News and Updates about our Chapter and Retreats
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eNews July 2023

We embrace the process of transformation in Christ, both in ourselves and in others, through the practice of Centering Prayer.

"Even in the darkest night, when we see no light at all, the light is still there. The sun is still shining over Earth even when our side of Earth rotates away from it. The stars still shine above us, no matter ... how thick the clouds above our heads. What we need in the darkest nights is to keep walking along the path until we can glimpse the stars again. What we don’t need is to panic and run blindly into the woods."   Otis Moss III
From Victoria's Desk
Greetings during this July 4th Holiday time! There is much added business as we celebrate our shared blessings of freedom our country’s Founders envisioned. The United States of America! Many families vacation together, or simply gather to enjoy the longer days and pleasantries of Summertime. Let our Pittsburgh Chapter join in reflection on a second virtue fueling our Contemplative Outreach: Solitude. Our alone time, properly valued, creates the space for repose and peace so necessary to carry us through our commitments. Our “singleness” not only makes us more perceptive of the will of God in events and people, it “can increase the courage to stand up for values in which we believe and to resist being swept along by the tide of popular opinion” (Muto, 2019).

It is my hope that we may plan a Celebration together of our Chapter’s rich history which parallels that of Contemplative Outreach and the upcoming 2024 Celebratory Year. Share with me in discerning prayer for new ideas and added volunteers as we move into our active planning this Fall. My initial idea is to share this evolutionary dynamic journey together. It is called forth from our experiential knowledge that God guides our actions through our solitude. May we continue to joyfully meet our individual needs for others and of the marketplace. This is done through our nonobjective awareness of God’s ever abiding presence. We are called to share in our common sufferings. Fr. Thomas taught us that these are a result of the illusion that God is ever absent. Share your thoughts and ideas:
COP News
  • COP is looking for a new service team members, including treasurer. If you are interested in serving Contemplative Outreach, please contact us at
  • COP Summer Book Club: started Jun 26th. They are reading Cynthia Bourgeault's "Mystical Hope." Contact Victoria Graham for more information and to receive the Zoom links:
  • Our monthly Monday night enrichment with Mary Broglie will re-start in September.
Upcoming Events and Retreats
CO Northern Virginia: 2nd Saturdays Series
  • Every 2nd Saturday on Zoom
  • 9am - 12pm
  • Programmed retreat with teacher in the contemplative tradition or Morning of Reflection and Centering Prayer
Saturday, July 8th:
Obstacles to Grace in Centering Prayer

Mythic membership consciousness not only invites us to examine and identify social groups and institutions with which we over-identify, but also ideas, beliefs, and value systems that common culture might affirm - family norms, thought patterns, and operating life principles we hold dear. As the practice of Centering Prayers invites a letting go of thoughts, examining our mythic membership invites a letting go of cultural and emotional conditioning that can be inhibitors to grace in our prayer and contemplative life.
We will spend time together in silence, reflection, and contemplative journaling to notice which areas of our lives we might be invited to “surrender our membership” and open space for more freedom and grace in our prayer life.

For more information, click HERE

Colleen Thomas Picture
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Church of Conscious Harmony:
Sacred Embodiment
  • Saturday, July 8th
  • 1-Day Centering Prayer Retreat
  • In-person and Online Retreat
  • 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
This retreat will feature silence and solitude with restorative yoga
For more information, click HERE
Bethany Retreat Center Picture
Bethany Retreat Center: 
Creation, Spirituality and Art Series
  • Weekend Retreat
  • Several Sessions throughout the year
  • Facilitator: Sr. Tina Geiger
July 7 - 9:  

The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: “Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art, impressed upon things….” Pope Francis, Laudato Si #80

Join us in Praying with the Colors of your Life! Using watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylics, we will explore the colors of various stages in your life through multiple creative meditations. Beginners and seasoned artists will support each other as we release the Creative Spirit Within!
Sr. Tina Geiger, a Sister of Mercy, and Spiritual Director says the connection and intersection of spirituality and art is her passion.

​For more information and registration, click HERE
Sr. Tina Geiger
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Contemplative Outreach, Ltd
Younger Contemplatives Open House Saturdays

  • One Saturday a month
  • 11:00 am to 12:00 pm on Zoom
  • Facilitator: Colleen Thomas
Saturday, July 15:
Younger Contemplatives Community Gathering

One Saturday a month we meet via Zoom for a time of getting to know one another. At about 15 or so past the hour, we practice a 20-minute sit, followed by informal connecting with time for sharing and questions.
To register for the Zoom link, click HERE
Colleen Thomas
Bethany Retreat Center Picture
Bethany Retreat Center: 
The Grieving Spirit - A Series:
  • Various dates throughout 2023
  • Sessions do not build on each other 
  • 9:00am to 3:00pm, lunch included
  • Facilitator: Dr. Jan Satterlee
Saturday, July 25:
The Loneliness in the Loss of a Sibling or Friend

The relationships between siblings or close friends are a blessing, but when death takes this unique relationship from us, it is important to allow others to support us and to help ease the emptiness. 
In this session we will share stories, offer support, and discuss things that have been helpful and things that have not.

​For more information and registration, click HERE
Dr. Satterlee
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Contemplative Outreach, Lectio Divine Team:
Introduction to Lectio Divina
  • Saturday, August 5 & 12, 1:00 pm - 2:30pm
  • 2-part Introduction to Lectio Divine
This two part workshop will teach you how to pray with Scripture, be open to the promptings of the Spirit and lead you to a deeper and more profound encounter with the Word of God.

For more information and registration, click
Bethany Retreat Center
Bethany Retreat Center:
5 Day Centering Prayer Retreat
  • August 13 - 18
  • Presenter: Sr. Ruth Ann Madera
This 5 Day Retreat will be an in-depth retreat for those experienced in Centering Prayer.  The retreat will facilitate entrance into a more profound level of spiritual practice in an atmosphere of silence, solitude, and community with an opportunity to spend extended time in deep silence in community to encourage a more intimate union with God.  
An existing Centering Prayer practice is a prerequisite for attending this retreat. We will be using the series by Thomas Keating, GOD is LOVE, The Heart of all Creation.

More information and registration: clic
Sr. Ruth Ann Madera
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Holy Cross Monastery, New York:
Post-Intensive Centering Prayer Retreat
  • September 12-19
  • Location: West Park, NY12493
  • Information and Registration: click HERE
Contemplative Outreach Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky:
Manifesting God, A Silent Retreat
  • October 12 - October 15
  • Location: Mt. St. Joseph Monastery, OH 45051  
  • 2 Tracks: Introductory or In-depth
  • Information and Registration: click HERE
Claggett Retreat Center Labyrinth
Contemplative Outreach of Maryland and Washington:

Six-Day Centering Prayer Retreat:
Intensive & Post-Intensive

  • October 29 - November 3
  • Location: Claggett Retreat Center, Adamstown, MD 21710
  • 2 Tracks: Intensive and Post-Intensive
  • Information and Registration: click HERE

Ongoing Programs and Resources
Logo COL Podcast
Opening Minds, Opening Hearts

This podcast series from Contemplative Outreach is available on all podcast streaming platforms (Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play) and on our
CO YouTube ChannelEach episode highlights Friends of Contemplative Outreach and their personal practice of Centering Prayer. You are invited to listen as our guests share insights about the teachings of Thomas Keating, how the practice impacts their work in the world and their thoughts about how Centering Prayer connects to the living traditions of contemplation and meditation.
Logo Word of the Week
Word of the Week

A free program offered by Contemplative Outreach.  A short message is sent each Sunday, which includes an image, Scripture, reflections and suggested practices followed by two weekly prayer groups for practice in community.
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Online Courses from Contemplative Outreach

Contemplative Outreach offers many online programs. Attending a workshop, a retreat, an online Centering Prayer group or participating in an online course with a global community is a great way of deepening one’s relationship with God and the experience of living a contemplative life. 
COP Resources: Books & Lending Library
Picture Desk with Notebook
Special Price on Books: Each for only $10 plus postage
  • Invitation to Love and Open Mind Open Heart by Father Keating
  • A taste of silence by Fr. Carl Arico
  • Too deep for words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina, with 500 scripture texts, by Thomas Hall
  • Centering Prayer and inner awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault
Lending Library
  • Click COP RESOURCES for a complete list of resources that can be borrowed from the COP library.
Please call or text your requests to Chris Volz at 412-779-8269 (you may leave a voice message) or send me an email at
For a complete list of the CO Theological Principles and Guidelines for Service,
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