"The Call" June 2021 Edition: Quo Vadis Days
I pray that this issue of “The Call” finds you doing well during these summer months.
It has been a busy start to summer. To accommodate social distancing and the many guests of those being ordained, we have had four ordinations this spring for the Office for Vocations (two for priesthood on separate days, and two for the transitional diaconate on the same day, what Bishop McManus is calling a “spiritual double-header”), and the Office of the Diaconate also had their ordination for the permanent diaconate. We will actually have one more ordination in August, as Michael Hoye, who studies in Rome will be ordained here instead of Rome.
Last week we had the Quo Vadis Days Retreat, which you may have seen advertised in our previous issues. Because of the uncertainty of the pandemic, we co-sponsored with the Archdiocese of Boston, who has run this retreat for several years. It was such a success that we intend to host together again next year. You may be wondering what Quo Vadis Days is, so it is my hope to share with you a little about it. “Quo Vadis” is the Latin phrase for “Where are you going?” and comes from a story found in the writings of the early Church. Saint Peter was fleeing Rome during a period of persecution. He encountered Christ in a vision who was walking the opposite direction, and he asked 'Domine quo vadis ?' Christ replied that he was going to Rome to be crucified a second time.
This program originated in the Jubilee Year 2000 by Father John Cihak (who was my professor in Rome, and one of the finest priests I’ve ever met) in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon as a response to the Holy Father’s request that the Church begin “The New Evangelization.” Each diocese runs it a bit differently, but for us, Quo Vadis Days is a 4-day camp for young Catholic men to learn more about what it means to be a Christian man today, to deepen their faith, and to better discern God’s call in their lives. Because it is sponsored by vocation offices and hosted by the seminarians, young men get to interact with seminarians and learn a bit about the priesthood. However, talks reference fatherhood, marriage, and some dioceses even have a married couple come speak.
Our retreat this year had over 30 retreatants, eleven of whom were coming from our diocese. The retreat began on Thursday afternoon and ran until Sunday at noon. Each day the retreatants prayed morning and evening prayer from the liturgy of the hours. Over the course of the four days, there were several talks from seminarians, Mass each day, time for Eucharistic adoration, confessions, the rosary, and small group reflection time. Importantly, each day included lots of fun activities for team building and fraternity such as bubble soccer, wiffle ball, card games, foosball, a beach trip, and many lawn games like cornhole and spikeball. Due to the state of the pandemic when this was planned, the decision was made to host almost all events at a parish and stay at a hotel five minutes away, but we did conclude with Mass at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton. Both Bishop McManus and Cardinal Sean O’Malley came to celebrate Mass on different days during the retreat, and by the end of it, many of the teenagers spoke about the great new friends they found, their new openness to the idea of being a priest, and the consolation in knowing that they are not the only young man of high school age striving for holiness.
We are immensely grateful to the many Knights of Columbus councils and fourth degree assemblies from both the Diocese of Worcester and the Archdiocese of Boston who sent donations to keep the cost low for the retreatants.
During these summer months when seminarians are busy at parishes, I forgot to ask one to write for this issue. I am enclosing extra photos from the past several days
May God bless you and your loved ones during these relaxing summer months.
Father Donato Infante
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Father Donato Infante
on Tuesday, June 29 at 12:10PM