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The Sisters of Prayer Town

In Oldham County, off U.S. 385.

By December 2016Comments

Photograph by Wyatt McSpadden

On the northern edge of the High Plains, just west of the Caprock Escarpment, is a place hidden by the jutting breaks of the Canadian River. Here, the Sisters of Prayer Town, who are part of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, quietly go about their daily routine on seven hundred acres given to them by the Amarillo Diocese. The seventeen women who live here, a diverse group from all parts of the globe, long ago took a vow of silence and poverty, so they perform their chores and eat their meals without conversation, persevering with hard work and prayer. One of the few breaks in the silence is when they lift their voices in songs of praise, usually two or three times a day.

December is particularly special in Prayer Town. The sisters go about a month-long cleaning of their modest homes and chapels as if Jesus Christ would be visiting on Christmas Day. To celebrate his birth, the women unite in song on Christmas Eve, and for those who make the pilgrimage to this place, at midnight they can hear a former opera singer from Chicago perform a humbling and unforgettable version of “O Holy Night.” For Texans of all faiths, this is a must-experience moment of the holiday season.

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