The Madonna House Apostolate is a family of Christian lay men, women, and priests, striving to incarnate the teachings of Jesus Christ by forming a community of love.
Staff members of Madonna House come from all walks of life, from various countries and cultures, and have a wide variety of personalities and talents. They have in common a desire to serve God in a very humble way of life, as summarized in our Little Mandate. Our spirit is that of a family — modeled on the holy family of Nazareth, which was a community of perfect charity and love.
Our main house, or Training Centre, is located in Combermere, Ontario, Canada. Madonna House also serves many areas throughout the world through our missionary field houses; we serve families through a summer program called Cana Colony, and we serve the general public through our newspaper, our publications, and our volunteer programs.
Founded in 1947 by Catherine Doherty and her husband, Eddie Doherty, today the community has more than 200 lay men, women, and priests, dedicated to loving and serving Christ through promises of poverty, chastity, and obedience. (And, in addition to our staff priests, there are more than 125 associate priests, bishops and permanent deacons who strive to live the spirit of Madonna House in their home dioceses or wherever they are serving.)
Someone once asked Catherine, “What is Madonna House?” She answered:
What is Madonna House? Madonna House is a very simple thing. It is an open door. It is a cup of tea or coffee, good and hot. It is an invitation to work for the common good.
Madonna House is a house of hospitality. It is a place where people are received, not on their education, not on how wonderful they are as painters, or whatever they have to do; they are received simply as people. They are loved.