The Ven. Matt Talbot House of Prayer was founded by Barry Schoedel. Barry is a practicing Catholic, and layman, who works for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge as Associate Director of the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis. Most of this work involves him in supporting Catholic parishes and schools in the mission entrusted to them to proclaim the Gospel and form people in the image of Christ.
Barry is also the spiritual formator for the local conference of St. Vincent de Paul and coordinates a catechetical program he founded at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Barry is an active member of recovery communities in Southern Louisiana. Different work in the region has involved him in lay chaplaincy at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, teaching undergraduate theology at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, and teaching meditation and prayer in the region through classes and retreats.
The buying of the property in E. Feliciana and the founding of the Ven. Matt Talbot House of Prayer is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Barry to offer a place for people to be renewed in the Presence of God, and to seek Him within. It is important to Barry that his work with the Ven. Matt Talbot House of Prayer corresponds to rules and regulations for such a community in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge.
Ven. Matt Talbot House of Prayer is not a public Catholic institute as such but instead a work supported by individual Catholics to, in the spirit of Canon 298§1, foster a more complete Christian life. Barry Schoedel founded it for these purposes seeing, in particular, the need for a place to “repent and believe” in silence and stillness, in the Presence of God.