With the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) soon coming to a close, it is good to reflect on how our donations throughout the year have benefited many people throughout the Diocese. One ministry funded by the ACA that has an impact on not only those involved but the Diocese as a whole is the Quo Vadis Days (QVD) camp held for high school young men. The camp helps young men discern their calling in life, especially the possibility of a calling to the priesthood.
The 2014 Quo Vadis was held August 4th-6th at Camp Koinonia near Cle Elum. This camp has impacted the Diocese by helping some of our seminarians decide to follow a calling to the priesthood. Two such seminarians are Luis Fernando Trujillo and Michael Kelly, both of whom are studying at Mount Angel Seminary.
Luis Fernando Trujillo attended Quo Vadis in 2012 at the invitation of Fr. Alex Trejo. Luis had shared his thoughts about a possible vocation, and Fr. Alex suggested the camp as a means to help him discern.
Luis feels that the camp did help him in his discernment process saying, “I am so thankful to Fr. Alex for inviting me to this retreat because it was exactly what I needed. You can say it was like the last push before I was brave enough to contact Fr. Felipe Pulido [the vocation director for the Diocese of Yakima] and fill out the information necessary for application.” He found it helpful to hear the testimony of the priests there and to see their love for the priesthood. When asked why he would like to be a priest, Luis answered, “I believe even though I am still in the discernment process that it is not me who wants to become a priest but Jesus himself who has this vocation for me. I am being as brave as I can and am strengthened by the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass, the community, and in a special way, the prayers of the people of our diocese.”
Michael Kelly attended the Quo Vadis camp three years in a row, from 2011-2013 after being encouraged by his pastor, Msgr. Perron Auve. Michael explained that by going to the camp, he learned about the three vocations that people are called to (religious, married, or single) and also had the opportunity to grow deeper in his faith. The camp helped him to discern his vocation because it gave him the opportunity to learn what a priest does in both his public ministry and his private life. Michael stated, “QVDs helped me discern my vocation by not only giving me the knowledge of what all being called to be a priest really meant, but it also placed shining examples of heroic men of God, heroic successors to the apostles, in the foreground of my vision. I got to watch priests and seminarians be themselves; and I got to see how them being themselves worked in tandem with them being the hands and feet of Christ.” Seeing the priests and seminarians in a personal setting allowed him to realize that all types of men are called to the priesthood in order to serve the diverse needs of the people of God. Michael would like to encourage other young men to consider the priesthood because “the priesthood isn’t something esoteric, meant for only certain kinds of guys, but rather, it is something that needs good strong men of all shapes, sizes, passions, and backgrounds.”
Thank you to the young men who are open to hearing God’s call to the priesthood. Thank you also the many people throughout the Diocese of Yakima who support the Annual Catholic Appeal and the many additional supporters for the Quo Vadis Days Camp. Your contributions make a meaningful difference in the ministries provided throughout the Diocese.