Guiding Principles of the Discernment Program
The Casa Balthasar welcomes young people of every nationality who come with the desire to live a time of personal searching for the particular way that the Lord has chosen for them in the Church. It is primarily a residence for a group of men who aspire to give themselves to the Lord in some form of consecrated life and are looking for an extra-academic education. It also welcomes young celibate women who are discerning a vocation.
Most young people who are considering the consecration are lacking in true Catholic education. The house has therefore settled a school of Christian life centered on the evangelical counsels – poverty, virginity, obedience – and aiming to give a formation at once intellectual and spiritual in the spirit of the Gospel and Tradition of the Church.
The house intends to open, as largely as possible, the hearts to the Word of God which personally addresses each with his call through the action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:12-15). In such a way the residents are prepared to discern a possible specific vocation to the consecrated life in its various forms, including in a secular community for those who are convinced of the world’s need for radical Christian commitment.
The spiritual program is based upon the pedagogical principles of Ignatius of Loyola.
To each of the laymen is given the possibility of making the “Spiritual Exercises” to order one’s life and to discover or deepen their particular vocation in the Church and in the world.
Spiritual and Cultural Formation
The Casa desires to place itself, as much as possible, at the center of Christian life understood in its organic totality. By the study of great authors, of yesterday and today, the Casa seeks to develop its students’ capacity to “judge every thing” (1 Cor. 2:15), and to integrate faith and life, cultural and spiritual formation, professional competence and sanctity. This humanistic program is inspired by the theological principles developped by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Adrienne von Speyr and Henri de Lubac.
The nature, spirit and objectives of the Casa are defined in a Charter, which is conveyed to the candidates and constitute the document the residents give their consent to and try to observe during their stay.
The basic spoken language in the house is Italian, but people (of any nationality) with a working knowledge of English, French, German, or Spanish should not hesitate to apply.
The small group of residents participates in the evangelical spirit of the house. For the room and board during their stay in the Casa, they are welcome to make an offering according to their financial means. All community services (cooking, cleaning, etc.) are managed in-house by the residents.