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Santiago Missionary Disciples

18 to 29 years old?
looking to grow in your catholic faith?
wishing to take this journey alongside other young people?


In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19)




In the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis reminds us of our duty as Missionary Disciples: to share Christ’s love with each person we encounter. Here at Santiago Retreat Center, we offer young people the opportunity to take up this call and step into our mission of evangelization through the newly  designed 15 month Missionary Disciple Program, which begins in June and extends until August of the following year. 

Why Santiago's Missionary Disciple Program?

Located in the heart of a 500 acre facility in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains.

Real-world nonprofit experience, rooted in prayer and aimed at evangelization.

We meet people where they’re at, nurturing their talents through professional & transferable work experience.

Three Foundational Steps

Santiago Retreat Center’s Missionary Disciple Program rests on three pillars:

faith formation, intentional community, and joyful work.

In unity, these three pillars are directed toward Santiago Retreat Center's mission of evangelization.

Faith Formation

All of us are called to mature in our work as evangelizers. We want to have better training, a deepening love and a clearer witness to the Gospel. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 121)

Faith formation is at the center of the Missionary Disciple program. In order to evangelize well, we must consistently seek growth in our own faith. Each day, Missionary Disciples participate in communal prayer, which includes Daily Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and the Most Holy Rosary. Missionary Disciples gather weekly to discuss Scripture and theology with the on-site chaplain, aimed at the question of how to best live out the Catholic faith in our present age. Spiritual direction is encouraged and available from our on-site chaplain and from local religious. 

    Daily Mass  •  Office of Hours  •  Adoration          Rosary  •  Divine Chaplet  •  Spiritual Direction      Catechetical and Theological Study ​​


Intentional Community

An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances... and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 24)

Missionary Disciples walk their “Camino”, or journey, at Santiago Retreat Center together. They live together, work and study together, and pray together.  As a result, they come to address a central question of our faith lives: How do we build relationships with others upon Christ? Prayer is the bedrock of intentional community for the Missionary Disciples. Each day begins and ends with communal prayer. Missionary Disciples build community in the beautiful national forest that surrounds Santiago Retreat Center. They also have time to explore nearby beaches and familiarize themselves with the rich Catholic history of Orange County and the LA area. Through communal prayer, exploration, and living, Missionary Disciples learn to bridge distances and embrace human life among one another.

  Communal Life of Prayer, Work, and Study • Morning Huddle 

Weekly Team Meetings  

Group Meals and Cooking  •  Team Outings 

Team Camping Trips 

Fellowship with Local College Groups 

Joyful Work

Finally, an evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always... Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 24, 120)

At Santiago Retreat Center, Missionary Disciples are called to joyful work: work of mind and hands that gives glory to God. The central work of Missionary Disciples is to evangelize.  They engage this mission by preparing for and leading retreats, maintaining and constructing on-site facilities, and participating in event outreach. All of Missionary Disciples’ participate in all aspects of life at Santiago, always aimed at growth in relationship with God. 


Here at Santiago, we recognize that evangelization isn’t constrained to the pulpit - as a result, the work of Missionary Disciples also contributes to their professional development. Depending on the interest of each Missionary Disciple, the opportunity exists to work alongside professionals in fundraising, marketing, construction, and website and social media development.

Preparation and Facilitation of Santiago Retreats and Events  •  On-site Facility Maintenance  •  Outreach to Schools, Catholic Groups, and Parishes  •  Evangelization  •  Professional Development 

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2023-2024 Applications Now Accepted!

To begin the application process, please fill out this interest form.
Missionary Application

Thank you for beginning our application process!

Want to Learn More? Click Below for a Letter about the Program from Santiago Retreat Center's Executive Director.

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