baker. (IR photo courtesy of Kyle Ratuiste)
Five years ago, a group of Spokane seminarians was scrambling to organize the diocese’s first-ever Quo Vadis Days, a four-day camp experience that allows young men a unique opportunity to grow in their faith and delve into the meaning of the priesthood. Today, after experiencing a steady increase in attendance with each year, the diocese is preparing for its fifth annual Quo Vadis Days camp.
The Latin phrase quo vadis literally means “Where are you going?” and it is a fitting title to an event that prompts young men to ask this fundamental question of their path in life. Ultimately, it is a question of seeking their vocation. Quo Vadis Days specifically addresses the possibility of being called to the diocesan priesthood.
The event itself strikes an effective balance between the activity of a summer camp and the calm of a retreat. The day is structured to include Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic Adoration, and time for personal reflection and spiritual direction. Priest speakers come in to provide a series of dynamic and informative talks. Ample time is also devoted to activities and sports for recreation and fellowship.
Scores of young men have participated in the Quo Vadis Days camps, and they have left with a deeper sense of their faith, the significance of the priesthood, and camaraderie with fellow Catholic young men. Many campers eagerly return for this annual event. Since the inception of Quo Vadis Days in Spokane, four men have entered seminary formation due in part to their involvement in the camp.
Last year saw the greatest number of participants at Quo Vadis Days, with 98 campers from the Spokane, Yakima, Boise, and Baker dioceses. Close to half of the camp was comprised of participants from Yakima, prompting the Diocese of Yakima to sponsor its own Quo Vadis Days for the first time this summer. The Archdiocese of Seattle has organized a Quo Vadis Days for the past 10 years. The Quo Vadis Days program was initiated in the Portland Archdiocese 13 years ago and has spread to other diocese across the nation.
The Spokane Diocese’s Quo Vadis Days 2012 will take place July 9–12 at Ross Point Camp in Post Falls, Idaho. It is open to Catholic young men ages 13-18. More information and registration material can be found at www.qvdays.org. Registration will close June 25.
This year’s event is being supported by generous financial and logistical assistance from by the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters of America, the Serra Clubs of Spokane and the Tri-Cities, private donors, and the recently established Gary Gonzalez Memorial Fund.
(Ratuiste, a seminarian for the Spokane Diocese entering his second year of theology, is the seminarian camp coordinator for Quo Vadis Days 2012. He can be contacted at kratuiste@ dioceseofspokane.org)