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Vertigo58

Villa de Matel

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Following posts originally in this thread:

It amazes me how many hidden architectural jewels there are around town (for ex. the chapel at Villa de Matel and the campus of St. Mary's Seminary).

We live directly across the street from Villa de Matel convent and it is definitetly one of the most unnoticed jewels of this city. We used to have our Super Neighborhood meetings there on a regular basis. The sisters allow you to tour the basilica which is rare in itself. It has the interior of the cathedrals you would see in Rome or France no kidding. The seating is facing inward instead of forward like most traditional Catholic churches. Its really pleasant to hear the bells toll on time. Other times it plays songs like Ave' Maria. Once I took about 15 bouquets of roses and left for the visitors at spring time. The mother superior told us that Kroger's and other developers have tried again and again to buy them out and they stand defiant. Take it elsewhere. Amen (choir in background)

Edited by dbigtex56

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7094180.jpgBernadette_Cover.png

I went to a recent Super neighborhood meeting at the convent the other day and finally had a good look at the recent addition. What the convent did was have a grotto built to resemble the one at Massabielle in Lourdes, France. It seems there are prayer meetings held in front of the site. I plan to go back and hopefully take photos. I have never seen this religious scene portrayed in any Roman Catholic church or cathedral in Houston. As the caption read "For those that believe no explanation is necessary, for those who dont believe no explanation will suffice"

By the way if you have never seen the 1943 film get it! Jennifer Jones won for best actress. Well deserved. I see it over and over again.

See link for further detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Lourdes

and the film link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036377/

Edited by Vertigo58

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Is this about the convent or movies?

This note/comment is about the convent's new addition of the scene where the miracle occurred in Lourdes. I only placed the film in here because it surprises me to know how many younger and older folks have no idea there was a film to explain the miracle. I imagine that maybe those whom are not Catholic know nothing of this event. I thought if I did not add that there was a film of this event no one would even know it ever happened. I mean we are talking something that happened in the 1800's.

So the additonal note is to alert any one interested that Villa De Matel has added a shrine of sorts to the grounds. You will see as soon as the enter the drive and its on the right hand side. Can't miss it its a huge man made hill with minimal seating and an alter of the Virgin with candles, etc. Anyone interested in visiting can call the convent for arrangements. Peace! :)

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When I was a kid about 5 years old, I recall my mother picking up a Catholic sister in downtown Houston in the pouring rain and taking her to a convent in South Houston. This would have been circa 1958. The convent was two or more stories and had a really old (I think) cage-type elevator inside. In recent years, I've wondered where that was. Some have suggested Villa de Matel.

I also recall this convent of my distant memory had a fairly new and modern girls school on the grounds for the time. In recent years I've have driven around exploring to try to identify it. I'm fairly certain now it must have been the Dominican convent. What had me fooled for so many years was the length of the drive from downtown to the convent. In the rain it seemed we drove forever to some place way south of Houston.

By the way, did Houston ever have an Ursuline convent? I know Galveston certainly did and even Bryan, TX for a brief time after the Great 1900 Storm. Dallas, San Antonio, and even Laredo have or had Ursulines.

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When I was a kid about 5 years old, I recall my mother picking up a Catholic sister in downtown Houston in the pouring rain and taking her to a convent in South Houston. This would have been circa 1958. The convent was two or more stories and had a really old (I think) cage-type elevator inside. In recent years, I've wondered where that was. Some have suggested Villa de Matel.

I also recall this convent of my distant memory had a fairly new and modern girls school on the grounds for the time. In recent years I've have driven around exploring to try to identify it. I'm fairly certain now it must have been the Dominican convent. What had me fooled for so many years was the length of the drive from downtown to the convent. In the rain it seemed we drove forever to some place way south of Houston.

By the way, did Houston ever have an Ursuline convent? I know Galveston certainly did and even Bryan, TX for a brief time after the Great 1900 Storm. Dallas, San Antonio, and even Laredo have or had Ursulines.

The convent (Villa de Matel) has had some very nice upgrades in the last few months. The very thickly wooded area out back has been cleared in various spots for expansion of the walking path. Nice benches have been added and much, much needed lighting! There has been numerous azaleas, pince trees and magnolias added to further enhance the area. It is so pleasant to see the retired sisters casually strolling along and just enjoying the views. Bird watchers should take note and come see the numerous varieties of birds that flock to these grounds. The distant sound of the bells in the tower are always a welcome to us locals nearby. I urge everyone to see this place. Once inside you are taken away to another world. :)

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My wife has attended retreats at Villa de Matel and I understand that they have Midnight Mass there every Christmas Eve that is open to the public.

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