Name of Church Carmelite House of Prayer
Address 20 Mount Carmel Dr., Oakville, CA 94562
Phone number (707) 944-2454
Mass times Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. Sundays, 9 a.m. The chapel is open for prayer daily 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Confessions Fridays, 8 – 9 p.m.
Priests/Homilies There are several priests and brothers who live at the House of Prayer. Penance and prayer are themes of the community; members are typically orthodox, experienced and pious.
Music An organist plays on Sundays
Fellow parishioners A mix of people on retreat, visitors and people who live nearby.
Acoustics The acoustics on the chapel are excellent; in fact, sometimes choirs come to practice in it.
Cry room None, but there are seats in the rear with a quick exit nearby if you have noisy children.
Additional observations The Carmelite House of Prayer originally was a mansion built to be the home of a wealthy industrialist, David Doak. Its landscaping was done by John McLaren, designer of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Doak died in 1921, the same year the mansion was completed. A benefactor, Noel Sullivan, bought the mansion and 29 acres of surrounding property and donated it to the Discalced Carmelites in 1955. It was used as a house of formation until 1981, when the facility was designated as a house of prayer and retreat center. Its buildings were damaged in a 2015 earthquake, but have been undergoing renovation. California’s wildfires also threatened the monastery in 2020, but the winds shifted and the monastery survived. The grounds are beautiful and serene, and the community tries to maintain the peace and quiet necessary for the cultivation of prayer. Visitors are welcome, either for Mass and confession or for retreats and days of recollection. See the website for details.