Photo: People from all over Houston gathered at Villa de Matel in the Immaculate Conception Chapel to participate in the Taizé prayer service on April 27, 2018. The service is held twice a year.

by Sister Kim-Phuong Tran

On Friday, April 27, many people from the Houston Metropolitan Area gathered at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Villa de Matel to participate in the Taizé Prayer service led by Sr. Kim-Phuong Tran through the Vocation and Young Adult Ministry. More than 200 people were in attendance. 

Taize’ was first brought to the Ruah Center at Villa de Matel 20 years ago by Elizabeth and Al Turner. Both are American History professors living in Houston. Elizabeth and Al practice the Baptist faith tradition, have a great passion for Taizé prayer and are good friends with the Taizé community in France.

Sr. Adeline O’Donoghue, former Director of Ruah, welcomed the Turners and a few other Taizé friends to Ruah years ago and began with simple prayer sessions using Taizé music on cassette tapes. 

Soon after, the Taizé group grew bigger and attracted more friends. Once the group outgrew the Ruah space, Sr. Adeline began holding the service in the Villa Chapel. Elizabeth continues to coordinate the music program for the prayer service along with Bridget Wenk, music director at Christ Redeemer Parish. Al volunteers and hands out the Taizé booklets as people enter the Chapel. About five years ago, Sr. Adeline transitioned the leadership of the Taizé prayer service to the Vocation and Young Adult Ministry since, “Taizé prayer draws many young adults throughout the world,” she said.

Taizé spirituality promotes reconciliation and communion with brothers and sisters of all faiths. A community which nurtures deep appreciation of silence, Taizé music calms and draws one into the appreciation of God’s most powerful language – silence.

Taizé provides an opportunity to gather for prayer around the Cross. We remember that Christ still suffers in us, in our families and in our brothers and sisters everywhere. Christ, our healer gathers us. Christ, who is our Hope of Glory gathers us. He heals us and strengthens us for the work of ministry. 

Taizé blends in well with the healing ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in our contemporary time. Following the prayer service, refreshments were provided at the Villa Dining Room.

Praised be the Incarnate Word.

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