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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Quo Vadis?
Brother John Choi LC dialogues about life in his blog from Rome

Brother John Choi and friends
Br. John Choi LC (left) and friends climbing a mountain

Brother John Choi, LC, shares with our Regnum Christi audience some information on his new blog Quo Vadis? He writes the blog from Rome, where he is studying toward an MA in Philosophy.  Calling himself an “American in exile” and “a proud member of the Communion of Saints” his blog discusses world events, US, Culture and other topics with a faith-filled focus. 

What made you decide to write a blog? 

I decided to start writing a blog because I enjoy photography and writing.  Living in Rome gives me a beautiful vantage point to use both of these gifts.  I thought I could share with my friends and family across the ocean a little bit of what we face here in Europe.  I have only just started writing, and I hope to keep writing throughout my formation.  (Brother John has four-and-a-half more years of study before ordination as a Legionary priest, “fingers crossed” he says.)  I think the people back at home appreciate hearing about what is going on in the Heart of the Church – Rome - and in the hearts of the seminarians who I accompany (unworthily) here in my community. 

What is the meaning of Quo Vadis? 

“Quo Vadis?” is a question.  It’s one that Peter asked Jesus when Peter was escaping Rome during Nero’s persecution in 66AD.  He thought the best thing for the Church at the time was to run away and not face martyrdom. When Peter saw our Lord heading back toward Rome, he asked, “Quo Vadis?” (Latin for: “Where are you going?) Our Lord responded, “I am going to Rome to be crucified.” 

We know the kind of martyrdom that our Christian brothers face in the Middle East and elsewhere. I think each Christian, and each Catholic through his witness to life, faces a white martyrdom, meaning a bloodless testimonial of what it means to be a Christian.  I’ve taken this title as a question I ask myself as time passes, wondering, contemplating, and pleading with our Lord to “Let me follow You.” 

I think at the dawn of the third Christian Millennium, there are challenges we face, especially as seminarians -- the lure of the world, with which we have been bombarded through the mass media, and possible discouragement from the testimony of the failures of priests, often accentuated, through the mass media. 

What is the theme, or focus of your blog? 

My blog is intended to be a dialogue about life.  Rome for me is more than a way point in my formation.  It is a destination from which I hope to come away different -- a priest of Jesus Christ. 

When I tell folks back home that I’m in Rome, they always say, “Well isn’t that a hard deal.” Living in the heart of Church is a gift, and I hope to share the experiences, the joys and the sorrows (just a few) with those I’ve considered family within the Mystical Body, and those without.  I think it would really be an act of selfishness to live like a hermit, cutting off contact with the rest of the world when we have so much to share. 

What topics have your covered, and what has been the blog’s impact so far? 

Some of the topics I have covered are the US and the embarrassment I have felt at times because of things that have happened there; the meaning of Quo Vadis; requesting intentions for a prayer drive for a mountain climb, the tallest in the Apennines; and the story of our quasi-summit. 

Since starting this blog, within a month, I have received hits from Russia, Saudi Arabia, England. (I have yet to receive one from my native Korea). If this blog can help others in some way -- if a photo or a short message can brighten and enlighten someone’s day or life -- all the better.

I hope to continue writing while I’m in Rome, but I will let the Holy Spirit decide. 

You mention the TEDx conferences on the topic of Religious Freedom that took place last month in Rome.  Can you tell us about these? 

The TEDx event was the first held so close to the Vatican with such a religious focus. I attended the day of conferences. Various speakers from different continents shared their message.  It’s not an everyday thing to see Gloria Estefan or a Princess of Kuwait speak about their faith. You can find the conferences on YouTube, or at or




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