Soon after converting to the Catholic Church in the 1980's Wayne and Patty Hepler were introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours and began praying Evening Prayer once a week with another couple. They discovered in Church documents that the Liturgy of the Hours is part of the church's Sacred Liturgy and as such has "a power and degree of effectiveness" that is unequaled by any other action of the Church. They read in the General Instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours that,
"Whenever groups of the laity are gathered... they are encouraged to recite the Church's Office, by celebrating part of the Liturgy of the Hours. For they should learn to adore God the Father in spirit and in truth especially through liturgical worship; they must remember that by public worship and prayer they can have an impact on all men and contribute to the salvation of the whole world." (GILH, 27)
Inspired by these words, the Heplers began to incorporate part of the Liturgy of the Hours into the regular routine of their family life and in the places that they were assisting in carrying out the apostolic work of the church. Eventually this led to the building of the St Thomas More House of Prayer, a retreat center solely dedicated to praying and promoting the Liturgy of the Hours.
Over a year after the St Thomas More House of Prayer was dedicated, in a Wednesday Audience, St John Paul II explicitly called for "greater pastoral care to be given to promoting the Liturgy of the Hours as 'the prayer of the whole people of God.'" This was a follow up to his letter to the Church "at the beginning of a New Millennium" where he insisted that the Church become "distinguished in the art of prayer." How? By immersing themselves in the "school of prayer," also known as the Liturgy of the Hours.
Inspired by St John Paul II's words, for nearly 20 years the Liturgy of the Hours has been prayed daily in the chapel with thousands of Catholic laity and clergy as well as many Protestant brothers and sisters joining together to "share in the greatest honor of Christ's spouse... offering these praises to God [while] standing before God's throne in the name of the Church, their mother (Sacrosanctum Concilium 85)."
Over the years, we have hosted thousands of guests from all over the United States and from around the world. As an apostolate, we look forward to continuing to labor for the salvation of the world by inviting all to join us in singing that "canticle of praise which is sung throughout all ages in the halls of heaven... a foretaste of the heavenly praise sung unceasingly before the throne of God and the lamb." (GILH, 16)