Campers kneel and pray before the monstrance during Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel. Photographs by Sarah Routh.

Call to Holiness Camp draws 70 girls from around diocese

Originally Appeared in : 9914-7/4/19
Every summer, girls in grades 7-12 gather from around the Diocese of Savannah for Call to Holiness Summer Camp. This year’s camp took place June 23-26 at Georgia Primitive Baptist Camp in Claxton. In attendance were 70 campers, 20 counselors, three religious sisters, and numerous diocesan priests and seminarians. Sister Rita, Sister Celine, and Sister Sarah Elizabeth of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters traveled over 18 hours from the Immaculata Monastery & Spirituality Center in Nebraska to serve at camp.
Parishes represented included: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah; Christ the King, Pine Mountain; Immaculate Conception, Dublin; Most Holy Trinity, Augusta; Our Lady of Lourdes, Columbus; Our Lady of Lourdes, Port Wentworth; Our Lady Star of the Sea, St. Marys; Sacred Heart, Savannah; Sacred Heart, Warner Robins; St. Anne, Columbus; St. Anne, Richmond Hill; St. Boniface, Springfield; St. Frances Cabrini, Savannah; St. Francis Xavier, Brunswick; St. James, Savannah; St. Joseph, Augusta; St. Juliana, Fort Valley; St. Mary, Americus; St. Mary on the Hill, Augusta; St. Teresa, Albany; St. Teresa of Avila, Grovetown; and St. William, St. Simons Island.
This year was Nicole Maniccia’s eighth year serving as the Camp Director for Call to Holiness.
“Vocation camp has always been important to me . . . When I was 12 years old and had the opportunity to go to camp, I had a blast, but more importantly I had an encounter with God,” Maniccia said. “Vocation camp was where I learned the Salve Regina, went to adoration for the first time, and learned that God had a plan for me. As an adult I feel called to help create the space for girls to explore their faith and their vocation in a serious way, and bonus, the counselors and I often joke that camp is even more fun as an adult.”
Campers arrived on Sunday and celebrated Mass with Father Pablo Migone, Diocesan Director of Vocations. After playing Earth Ball, a camp staple, the girls listened to a talk, and experienced adoration in the Chapel. In the following days, the campers celebrated Mass first thing in the morning, played games, prayed, went to confession, and listened to talks by the religious sisters and camp counselors on topics including vocation discernment, marriage, how to pray, how to love yourself and treat your body as a temple, and following God’s will.
Call to Holiness Camp has a special place in the heart of current campers and past campers turned counselors.
“Vocation camp is such a beautiful week to really grow and reconnect with your relationship with Christ,” said Allison Behrend, veteran camper. “It’s one of the best camps ever.”
“Every year when I come to camp, I fall more in love with it. For years I came as a camper and I will keep coming back for many years to come,” said Ania Hatfield, camp counselor and former camp attendee from St. Joseph Church in Augusta. “It has been an instrument of peace in my life and helped me to grow closer to the Lord. . . I love to see each of the girls start to find themselves through this camp.”
Sarah Routh is a frequent freelance contributor to the Southern Cross and has served as a camp counselor over the years. She and her husband, Lehman, are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin.
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