Skip to main content

Madonna House conducts a seven-month program of formation for men discerning a call to the ministerial priesthood. The men live and serve with the community in a routine much like the one outlined for Live-In Guest, with the addition of a special day for classes and study. The program runs from the first weekend in October to Easter.

This place saved my faith. Our Lady is truly full of mercy and compassion, leading one of her wayward sons back into the fullness of the Church.

- Cameron

Overall I have been most impressed with both the feedback I have received from the men and the impact that I have observed this program has had on them. Not only did they speak highly and appreciatively about their experiences, but I noticed a real positive growth and change in their lives. ...What the men lived and came away with was a strong experience of the gospel incarnated, or what has been referred to as a truly incarnational spirituality.

- Fr. Roger Vandenakker, Companions of the Cross

Christ working through the wisdom and fortitude of my spiritual director started me on the road to healing. I realize now that Christ will be shaping, cutting and moulding me for the rest of my life.

- Jason

I think of Madonna House daily. My time there has changed my life forever. Now, looking back, I realize what a beginning and a blessing it was for me.

- Emile

I learned the meaning of the line by Catherine Doherty: "We live between two Masses." It means that when I live the present moment, from work to recreation, I can be united to Christ, and live the Mass of daily life--the eucharistic life....It has been a grace-filled experience for me.

- Eric

When a man feels called to become a priest, that means God has put his hand on his shoulder and said, “Come, follow me.” And he follows.

-Catherine Doherty, Dear Seminarian


At prayer one day in 1978, Catherine Doherty received the inspiration to offer our community as a spiritual formation center for future priests. Since 1980, more than a hundred men have come to discern a possible call to the priesthood through our program.

Through the initiative of the Most Rev. Brendan O’Brien, former bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke, our Madonna House program was included in the 1994 Vatican Visitation of Seminaries in Canada, thus formally recognizing the program as a contribution to priestly formation in the Church.


What is our program, then? Basically, it is joining in the prayer schedule and the simple ways of serving in the daily life of Madonna House itself. Education is first of all an insertion into a whole way of life, permeated by the Christian mysteries. Every aspect of our life is meant to deepen your relationship with the Lord. You would be challenged in your social relationships with men and women; in growing in your love for the liturgy, prayer, and silence; in learning how to live simply; in appreciating the value of manual labor; in giving up your own will in imitation of Christ; in fostering a love for Our Lady, St. Joseph, and the saints.

One day a week is dedicated to study of topics such as “Foundations of the Spiritual Life,” “Living the Liturgy,” “Praying the Scriptures,” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, several documents of the Church on the priesthood, and the Pope’s encyclical on Mary. But the accent on these classes is “practical,” that is, they are meant to foster growth in your spiritual life. The development of your intellectual theological formation will come later, according to God’s call, especially if you continue your studies in a seminary.

In short, the focus of the Spiritual Formation Program is to de-clutter the “inner noise” so that the Lord’s voice about your vocation may be heard more clearly.


Submit inquiry through contact form
Phone conversation with Registrar of Men
Referral to Madonna House Priest responsible for the Spiritual Formation Program (SFP)

For more information please contact the Registrar of Men:

Any questions or ready to discern a stay at Madonna House reach out to our registrar!

“When I was a young seminarian, one of my favorite spiritual authors was Catherine de Hueck Doherty.”

– Francis Cardinal George, former Archbishop of Chicago

If you have any questions or inquiries please fill out the form below to get in touch with our Madonna House staff

We will get back to you within 5 days!