A young man prays with his rosary June 25 during the evening’s Holy Hour. Photographs by Jessica L. Marsala.

Vocatio Dei Camp draws 65 boys from around diocese

Originally Appeared in : 9914-7/4/19

CLAXTON--At this year’s Vocatio Dei vocation camp, more than 65 young men of 7th through 12th grade age were encouraged to grow strong in their faith, this year’s theme.

“This year it’s unshakable, and on our logo and on the kid’s t-shirts, you can see a scene of several mountains, so what we’re emphasizing this year is that not only is God unshakeable but he can be a firm foundation for us, for our faith,” Vocations Director Father Pablo Migone said, explaining the theme. “He is somebody that we can truly put our faith in and put a trust in because he is unshakable; we will not be disappointed when we place our trust in him. So he calls us to have an unshakeable faith in him.”
Over the course of three days, June 26-29, these youth from parishes throughout the diocese listened to seminarians, priests and laity talk about their own faith journeys and vocations; played intense games like capture the flag, which seminarian Kevin Braski says encourage a comparable spiritual mentality of getting back up after falling or failing; and learned about the importance of the sacraments in having an unshakeable faith.
In the camp’s opening talk, an introduction to the year’s theme, Braski said that he had described a scenario in which a mother soothes her curious son who, despite her warnings, tries to investigate the glowing red circles on a hot stove.
“That’s kind of how I likened the Church in a way and kind of how we should interact where there is a love of proclaiming the truth and sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to say in a time where everyone’s kind of confused, doesn’t know what’s going on,” Braski, who is studying pre-theology at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana, said. “But it is the thing that’ll help us and help us become closer to God and will also help us in our day to day lives to just be better.”
Father Migone said this theme is particularly relevant for the current generation of youth who are pushed and pulled in different directions to the many ways of thinking and living that are expressed to them through technology and by their own peers.
 “Especially today the kids, the young people, are looking for something greater,” Father Migone said. “They’re looking for something to kind of direct their passion, their interest, in something that will give them a strong foundation. And some of the young people that come here: They come from all kinds of different families. So we do have some young people that are truly seeking for some answers, seeking some healing, seeking to make sense of difficult situations. So we thought that this theme would be something that would help with that need.”
Camper Tristan Granke, 12, a parishioner from St. Joseph Church in Augusta, recognized Jesus’ role in making Catholics unshakeable.
“I mean he showed (us) unshakable. He was proud. He wasn't able to be shaken,” he said. “Why can't we unshakeable?”
Tim Williams contributed to this story.
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