The words Quo Vadis (i.e. where are you going?) have constantly stirred a burning desire in my heart since I first came across them nine years ago. I ask myself that every morning: “Dan, where are you going today?” If discernment is a daily endeavor, then it requires a daily “yes” to our Lord. In John 13, St. Peter asked our Lord, “Where are you going?” My question was more like, “Lord, where are you leading
me?” or in other words, “Lord, where are we going?” The Lord has asked me to join him on this journey of faith, and when he asks me, “Dan, where are you going?”, I respond, “Wherever you’re going, Lord”. At this point, God-willing, He is leading me to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where I am slated to be ordained with eight great men to the transitional diaconate on May 21.
In the summer of 2013, I participated in the first Quo Vadis Days at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. Quo Vadis Days has helped many young men discern God’s will for their life. While we would love for every young man to walk away with a desire to enter seminary, what we want more than anything else is for them to grow in love and understanding of how to follow Christ Jesus and His Church. After my experience, it was clear that our Lord wanted me to enter the seminary. I had no idea that “The Mount” would become my future home where I’d train to serve Christ’s flock as a priest.
I had a very powerful experience at that first Quo Vadis. My favorite aspect of those days was the fraternity I shared with my future diocesan brothers, most of whom are now priests. That was probably the most powerful moment of Quo Vadis for me: God gifting me with diocesan brothers to accompany me on the spiritual journey. They gave me excellent advice that helped me on my own discernment journey, especially the essential component of being patient with oneself! We are often much harder on ourselves than God is with us. Discernment takes one step at a time, one day at a time. When we fall, we get back up and run straight to God, Who gives us the grace to move forward. It was at those same Quo Vadis Days that I prayed my first Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. Of course I lasted about ten minutes before entering into the “Gethsemane Prayer of St. Peter”! But it was a powerful moment where I learned that one hears the voice of God in the silence of prayer.
It is my hope that Quo Vadis Days continues to have a powerful effect on the young men of this archdiocese as it had on me. I encourage any young man who might be reading this to be bold and to seriously consider attending Quo Vadis Days, just so you can hear Jesus ask you the same question He asked me back in 2013: Where are we going?
Dan Acquard is in 3rd Theology at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD and, please God, will be ordained a deacon on May 21, 2022. Dan’s home parish is St. Francis of Assisi in Fulton. Please pray for Dan!