Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Seventy-two attend diocese’s fifth annual Quo Vadis Days camp
by Kyle Ratuiste, for the Inland Register
(From the August 16, 2012 edition of the Inland Register)
Young men from throughout the diocese, as well as Idaho and California, attended this year’s Quo Vadis Days vocations camp.
It had all the trappings of a fun boys’ summer camp – soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and capture the flag; swimming and canoeing; and campfires and s’mores. However, what took place at Ross Point Camp in Post Falls, Idaho, from July 9-12 was certainly more than the average recreational summer camp. It was Spokane’s fifth annual Quo Vadis Days, attended by 72 Catholic young men from across the region to deepen their faith and learn more about discernment and the priestly vocation.
Throughout its very active four days, the camp remained centered around a solid spiritual and liturgical core, including celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, private reflection, spiritual direction, and Reconciliation. A series of talks addressed topics that included prayer and work, celibacy, Christian manhood, and the interplay between the priestly and married vocations.
The campers interacted with Bishop Blase Cupich, various priests of the diocese, and Spokane Diocese seminarians. Bishop Cupich presided over the first Mass of the camp and delivered a talk. The team of seminarians acted as organizers and small group leaders. Many priests generously made themselves available to act as presenters, discussion panelists, spiritual directors, or simply friendly visitors to the young men. Fathers Jason Hiner and Jeff Lewis, in particular, served as full-time camp chaplains. As seminarians, both chaplains had served as Quo Vadis Days coordinators for 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Bishop Cupich celebrated the first Mass, made a presentation, and interacted with participants. (IR photos courtesy of Curtis Seidel)
Having 72 campers at Spokane’s camp represents continued growth in attendance from the previous year. In past years, a significant portion of participants at Spokane’s Quo Vadis Days came from the Diocese of Yakima. This reached its highest point last year, when almost half of a camp of 98 was comprised of men from Central Washington. The Diocese of Yakima then inaugurated its first Quo Vadis Days camp this summer.
In its five-year history in Spokane, four men have entered seminary formation due in part to their involvement in Quo Vadis Days.
Ultimate Frisbee has been a camp staple from the beginning of Quo Vadis Days in Spokane. (IR photo courtesy of Curtis Seidel)
The responses of the participants themselves attest to a success that cannot be measured in numbers.
• First-year camper JohnPaul Sharkey of St. Patrick Parish in Walla Walla said, “I was able to connect with my pastor and to see old ones that had gone to different parishes, and just the praying and deepening of faith was just awesome.”
The vocations camp afforded ample time for prayer and reflection, individually and together. (IR photo courtesy of Curtis Seidel)
• Nathan Burrington of St. Mary Parish in Spokane Valley, another first-timer, described Quo Vadis as “a great balance between pray and play.”
• According to Caleb Watson, a Quo Vadis regular from St. Anthony Parish in Spokane, “First year I came: didn’t want to come. My brother dragged me here. Now I’m here five years later having a blast.”
• At 18 years old, this is the last Quo Vadis for Michael Dumais of St. Peter Parish in Spokane. “It never gets old,” he said, “the adoration, spending time with a bunch of like-minded Catholic guys. It’s awesome.”
The participants at Quo Vadis Days came from parishes in Spokane, Walla Walla, Pasco, Brewster, Colfax, Spokane Valley, Otis Orchards, Oroville, Kennewick, and Prosser, Wash.; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and Camarillo, Calif.
Organizers gratefully acknowledge that Quo Vadis Days would not as successful without the financial, logistical, and spiritual support of Knights of Columbus councils, the Serra Clubs of Spokane and the Tri-Cities, private donors, and the Gary Gonzalez Memorial Fund.
Quo Vadis Days 2013 will be coordinated by seminarian Curtis Seidel under the guidance of the new Vocation Directors for the diocese, Msgr. Kevin Codd and Father Victor Blazovich. Seidel will enter his second year of theology at Theological College in Washington, D.C this fall.
(Ratuiste, a seminarian studying for the Spokane Diocese, coordinated this year’s Quo Vadis Days.)