First Summer Vocations Camp Ends with Bishop Q&A
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 6, 2017

ROCKFORD—“Start by being generous ... to whatever Jesus calls you to,” Bishop David Malloy told 21 young campers on June 21 during the ending Mass at the Jeremiah Days Vocations Camp at Bishop Lane Retreat Center.

The bishop also encouraged the young men to continue to grow and mature, trusting that God “will give you the grace, the help” to discern their paths in life.

“Whatever you do,” he said, mentioning possible calls to marriage or to specific careers, “you have to throw yourself into it. ... Over time, think about (the options). Be generous, open your heart (and) don’t be afraid of thinking about the priesthood.”

Reflecting on what he called the “great opportunity” of the summer camp to “think about, talk about and pray about” the future, the bishop noted that such a gathering of men seeking goodness could strengthen seminarians and campers alike as they listen for God’s direction.

He said the camp’s purpose was not to advertise the priesthood, but to help them learn “how to think about how to think about” the priesthood.

After Mass, Bishop Malloy gave campers the opportunity to ask him questions.

Question volley

He began the Q&A with his own question: “What do you like to see in a priest?” He reflected aloud on their responses, which included reverence, compassion and approachability, getting them to think about those qualities.

In response to their questions, Bishop Malloy shared his own vocations story, explained how the Church chooses bishops, and gave the boundaries of the Diocese of Rockford when asked what the pope is responsible for compared to bishops.

“That’s my square,” he said of the diocese. “The pope’s in charge of all of it. He gets a lot of help. I get a lot of help.”

The campers quizzed the bishop about his favorite things.

His favorite food, after 11 years in Rome, is pasta. Of his favorite animal, he said, “I grew up with dogs.”

His favorite sport is a toss-up between basketball and football, although he also enjoys watching a game of baseball.

Two of the questions were about the hardest and the best parts of being a bishop?

“Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ to someone,” he said of the hardest.

And the best part?

“Being out with the people,” Bishop Malloy said, mentioning the 60 to 70 confirmations  he attends each year as his favorite thing.

He added that his time with young people, including at the annual Youth Summit, helps him to not allow his own faith to “get old.”