What We Do

Sanctovagues is a program that facilitates adventure trips in the wilderness for young men who are open to discerning the Catholic priesthood. The trips vary by location and in activities year by year but the core focus remains constant: to facilitate and foster a environment of vocational discernment through community, prayer, sacrament, and wilderness adventure.


Who Can Participate

Sanctovagues is open to any unmarried Catholic male from ages 18 to 30.


History of Sanctovagues

Sanctovagues was started in 2016 by Fr. Daniel Swartz, a priest of the Diocese of Columbus and a military chaplain, when he was still a seminarian. Fr. Swartz had a deal with himself that he would embark on “one adventure a year.” Whether it was ice climbing in the Adirondacks or hiking the Grand Canyon others began to show an interest. In 2016 Fr. Swartz decided to combine his love for wilderness adventure with his desire to inspire and support vocations to the Catholic priesthood and started Sanctovagues.


Meaning of Sanctovagues

Sanctovagues means “Holy Wanderers” from the Latin. In the Rule of Life from St. Benedict he speaks against the vagues or “wanderers” that never establish a presence or purpose in life because they are too busy floating from one thing to the next. There are many in life such as these vagues who chase jobs, relationships, goals, achievements, or pleasures but never give themselves the time to stop and reflect on what God wishes for their life. In God’s will we find our true happiness so discernment of that will, particularly of our vocation, is key to achieving this happiness. Sanctovagues is a different kind of wandering then – a holy kind of wandering; it is when a young man for a time can walk away from all manner of distractions to encounter the Lord in the wilderness, in prayer, and in his heart. As Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote in a poem “Not all who wander are lost.”


Our Partnership with COR

Sanctovagues shares a partnership with COR Expeditions, relying upon their expertise as trail guides and instructors in order to execute trips to more ambitious wilderness locations. Be it rock climbing, whitewater rafting, or backpacking COR not only provides but teaches essential wilderness skills. COR is not another trail guiding company but a unique Catholic ministry of its own, providing transformative wilderness experiences modeled upon the Gospel message and the New Evangelization. Learn more about COR:

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For more detailed information about our program or questions about supporting Sanctovagues, please email us at