Desert Formation Experience is the thirty-day spiritual pilgrimage first-year graduate seminarians make each year to the Holy Land. There they experience firsthand the places Christ walked and taught, suffered and died, while seeking his guidance in their own walk toward the priesthood.

The ultimate goal of the Desert Formation Experience and all of the summer programs is to ensure the priest-graduate of the seminary is a man of strong character and deep spirituality; a man you can be proud to call your spiritual “Father.”

DFE Blog: Walk Along with the Seminarians

The DFE pilgrims keep a spiritual blog in which they share insights from each day of their journey. Why not go on a “pilgrimage” to the Holy Land yourself by following along with them? Visit sacred sites such as Bethlehem, Nazareth, the River Jordan, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Journey with the seminarians to the holy city of Rome, the final destination on their life-altering Desert Formation Experience. Go to blog.

Desert Meals

The Desert Formation Experience cost roughly $200 per seminarian per day ($1,500 per week). Due to COVID, we will be unable to participate in a Desert Meal. However, we’d like to offer a Seminarians to speak to your parishioners on a weekend after all of the masses. For more information, please call 313-596-7424. The names and intentions of all contributors are placed on a Prayer Scroll and prayed for by the pilgrims at each holy site.

Desert Golf Classic

Why not support the DFE seminarians and have a great time, too? Get a golf team together in mid-September and take on the gorgeous course at the Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion. Join golfers for bragging rights at a cocktail hour and awards dinner afterwards. Learn more at

Can You Help?

Only through the generosity of benefactors can the men cover the cost of this spiritual journey of faith.

Athletic Facilities

Sacred Heart Major Seminary offers a variety of fitness and wellness opportunities. The new fitness & weight training center for resident students features state-of-the-art equipment, free-weights, exercise area and lockers. The campus itself offers outdoor aerobic walking or running areas, gymnasium, and handball/racquetball courts.

Food Services

Meals are served daily in the seminary refectory on the ground floor. A variety of food options are available. Commuters are welcome to enjoy breakfast Monday-Saturday, 8:00-9:00 a.m., lunch Monday-Saturday, 11:45-1:00 p.m., and dinner Monday-Sunday, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is served 11:00-12:00 p.m. These hours of service may be affected by summer hours or holiday breaks, please call 313-883-8500 to confirm.

Handicap Access

Sacred Heart Major Seminary complies with Section 501 (handicap access laws) and encourages anyone with special needs not addressed by Section 501 to notify the Building Administration Office and the Dean of Studies regarding those needs.

Medical Emergencies

Clinics and local hospitals provide professional assistance to the Seminary community, guests and visitors. The Detroit Fire Department operates a full paramedic rescue unit 24 hours a day, which can be dispatched to the seminary at any time.


A secure and well-lit parking lot is available for all students and guests.

Student Health Services and Insurance

Undergraduate seminarians are responsible for their own health and medical needs. All resident students are required to have some hospitalization and/or medical insurance coverage. Medical expenses not covered by health insurance are the responsibility of the student.