CFJ Quo Vadis Retreat: Putting the Faith in ‘A Leap of Faith’


Liam Furlong, Editor-in-Chief

On October 2, the briiing of last bell didn’t merely signify the end of the day. For eighteen Salesianum sophomores, the day was just beginning. This last-period alert invited the sophomores down to the Center for Faith and Justice, where they would soon be gliding down the road to Camden, not knowing what the 2018 Quo Vadis retreat had in store for them. Twenty-four hours later, and these elite eighteen arrived back at Sallies, smiles all the while, as they came back from what they described as “eye-opening,” and “a bond through the brotherhood.” 

Going into such an inspiring retreat, the sophomores had no idea of what this event actually was. From the moment Father Zumbrum delivered the news to the class of 2021 early in September, a flood of questions spilled out through the sophomores, all asking what exactly did the Quo Vadis retreat entail, and just as importantly, who was going to attend. “Honestly, the main reason why I did it was to find out exactly what it was,” commented sophomore Matthew Deckers. “The email that the CFJ sent out said that it was ‘strongly recommended,’ so between that and the fact my brother went to many of the service retreats, I decided to sign up and see what it was all about, and I’m really happy that I did!” Fellow sophomore Connor Flynn added, “It was really something that you had to just take a risk and trust the process.” Clearly, attending the Quo Vadis retreat payed off in spades, and the brave few who decided to take a leap of faith couldn’t have reviewed the experience higher.

For the rest of the curious sophomore class, the lingering question remains at “What took place in Camden?” The only answer available now is that it’s a secret. This journalist is certain that more than a handful of students have tried to pry details from their adventurous peers, but the Center for Faith and Justice has sworn them to secrecy, as to not spoil the surprise for the next wave of Quo Vadis questers. “We focused on a lot of big-picture questions in our group discussions, but also had a lot of fun with the activities,” remarked Javier Lorenzo. “The beginning of sophomore year can be a really stressful point in a lot of students’ lives, what with starting to look at colleges and getting together a resumé, so this retreat was really a great way to acknowledge what you’re stressed about, and try to live in the present moment.” Advice to live by, Javier!

The Quo Vadis retreat was a spiritual way to strengthen bonds and spark new ones between the brothers of 18th and Broom. Those who attended couldn’t have better things to say, and they strongly encourage the remaining sophomores to take a leap of faith, get ready to develop a sense of community and service, and as Connor Flynn put it, “trust the process.”