We are a mixed Christian community under the auspices of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Our lifestyle is contemplative-eremitical.
Everyone at LEBH SHOMEA, guests included, participates in the contemplative-eremitical life of the House of Prayer. Moreover, there are hermits living in permanent hermitages situated at remote sites on the property.
Guests who wish to share our desert silence for indefinite periods are welcome year 'round. There is no predetermined schedule, no imposed structure, only the freedom and creativity of solitude. All are invited to share daily Eucharist, and we are always available to listen heartfully to anyone seeking spiritual direction.
We offer an annual Desert Experience of 40 days and 40 nights from June 21 to July 31.
LEBH SHOMEA is not only a "place" and a "community," but also a "school" of solitary prayer with emphasis on the Scriptures as well as on the spirituality of the great masters of Eastern and Western mysticism.
We offer the resources for research in virtually every area of Christian and Oriental spirituality. There are three basic approaches to this work. First, we extend to guests the option of private study. Second, we afford the opportunity for tutored courses leading to a Certificate of Studies. Third, in conjunction with Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, we offer the possibility of a Practicum in Spirituality for candidates in various degree programs. Under certain conditions these candidates may spend time at the House of Prayer for tutored studies which fulfill, in part, residency and course requirements.
LEBH SHOMEA's air-conditioned library contains the complete works, often in the original languages, of hundreds of spiritual authors. The library also contains specialized Biblical and Middle-Eastern, Byzantine and Russian, Patristic and Historical, Oriental and Judaic sections. We subscribe to over fifty periodicals, magazines and newspapers.
LEBH SHOMEA is part of the formei Sarita Kenedy East Estate. Our portion comprises ten acres of coastal beach and 1,100 acres of wilderness. We live in the main residence, individual dwellings and converted barns spread over 100 acres. Our capacity is twenty-five guests. Nature trails meander through 1,000 acres of rugged terrain.
The ranch is called "La Parra," Spanish for "grapevine," because of the abundance of wild grapes in the vicinity. The climate is semi-tropical. March through October is warm to hot, often quite arid. There are occasional rains. Humidity can be high at times. November through February ranges from mild to cold, with periodic fog and rains. Northers sometimes plummet the temperature to near freezing.
We suggest casual, comfortable attire and rain gear. A wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses, cotton shirts, slacks or bermudas are recommended for warmer weather. We suggest sweaters, heavy jackets and other warm clothing for fall and winter.
Guests at LEBH SHOMEA are asked to donate the usually suggested stipend to help defray room and board expenses.
Lebh Shomea is located about 60 miles south of Corpus Christi. It can be reached by turning due east at the blinking light marking the junction of Sarita and U.S. Hwy 77, five miles south of Riviera. The nearest commercial airport is in Corpus Christi. Valley Transit Bus Line has daily "flag-stop" service to Sarita. Guests are asked to arrive at LEBH SHOMEA between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m
Lebh Shomea House of Prayer, La Parra Ranch Sarita, Texas 78385-0009 (361) 294-5369 Fax (361) 294-5791. Our website is www.lebhshomea.org
Books Written by Core Members of Lebh Shomea:
1. Books coauthored by Marie Theresa Coombs and Francis Kelly Nemeck:
Contemplation, The Liturgical Press, 1982. (Contact: St. John's Abbey, P.O. Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500; Tel. 1-800-858-5450; Fax 1-800-445-5899). This book is a theological and pastoral study of the passage from discursive prayer to the beginning of contemplation according to the principles of St. John of the Cross.
The Way of Spiritual Direction, The Liturgical Press, 1985. (Contact: St. John's Abbey ... ) This book is a study of the theology and the practice of spiritual direction both for those called to this ministry and for people searching to better understand their own faith experience of the mysterious workings of God within them. MTC and PKN accentuate the contermplative dimension inherent in all spiritual direction.
The Spiritual Journey: Critical Thresholds and Stages of Adult Spiritual Genesis, The Liturgical Press, 1986. (Contact: St. John's Abbey ... ) This sequel to Contemplation and The Way of Spiritual Direction situates the transition from meditation to contemplation within the broader context of overall interior progress, and it affords directors the principles of discernment which help them in guiding directees through the various stages of spiritual development.
0 Blessed Night: Recovery from Addiction, Codependency and Attachment Based on the insights of St. John of the Cross and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Alba House, 1990. (Contact: 2187 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314-6603; Tel. 1-800-343-2522; Fax 1-718-761-0057.) This book applies to the question of addiction, codependency and attachment the positive spirituality of detachment and suffering originally contained in Receptivity. In effect, this book presents the theology which underlies 12-Step Programs of recovery.
Called by God: A Theology of Vocation and Lifelong Commitment, The Liturgical Press, 1992. (Contact: St. John's Abbey ... ) This book presents a theology of the mystery of vocation from an evolutionary and a relational perspective in the light of contemporary biblical studies and developmental psychology.
Discerning Vocations to Marriage, Celibacy and Singlehood, The Liturgical Press, 1994. (Contact. St. John's Abbey ... ) This first sequel to Called by God identifies and elucidates principles needed in the discernment of vocations to those three basic Christian lifestyles.
Exploring the Catechism, The Liturgical Press, 1995. (Contact: St. John's Abbey ... ) Jean E. Regan is the editor of this work in which FKN and MTC take a. critical look at and supplement the section on "Christian Prayer" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (pp. 138-163).
Discerning Vocations to the Apostolic, the Contemplative and the Eremitical Life, (still in unpublished manuscript form). This second sequel to Called by God identifies and elucidates principles needed in the discernment of vocations to those three general Christian lifestyles.