Shalom Center, Inc. was founded to address concerns arising from the realization that fewer and older clergy and religious were responsible for an ever increasing amount of work to be performed in the Church. The need to address emotional stress as these clergy and religious progressed through the stages of human development became an issue of justice within the Church.
In 1979, at the request of Bishop Morkovsky, Bishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese, Father James A. Harnan, M.S.C., researched and documented the needs of clergy and religious in ministry. The results were reported to the bishops and major superiors of the diocese. As a result, Shalom Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1980.
Through the Center’s outpatient experience, it became apparent that a supportive residential environment, creating distance from the source of stress, would result in intensifying the effectiveness of therapy. In January of 1990, Shalom Center, located 36 miles north of Houston in Splendora, Texas, became a reality. The complex is clustered around the chapel, a hexagon-shaped, rustic cedar and glass structure which forms the focal point of the 15-acre wooded site. Therapists’ offices, a large conference room and dining facilities are located in the administration building.
“With an everlasting love I have loved you and I have kept my mercy toward you.
I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt.”
— Jeremiah 31:3
Six cottages, with a capacity for twenty residents in total, provide residents with private bedroom and private baths and include laundry and kitchenette facilities. An additional suite is maintained for visitors to the campus. In 1991, a Health Education and Recreation building was completed. It includes a conference room, equipped exercise areas, an enclosed heated pool with a spa, a massage room and an arts and crafts studio. Outdoor amenities include a deck and picnic areas; a basketball court; jogging paths; and a small, but scenic lake for fishing and boating.
In 1998, Sacred Heart Conference Building was added to the existing administration building. This expanded our facility to include an
AV room, large conference room, additional offices and a residents’ lounge. In 2009, a paved walking path and labyrinth were constructed for residents to experience God's presence in our peaceful and scenic landscape. In 2010, Stations of the Cross were added to the walking path to further allow residents to pray in the tranquility and beauty of Shalom Center’s natural setting. In 2012 the Board of Directors authorized the construction of two cottages to complete the six-cottage master plan for the campus. The additional buildings were completed in 2013
and brought the capacity to twenty residents.
A one-half-mile walking path was completed around the perimeter of Shalom Center in 2015. The dining room was renovated in 2014 to provide a larger space for eating, as occupancy has increased significantly. A new pavilion on the banks of our lake was built in 2016 which provides a sheltered and shaded gathering space for either contemplation or socializing among residents.
Occupancy at the center has more than doubled in the past five years which adds support to our belief that our professional staff provides a therapeutically effective and economically cost-effective service
to our very special population.