This summer Michael Marshall and I both returned to Camp Wojtyla, a Catholic outdoor adventure program near Boulder, Colorado. This program, in the spirit of Pope Saint John Paul II, seeks to take middle and high school students into the wilderness to experience authentic adventures like mountain climbing, white water rafting, and rock climbing. Through these experiences these young men and women are led into a deeper faith, according to the words of our Lord in Scripture: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
As many of these outdoor experiences can teach us, community life is absolutely essential to the Christian life. Without community we cannot be prepared to backpack the often-dangerous way to the top of a mountain, and in a similar way, we cannot make the often-treacherous climb to heaven on our own. To live this truth out as a witness to the campers, thirty-four college students and young adults lived together for the entire nine-week summer. But it was only after we as a staff could live in friendship together in Christ that we were able to guide the campers into communal life themselves.
As Holy Cross seminarians, this way of service is both natural and life-giving because it is in many ways similar to religious life. Just as community was necessary for our service at Camp Wojtyla this summer, in an even deeper way, community life is a foundation for our apostolic zeal. Young men are invited to join in a way of life, and a religious family at Moreau Seminary and Old College, which fosters their growth in prayer, service, and academics so as to hear the call of the Lord.
Holy Cross seeks first to build community within itself, amongst fellow religious, and then goes out to bring Christ to others through community. The importance that Holy Cross places on community is visible in its apostolates. When we serve, we help build community. One fantastic example of this is the dorm life often found at Holy Cross schools.
As Catholics, we are all called to live in community. We are all called to share our lives with one another as we go on our journey towards Christ. For as the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross urge us, “We found many footprints on the road. A great band of men had passed this way, men who had made and lived by their vows, men who had walked side by side in their following of the Lord. They beckoned us to fall in step with them. We wanted to be part of the family they formed in order to share in their life and work.”
Watch a video of Camp Wojtyla, featuring our own Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., and seminarian Michael Marshall!
Mr. Joseph Krivos is a Postulant at Moreau Seminary, after having spent three years at Old College. Joe is entering his senior year at Notre Dame where he majors in Philosophy and Theology. He is from North Olmsted, Ohio.