‘Veritatis Splendor’ will enliven the faith of Catholics in the Lone Star State and around the world.
On nearly 600 acres of land, the Catholic center of Veritatis Splendor will be built near Tyler, Texas. (photo: Veritatis Splendor website)
February 27, 2021
“This is the choice of our moment: whether to be Catholic in the fullest sense or to let that option fade, for the foreseeable future, into darkness.” — from the foreword to Light and Leaven: The Challenge of the Laity in the Twenty-First Century, by Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas
A grand oratory, seven Catholic institutes, a retreat center, residences, multilevel educational programs: These are among the ambitious projects about to launch in the bucolic east Texas countryside of Winona, outside of Tyler. Called Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth), after the encyclical by Pope St. John Paul II on the Church's moral teaching, the center will bring together a community of believers whose goal is to safeguard the deposit of faith through uncompromising fidelity to sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition. Now in the planning stages, Veritatis Splendor will be a spiritual home where Christians can develop, nurture and preserve all of the chief truths and teachings of Christendom.
The seven institutes of Veritatis Splendor will encompass a range of issues that concern Catholics in the modern world, including life, education, liberty, human rights, law, media and culture. The founders' vision is that directors of the institutes will live and work in the community and will, by virtue of the offices they hold, become missionaries in the world to transmit Catholic values in a way that promotes truth, goodness and beauty and, in so doing, restore Christ in society.
On nearly 600 acres of land, dotted with forests and pastures and lakes, Veritatis Splendor, a $22-million capital campaign, will build its headquarters, opening its doors to the faithful and planting seeds for other Veritatis Splendor locations regionally and globally. Plans for the headquarters include offices for the institutes, housing (individual residential lots; there are 71 lots in Phase 1. There are plans for Phase 2 and 3 development for residences if there is a strong demand), educational facilities for grades K-12 as well as plans for a university, recreational activities for residents and guests, such as swimming, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, outdoor sports, hiking, prayer gardens/Stations of the Cross, and food cooperative services supported by a large greenhouse and organic farming.
In addition, there will be a retreat center, as well as clergy and guest housing.
At the center of Veritatis Splendor will be the grand oratory, led by a community of Catholic priests who will live under a particular charism of apostolic life. These priests will reside in the community as permanent members of Veritatis Splendor in east Texas and will not be subject to transfers or reassignments.
Overall, with Veritatis Splendor, the idea is to “protect, preserve and proclaim the truth of the faith given to us by Jesus.”