New Name, Still Some Camp-Style Fun
Annual vocations camps get updates for 2019 season
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 20, 2019
ROCKFORD—The trio of vocations summer camps — St. Therese, Jeremiah Days and First Call — have been renamed but still have some just-for-fun things planned as well as many activities to encounter Jesus.
The new name for each of them is “Encounter Retreats,” and vocations director, Father Kyle Manno, explains why.
“The vocation camps,” he says, “are re-branded and rethought in order to allow each participant to take time out of the world in order to encounter Jesus Christ and allow Him to show each person that they are made for more!”
First up is the June 23-26 encounter for young women in seventh grade through college. 
Young women 18 and older will have their own program and talks and will stay at the Bishop Lane Retreat Center  main house with the religious sisters who organize the retreat. Younger girls will stay at the center’s youth house.
The retreat will begin with check-in at 6 p.m. on Sunday, followed by Mass at 7 p.m. for participants and family members who would like to stay for it. The retreat will end at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. 
In between, plans include a variety of prayers and talks as well as games, hiking, and bonfire with songs and stories for the girls and young women.
Two encounter retreats are set for young men.
The first will be held from July 7-9 for young men entering seventh through ninth grades. A July 21-23 retreat is set for men in 10th grade through college.
Both of these encounter retreats for young men are one day shorter than the camps had been. 
“The time has been shortened in order to mimic the working of Christ from his death and resurrection which took place over three days,” Father Manno says. 
Both retreats for guys also will include a trip to Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County.
They “will be heading to Starved Rock in order to allow them to encounter the masculinity of Christ in the natural world through which Christ has spoken to saints throughout the centuries,” Father Manno explains.
As with the past camps, seminarians are organizing and leading activities at the July encounters.
Father Manno encourages youth to come encounter Christ! 
Info: Vocations Office, 815-399-4300;; or