Contemplative Outreach of Chicago has been serving the contemplative community in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana since 1989. We are a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., an international spiritual network with offices in Butler, N.J. Our mission is to teach the method of Centering Prayer and to support those whose Spiritual Journey includes a practice of this prayer. The volunteers in our chapter are grounded in contemplative service - "God in us serving God in others."
Origin of Centering Prayer and Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.
In the early 1970s, Trappist monk and priest Thomas Keating and two other Trappists, Fr. William Meninger and the late Fr. Basil Pennington, worked to bring people living outside monasteries a form of silent prayer now known as Centering Prayer. With roots in the fourteenth century book, The Cloud of Unknowing, this kind of prayer allows people to sit silently and become receptive to God's gift of contemplation.
In 1984, interested in making Centering Prayer available to more people, Fr. Thomas founded Contemplative Outreach. Today, the Contemplative Outreach network has hundreds of chapters and reaches people worldwide through numerous books and videos of Fr. Thomas' teaching on Centering Prayer and its conceptual background.
Take some time to browse our website for more about what we do and upcoming events. If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone, please see our Contact Us page.