Camp and Cloister
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 12, 2018
Girls and young women attending St. Therese Camp make a trip to the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery for Mass with Bishop David Malloy and a visit with the cloistered nuns in the Rockford Diocese.
ROCKFORD—The annual St. Therese Camp brought 57 campers of all ages together with 15 religious sisters and four postulants the last week in June. 
Bishop David Malloy joined the campers and women religious for Mass on June 26 at the Poor Clare nuns’ Corpus Christi Monastery Chapel.
“Thank you for coming, and I mean that sincerely,” the bishop said to the women, noting that participating in the vocations camp “takes courage and it takes self-discipline.” It is also, he added, “a good use of time.”
To illustrate that potential for good, Bishop Malloy recalled the benefits he gained when as a youth his mother insisted he take typing classes for a couple of summers. 
Noting that “the amount of typing I have done in my life (and) how much that saved me and helped contribute to what I do,” the bishop said moments like the ones at the camp build the “foundation of your life, but you won’t know (the results) today. Being here at a moment at camp like this could very well be what God is going to do (to develop a) foundation for you. 
“It is a camp about faith, and it’s a camp about our Catholic faith. That means that it is ultimately a camp about friendship with Jesus Christ.”
He spoke to the young women about the great importance of that particular friendship, which is “not just that awe and reverence,” and asked, “Do you talk to him as a friend ... Do you talk with Jesus as a friend, one on one, in your heart?
“The thing about friendship with Jesus Christ, like our good friendships in this world — they’re not just for the good times, not just for those moments of laughter. Jesus helps us and is with us as a friend in the (difficult) moments. That’s when the friendship becomes most valid ... . “
Bishop Malloy spoke also about the concept of vocation as something that begins with a question: “What will you do with your life?”
“God gives (a vocation) to each one of you, to each one of us,” he said. “In His mind and His vision, He has a place for you and for me in His whole plan for this world.”
For those who feel called to be a religious sister, there are numerous religious orders doing a variety of works, he said, adding, “There are so many possibilities, (and) the more we find where He wants us to be, that’s where we’re going to be happy.”
Instead of asking the usual “What do you want to be when you get older?” question, he said the real question is: What does God want you to be? 
“That’s how we should approach it, for joy, for happiness,” he said.
“You might come to hear God is calling you to marriage, to raise a family,” he said, encouraging them to then be open to having children. 
Regarding a call to be an unmarried lay person he said, “God is in that aspect of life as well.”
Whatever the call, the path to heaven is narrow, Bishop Malloy said, paraphrasing Jesus’ remarks in Matthew 7:13.
“But that’s why it’s so good you are here,” he added. “That’s why it is so courageous for you to come (and) why it’s important to have that discipline.
“That door is worth getting through ... Christ is giving you every bit of help that you’ll need with your vocation to fit through that (narrow) door” and reach the Father’s house.
In addition to talking after Mass with Bishop Malloy, campers visited with the Poor Clare nuns and watched a video about their lives that morning. 
Talks from the sisters, one-on-one and group visits, skits, games, free time, prayer time, an opportunity for confession and adoration, and a Tuesday evening bonfire rounded out this year’s St. Therese Camp.
Two other vocations camps, for younger boys and high school and college-aged men, are scheduled this month.