Vita Dei Houses:
Free Accommodations for Ten Hours a Week Volunteer Work in Catholic Ministry
Fort Wayne, Indiana USA
Shown: Portiuncula Chapel, shared by both men and women residents
Who We Serve
We serve single Catholics who are:
+ discerning religious or lay vocations
+ facing serious life decisions
+ contemplating marriage or single life
+ exploring career or schooling options
+ seeking inexpensive living arrangements in a Catholic environment
+ desirous of living long-term in a Catholic community
Vita Dei Houses assist single Catholics in living together while discerning a vocation or other life choice. They also provide housing for long term residents.
Vita Dei Houses are a ministry of the Confraternity of Penitents (CFP), a non profit, tax exempt 501c3 Catholic Lay Association of the faithful. Its members live a in their own homes a modified Rule of St Francis of Assisi for the laity, originally written in 1221..
Vita Dei Houses provide free and low-cost housing as well as supportive programs for single Catholics who are discerning the call and will of God. That may be a religious vocation or marriage or single life. It may be a career or change in life's direction, either planned or sudden.
Vita Dei Houses are also home to Catholics desirous of living long-term in a peaceful, Catholic community.
The houses provide support in the following ways:
A community of like-minded individuals of various ages with whom to share goals, faith, aspirations.
Joint participation in household chores which fosters responsibility for how the house is maintained.
At least one weekly meal joyfully planned, prepared, and eaten together which encourages a family atmosphere within the house.
At least one community prayer time (Liturgy of the Hours) weekly. Residents invited to participate daily if desired.
Referral to agencies and organizations that provide guidance in discerning how to next proceed.
In house chapel for group and individual prayer, reflection, and silence.
Weekly faith formation on the Catholic faith, discernment, personal relations, goal clarification.
No pressure atmosphere where each individual determines when to move on to the next step.
An invitation to join the Confraternity of Penitents, if desired, as a member, associate, or affiliate.
Far from the noise and distractions of the world and through a program of regular prayer, spiritual direction, daily Mass attendance, educational programs, and community life in a peaceful family atmosphere, the soul begins to hear the will of God. Thus, with the action of the Holy Spirit, the staff at Vita Dei Houses assist in building lives for the Kingdom of God.
During their period of residency, men and women are encouraged to have a part-time job so as to have the funds to purchase food and other necessities. Program service fees, which include housing expenses, are waived for residents who volunteer ten hours per week in Catholic Ministry. This work is assigned and may include:
Mary's Glen outdoor prayer area
With God's grace, Vita Dei house residents support one another through prayer, fellowship, and community living. Even though, in time, some residents move on to the next step in their journey, our goal is that we always remain brothers and sisters in Christ.
Vita Dei Houses are ministries of the Confraternity of Penitents, a private association of the faithful commended by the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. Please see the link for the Diocesan letter of commendation. Members of the Confraternity of Penitents live a religious rule of life as lay people.
The CFP is also national 501 c 3 non-profit organization under the United States Internal Revenue Service. Donations to it and to its ministries are fully tax deductible.
Vita Dei Houses are directed by house administrators who are overseen by the Confraternity Volunteer Coordinator who resides two blocks away.
House administrators must pass rigorous screening, complete a national background check, and successfully fulfill the Diocesan Safe Environment Training Program. They participate in on going education and training sponsored by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and by other suitable agencies.
Vita Dei Houses rely on the prayers of their residents and supporters, on donations from Confraternity members and benefactors, and on proceeds from the Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angels Gift Shop.
Evening Prayer daily at 5 pm in the Portiuncula Chapel. Public welcome to attend.
Location: Portiuncula Chapel, 2637 Schele Avenue, Fort Wayne
For information about individual Vita Dei Houses, see:
I've been here for 5 months, and the experience has truly been a gift from God. The house has been a place without worldly distractions, helping me transition to religious life. I know I would not have been able to do this without Annunciation House.
Fr. Dan Koehl, Parochial Vicar of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish, Fort Wayne, is the spiritual advisor for Vita Dei Houses.
He offers Mass from time to time for house residents, is available to answer questions on theological matters, and is present for Vita Dei House Come and See Days and some other events to which the public is invited.