Launched in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon in September 2021, the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation Program is designed for candidates who are pursuing “an academic and vocational pathway” in life – which includes men discerning ordained priesthood as well as men or women discerning religious life or professional lay ecclesial ministry in the Catholic Church. Program participants live in community and pursue academic studies while discerning their life’s vocation, obtaining spiritual formation while they obtain a degree.
Testimonials from two participants in the diocesan Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation Program
By Jarrod D.M. Daunheimer, 2023-2024 participant
This summer, I have been reflecting on how grateful I am for my time at the Saint Benedict and Scholastica Formation House. Throughout last year, I was immersed in an environment that consistently called me to higher things.
From the rhythm of morning prayer to the fellowship of community suppers, I found that I grew with my brothers and sisters in prayer, holiness, and love. Beyond living at the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica (SBS) house, where my brothers and I encouraged each other to become better men, I was honoured to take part in the SBS Formation Program.
The program took us progressively deeper into understanding how God made us, what God has in store for us, and how we can serve Him according to His plan for us.
Looking back, I am thankful that I was able to take part in this and I continue to see new fruits of the formations in my life, even now.
Overall, my time at the Saint Benedict and Scholastica Formation House has truly been a time of formation, development and growth and I am grateful for the opportunity to live, work, study, and pray with such a community.
Program offers structure, formation, spiritual growth, and community
By Antonio Pittet , 2023-2024 participant
Living at the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation House was a wonderful experience for me in which I had a great opportunity to grow in my faith and to build community.
One of the benefits of living at the formation house was the structure that it offered me.
My day was given a clear end and beginning through silent time and morning prayer. Every weekday morning we needed to be at the chapel for 7 a.m. to start our day off with Lauds. Lauds pushed me to wake up at a decent hour every morning and placed my focus on God since the day began. In the evenings we were required to say goodbye to our guests and try to make as little noise as possible after 10 p.m. in respect of the Verbum Dei sisters who lived below us. This silent time encouraged me to go to bed at a decent hour in order to get a full night’s sleep, which is not always easy for a university student.
The formation program was an incredible opportunity to grow in my faith.
Each week we were given a formation class beginning with spiritual formation in the first semester and followed with human formation in the second semester. The spiritual formation instructed on how to pray and to grow closer to God. The human formation aspect I especially enjoyed. We learned about the many different experiences and perceptions that make us who we are and affect our relationships with God. These formation topics allowed and pushed me to learn about myself to be able to better love God and others.
My favourite aspect of the formation house was the community.
I was so grateful to be surrounded by fellow young Catholic men who shared an enthusiasm for faith. These brothers in faith pushed me further in my faith and created an environment in which I could speak freely and deeply about my beliefs and experiences. Some of the friendships I made at the formation house I believe will last me a lifetime.
The sisters were also a delight to be around. They were always joyful and entertaining and I truly enjoyed the meals we shared together twice a week; they were wonderful examples for us to follow.
The various guest presenters for our formation classes also allowed me to get to know the various priests from around the area. I was especially grateful to be able to get to know the bishop more closely through his numerous visits to Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation House.
Altogether the St. Benedict and Scholistica Formation House was a wonderful experience and I would strongly recommend other young men to join the program especially those who are discerning priesthood or religious life.