DUNMORE – As he weighs many important decisions in his life, Antonio Ingargiola says the idea of becoming a priest has crossed his mind on more than one occasion.

“I have definitely thought about seminary and going into the priesthood,” he said. “I still feel like I have a lot more discernment, prayer and reflection to do, but I feel very strongly towards it.”

Ingargiola, a parishioner of Saints Anthony and Rocco Parish in Dunmore, was one of 30 high school students who attended Quo Vadis Days from June 26-28 at Marywood University. Twenty-one of the students this year, including Ingargiola, were attending Quo Vadis Days for the first time.

“It’s very empowering because I feel like for other young men who might be discerning priesthood, sometimes you can almost feel alone, you can feel like you’re alone in this vast city,” he added. “But coming to things like this, you realize you’re not alone. There are other young men who are also discerning the same position as you, which is really nice to know and comforting to know.”

Each summer, the Diocesan Office of Vocations holds its Quo Vadis Days retreat to help young men explore vocational opportunities and ask the question about where God is calling them. In Latin, “Quo Vadis” means, “Where are you going?”

“It is a time of prayer, fun, community building and fellowship,” Father Alex Roche, Diocesan Director of Vocations and Seminarians, said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to realize that priests, bishops and seminarians are human beings just like them, men who have gone through all the same ups-and-downs of life and who were teenagers themselves once. It gives them the opportunity to experience the priesthood in a new way and discover, maybe, if God is calling them in that direction.”

Throughout the three days, speakers visit to talk not only about the priesthood but also about many other topics including religious life, marriage and dating. The young men grow in their faith by participating in Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. They also have plenty of free time to play sports, pool, foosball, capture the flag and more.

“I loved Holy Hour. I loved it. It was so beautiful,” Joaquin Sierra, a participant from the Church of Saint John in East Stroudsburg, said.

Sierra said he made several new friends attending Quo Vadis Days this summer and loved the fact that many of the priests and seminarians took the time to get to know each person individually.

“They really want to get to know you,” he explained.

Reflecting on his time at Quo Vadis Days, Sierra added he is considering speaking about his experience when he gets back to his parish in the Poconos.

“I think I’ll definitely be more thoughtful in everything that I do at home,” Sierra stated.

That is exactly what Father Roche is hoping that participants take away from their time together.

“I hope what they take away is a new passion for their faith, a new experience of Jesus Christ and the desire to carry whatever they receive here back into their parishes so that they can continue to grow with everything they’ve experienced here throughout the whole year,” Father Roche said.

Having just been ordained a Transitional Deacon for the Diocese of Scranton, Rev. Mr. William Asinari felt many of this year’s Quo Vadis Days participants were very receptive to listening to God’s voice as they discern vocational opportunities.

“God loves them and made each of them for a purpose,” Deacon Asinari said. “No matter what it is, it is going to be amazing and God will fulfill everything in them through what He calls out of them.”