About the Retreat Team

Mariette and Kristoph Franz Dobrowolski are trained Lay Catholic Theologians, Teachers, Franciscans, and Musicians.


Mariette Ellen Dobrowolski - Sanctum Foundress and Ministry Director

Degrees Experience and Formation

Kristoph Franz Dobrowolski - Sanctum Founder and Executive Director

Degrees Experience and Formation Bio

Kristoph began his professional career as a recording artist and an actor.

After a powerful spiritual awakening in Europe, Kristoph sold everything he had and went off to become a franciscan brother. He entered the Franciscan Friars of Western Canada and spent a year in noviciate discerning if he was called to a life of priesthood and celibacy. It became clear during this time that he was indeed being called to serve, but not as a celibate. He married, and went on to study theology, philosophy, and counselling psychology.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Bachelor of Education from the University of Winnipeg, Kristoph received full scholarship to complete a Masters Degree in Theology with the concentration in Spirituality and Scripture from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota - including Jerusalem Studies in Israel. Following several years of counselling and preaching in full-time retreat ministry at Mount St. Francis Retreat, Kristoph enrolled as a student in the Doctor of Ministry program for a few years at St. Stephen's College at the University of Alberta, but instead of writing a dissertation on retreat ministry, he withdrew from the program to focus on the actual building and founding of a new spiritual retreat - Sanctum Retreat - for which he received an honorary Ph.D. While continuing in his role as Founder and Executive Director of Sanctum Retreat and Foundation (a registered charity), Kristoph has graduated with a Doctor of Psychology degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation - affiliate of Oxford.

With over 15 years of retreat ministry experience, Kristoph has also acted as Dean of Religion at St. Mary's and Notre Dame in Calgary, as well as Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Calgary.

As a composer and recording artist, Kristoph continues to use his musical gifts to produce recordings designed to help one in spiritual growth - with over 50,000 sold.

Reflections from Sanctum