by Father Dan Morris
his past December, 54 men attended our annual “Quo Vadis” retreat.
Held just before Christmas, “Quo Vadis” is our most important discernment event of the year.
This weekend retreat affords serious discerners the opportunity to experience a preached theme, and quality time with our seminarians and priests, including the chance to meet and hear from Archbishop Naumann. And since “all pray and no play” makes for a dull retreat, also included was a visit to the Community of the Lamb for Mass and lunch, and, later that evening, bowling.
As you can see, a lot of time, energy and resources go into planning and hosting this retreat. Which is why, when we had more than double the men sign up than in previous years, our only option was to find creative ways to stretch the resources and budget that was allocated.
Because, as vocation director, having to turn away men who were open to responding to God’s call was NOT an option!
Enter into the picture . . . the Serrans. Inspired by the life and mission of St. Junipero Serra, the Serrans are a Catholic lay organization whose mission is to foster and support vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life.
Currently three regional chapters in our archdiocese carry out this mission in ways both big and small. This includes, but is not limited to, helping with Fifth-grade Vocation Day, Runnin’ Revs, and hosting events to recognize and support our seminarians, clergy and religious.
When it comes to supporting vocations, the generosity of the Serrans is truly a love without end.
Which is why, upon making our appeal for assistance, one Serran summed up their willingness to do whatever it takes by saying, “Absolutely, Father! We want these men to know that we’ve got their backs!”
So, from providing the financial support ensuring that every man still received discernment tools such as a prayer journal and book, to making enough treats to last us throughout the weekend — the generosity and efforts of the Serrans was in no small way what made this year’s “Quo Vadis” one of the best ever. These efforts did not go unnoticed nor unappreciated by the retreatants.
In a highly personal and powerful way, each of the men experienced firsthand just how real and beautiful the Bride of Christ can be.
Likewise, Serrans got to meet some of the many faces that comprise the fruit of their life’s work and mission, some of whom may one day find themselves called to return the favor, in laying down their lives to serve this beautiful Bride as a Catholic priest!
For more information about becoming a Serran, contact the vocation office at (913) 647-0303.