Emmaus Spirituality Center dedicates new location
January 12, 2021
Father Francis Macatangay of St. Cecilia Catholic Church prepares to bless the building and the Stations of the Light at the Emmaus Spirituality Center on Nov. 21, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Emmaus Spirituality Center)
HOUSTON — Launching a new retreat center during a pandemic is not an ideal situation by any means. But the Emmaus Spirituality Center did not stop from emerging into the greater Houston area’s landscape. The new retreat center opened “virtually” on June 1, 2020, and established its physical location on Sept. 1, 2020, at 12211 Memorial Dr., though the doors have been closed to the public due to the pandemic.
On Nov. 21, 2020, Emmaus Spirituality Center held its first Open House. Social distancing and COVID-19 precautions were in place as Father Francis Macatangay of St. Cecilia Catholic Church blessed the main building as well as The Stations of the Light, an area of prayer and reflection.
Pastor Beth Halvorsen of the Memorial Drive Lutheran Church was asked to read the post-resurrection account in Scripture, which was the inspiration for the name “Emmaus” that the visioning team chose back in 2019.
Sister Mary Ann Peters, rc, of The Cenacle Sisters — Houston and Heather Reichert, board chair of Emmaus Spirituality Center, combined a Camellia bush with soil from the grounds of The Cenacle and Emmaus Spirituality Center and planted it as a reminder of the seeds sown by The Cenacle Sisters that will take root and continue to grow and blossom with Emmaus Spirituality Center.
“We realize that the community needs us now more than ever. People are suffering from isolation, seeking mindfulness and purpose, and we need to be here for them,” said Mary Pierson, executive director of Emmaus Spirituality Center. “While we are grateful for the technology that allows us to provide programming to those near and far, we are delighted to be able to open our doors for spiritual direction, personal retreats and small groups.”
The center emerged after the Cenacle Sisters closed the doors to the Cenacle Retreat House. A group of laity, with the blessing of the sisters, began the process of visioning possibilities that would allow a continued presence of a spirituality center to serve the spiritual needs of the greater Houston area.
Emmaus Spirituality Center offers days of prayer, retreats, programs, spiritual direction, and continues the operation of the Spiritual Direction Institute, which has been training Spiritual Directors for over 35 years.
Small group gatherings, reserving an individual retreat or any other inquiries can be directed to 281-241-9678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Individuals can get more information about setting up a session for spiritual direction by visiting www.emmausspiritualitycenter.com.