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Spirit Journal – January 2017

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Here’s hoping 2017 is off to a wonderful, peaceful start for you!  For Contemplative Outreach – Chicago, this promises to be our busiest year yet as we offer an expanded series of events and programs to support your spiritual journey.

This month’s lead article offers a brief glimpse of the life and work of Thomas Merton – the inspiration for next month’s Winter Weekend Retreat (February 24-26), which will be led once again by the Reverend Dr. Shawn Kafader. This year’s theme is Personal Reflections on the Spiritual Journey, exploring the classic stages of the spiritual journey as reformed by Thomas Merton.

This issue of Spirit Journal also offers a remembrance of Huston Smith, a link to information about a new online program from the national organization of Contemplative Outreach, previews of local and regional retreats and other contemplative events that are coming up later in 2017, and Insights from Thomas Merton, Huston Smith, Sri Anandamaya Ma, and Richard Rohr.

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Spirit Journal – December 2016

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Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful, peaceful New Year!

We begin this issue with a Christmas reflection written by Alan Krema, the coordinator of Contemplative Outreach-Chicago.  We then provide previews of five retreats and other contemplative events that are coming up in 2017 — any and all of them provide good opportunities to deepen your spiritual development in the coming year.  Lastly, we share Insights from Martin Scorcese, Thomas Keating, Mechtild of Magdeburg, and a little child many of us associate with this special season.

Please don’t forget to give us your input and ideas for future editions of Spirit Journal: use the e-mail address at the end to send your contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – November 2016

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In this issue: We take a glance back at the wonderful Annual Fall Workshop many of you attended last month and we look ahead to let you know about several upcoming retreats and workshops.  We share a beautiful new Thanksgiving Prayer written by one of the chaplains at St. Alexius Medical Center, call your attention to an online offering from the national organization of Contemplative Outreach, and offer Insights from Thich Nhat Hanh, Neem Karoli Baba, Desmond Tutu, and Leonard Cohen.

Please don’t forget to give us your input and ideas for future editions of Spirit Journal: use the e-mail address at the end to send your contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – October 2016

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In this issue: We respectfully request that, if you haven’t done so already, you register right away to attend the fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop – we are getting close to capacity, and may have to cut off registration before the event on Saturday.  Don’t be disappointed!  We also provide a link to our website for Workshop information and online registration, and to the Benedictine University website for directions and a campus map.

In addition, this issue includes information on three interesting events that are coming up in November, brief descriptions of three Contemplative Outreach – Chicago activities planned for this winter and spring, and Insights from Thomas Keating, Ethan Nichtern, Richard Rohr, and Silvia Boorstein .

Please give us your input and ideas for Spirit Journal: use the e-mail address at the end to send your contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – September 2016

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This issue provides more information about our upcoming, fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop – it’s just a month away now!  There are two articles by workshop session leaders, describing what their sessions will be about, along with links to complete Workshop information and registration.  We also update you on a number of other important events you may want to add to your calendar, November 2016 – May 2017.  In addition, we share Insights from Saint Benedict, Shunryu Suzuki, Wendell Berry and Thomas Merton.

We’d like your input, please!  To give us ideas for Spirit Journal, please use the e-mail address at the end to send your contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – August 2016

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This issue provides more information about our upcoming, fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop, including two articles by workshop session leaders, describing what their sessions will be about.  We also provide a link to a wonderful short video from Thomas Keating, and share Insights from Tara Brach, Thérèse of Lisieux, Kalu Rinpoche, and Carl Jung.

We’d like your input, please!  Give us your ideas to help improve Spirit Journal and turn it into an even more valuable forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – July 2016

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This issue features new information about our upcoming, fifth annual Fall One-Day Workshop.  It also describes two events taking place next month: an introductory workshop on the Enneagram and an advanced/post-intensive Centering Prayer retreat in Wisconsin.  We recommend a great book you may be interested in reading, and share Insights from Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Lao Tzu, and Alan Watts.

We’d like your input!  Please help us improve Spirit Journal and turn it into an even more valuable forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – June 2016

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This issue features an important announcement: the topics for our fifth annual One-Day Fall Workshop!  It also offers a new “prayer for the world” by Sam Ogle, and brings you news about several in-person and online workshops and retreats coming up this summer: local, regional, and somewhat distant (Albuquerque?).  Our Insights this month come from Jack Kornfield, Shunryu Suzuki, Ram Dass, and Cynthia Bourgeault.

We invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an even better forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – May 2016

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This issue features personal messages from our Circle of Service Coordinators – Phil Jackson (outgoing) and Alan Krema (incoming).  It also brings you news about a number of upcoming workshops and retreats: introductory and advanced, local and regional, in-person and online.  There’s a reminder to save the date for our one-day Fall Workshop at Benedictine University on October 15, along with Insights from Dag Hammarskjöld, Contemplative Outreach, Maurice Nicoll, and Simone Campbell.

We’re happy to note that this is Spirit Journal’s first anniversary issue – our online newsletter was first published in May 2015!  As always, we invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an open and interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

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Spirit Journal – April 2016

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This April issue announces the date for our fifth annual Fall One Day Workshop, provides an introduction to the practice of Lectio Divina, offers a reflection on a recent visit to St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass Colorado, and highlights several upcoming opportunities to deepen your Centering Prayer practice.  It also presents Insights from Cynthia Bourgeault, Thomas Keating, Meister Eckhard, and Richard Rohr.

As always, we invite you to help us make Spirit Journal an interactive forum for Chicago-area contemplatives.  Use the e-mail address at the end to send your ideas, contributions and feedback.

Save the Date: Annual Fall One-Day Workshop Coming October 15!

We know it’s early to ask you to start planning for October, but now would be an excellent time to block out Saturday October 15 so that you can attend our fifth annual Fall One-Day Centering Prayer Workshop, which will take place at Benedictine University in Lisle.

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