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Quo Vadis summer camp helps build a closer relationship with Jesus

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Edouard Guilloux attended the first Quo Vadis camp, a vocation discernment camp for high schoolers, the summer after his freshman year in 2007. A decade later, he’s back at camp with 114 high schoolers, but this time as a seminarian for the Diocese of Arlington. 

“Quo Vadis camp has been a huge part of my discernment,” said Guilloux, a third year theology seminarian at the Northern American College in Rome. “It helped me a lot in high school when I was preparing to go into seminary, and it has been a joy to come back on staff.”

The annual diocesan event brings young men from all over the diocese to the campus of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. Some come because they are discerning the priesthood and religious life while others simply desire a closer relationship with Jesus. Quo Vadis is Latin for, “where are you going,” a question the campers were encouraged to ask themselves throughout the four-day summer camp. 

Each day is a mixture of spiritual formation and fellowship. Most mornings begin with the group gathering for prayer and grace before breakfast, followed by talks by guest speakers, opportunities for private prayer during holy hour and confession. After Mass and lunch the group usually gathers for a game. Tuesday, they enjoyed an exhausting four-team version of capture the flag called “Potato salad,” a camp favorite. Other activities include various sports competitions or a friendly game of checkers or RISK in the recreation room. 

This was Christian Ceol’s first year at Quo Vadis. After only two days, he said the camp already made a huge impact on his life. 

“I have been a practicing Catholic all my life … and I’ve understood God loves me, but not really knowing why,” said Ceol. “Yesterday I was sitting in holy hour and it was just one of the best moments of my life. I got a taste of why. And from that moment on I’m starting to see God in every interaction I have, whether it is holding the door for someone or just me alone in a hallway or sitting with friends talking or making new friends. I’m happy God gave me that experience because I can prepare myself for actually being out in the real world and to know why I am choosing the faith.”

At the end of the week, camp organizers hope the young men have started to take ownership of their faith and will cultivate the friendships they made.

In the 10 years since Guilloux was a camper, he has remained friends with many of the young men from Quo Vadis. Some of them have been ordained while others are married with children. 

“Either way they have benefited a lot from opening up to God’s will for their life,” said Guilloux.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017