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Quo Vadis: Finding the Way


By Joseph Nguyen, Seminarian, Diocese of San Jose  

I recently saw a sign that said: “The most useless thing I bought in 2020 – a planner.” Most of us can probably relate to that. This year has been unpredictable, and many plans that were made are now changed. This question of planning for the future still rings true, especially for us as Catholics seeking to do God’s will, and most especially for the young who want to know where God is leading them in life –What vocation am I being called to? What college or university? What major should I pursue? We will cover these questions in our upcoming virtual Quo Vadis retreat taking place Monday, July 27th to Wednesday, July 30th, 2020  

Quo Vadis is Latin for Where are you going? It comes from a famous story about St. Peter fleeing Rome during the persecution of Nero. Making his way through the Roman streets, he suddenly met Jesus, who was walking in the opposite direction, back into Rome. Confused, St. Peter asked Jesus, “Quo Vadis? Where are you going, Lord?” Jesus replied, “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” St. Peter then had a change of heart and returned to Rome to meet his martyrdom.   

In the same way, St. Peter received the guidance on the direction he should take, the Quo Vadis retreat seeks to guide young men to begin to answer the more profound questions of faith. This retreat is specially designed for incoming 9th graders, those who just graduated high school, and everyone in between. There will be time for deep prayer – daily Mass, adoration, rosary, and Liturgy of the Hours. And there will be time for casual conversation and games.   

Three years ago, Fr. Joe Kim, then the director of vocations, asked me to help out with the first Quo Vadis retreat. Helping with that retreat as a volunteer helped me to realize my own call to the priesthood in the Diocese of San Jose. This gathering of priests, seminarians, and retreatants creates what Bishop Oscar Cantú calls “a culture of vocations.” Vocations can only grow in an environment where people grow to understand God’s call for them, how it relates to others, and when they see it modeled by others.   

If you are a young man between 9th -12th grade seeking God’s direction for your life, I invite you to join us for this unique opportunity where you will seek to answer one of the most critical questions of your life: Quo Vadis?   

If you are a priest, parishioner, or parent who knows a young man who would enjoy this retreat, encourage him to sign up!   

Register for free here or email vocations@dsj.org