Welcome to the Ruah Center at Villa de Matel

Ruah Spirituality Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, focuses primarily on promoting the re-creation of the human spirit. Its primary work is to plan for and welcome individuals and groups who seek healing and intimacy with the Divine afforded by an environment of beauty, quiet and reverence for all life.

Individuals who seek a few hours of prayer, a day of prayer or a longer period of retreat are welcome. Groups who intend to give significant time to silent seeking and later sharing out of the silence are also welcome.

Ruah is located within Villa de Matel, the motherhouse of the CCVI Congregation, just a few miles from downtown Houston. We share the convent with a number of the Sisters’ active ministries; however, Ruah’s spaces are set apart for silence. Silence is presented as nonnegotiable: it is offered as a gift and guarded as a treasure for those who seek. Here people are led to rest in God’s presence; then the same Breath of God (ruah) who drew them here sends them out to confidently echo the good news of God’s love on the streets of their lives.

Who comes to Ruah Center?

The diversity of people that come to Ruah is a good example of what being “catholic” means: universal.  We welcome members of many Christian denominations and from other faith traditions. Many people do not know that the hunger which leads them to seek a place of quiet is itself a gift. When they taste and relish what we provide, we simply encourage them to develop trust in the deepest longings of their hearts. Ruah also attracts many who have been offended or disillusioned by the church in which they have grown up— then we provide experiences which initiate reconciliation.

We are also connecting with our Hispanic neighbors and immigrants.  When they attend the Sisters’ ESL classes, they are introduced to Ruah where their spirituality and culture are affirmed, their faith is nourished and they are introduced to various methods of prayer.


spiritualdirectionSpiritual Direction

Spiritual direction concerns your relationship with God – observing God’s movement through the circumstances of your life, considering how to respond, and growing in trust that you are indeed a dwelling place for God’s Spirit. Commonly understood, spiritual direction is:

  • A relationship between two persons centered in and open to the work of the Spirit;
  • A time for the seeker to share how one experiences God’s presence or action in one’s life and what seems to be
    blocking or retarding responsiveness to God’s movements;
  • A relationship through which the seeker opens oneself to accountability for spiritual practice, especially prayer;
  • An opportunity for receiving suggestions which the director deems suitable.

Spiritual Directors

We currently have four directors on staff. In addition, we have several volunteer directors who offer their ministry to us when needed. Our directors are available while you are here on retreats or days of prayer, and/or for an ongoing committed direction relationship. We have initiated a bilingual ministry to respond to those who are more comfortable speaking Spanish.