Nebraska Contemplative Outreach

Nebraska Contemplative Outreach

exists to practice and share the method of Centering Prayer

as taught by Father Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.


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Co-Coordinators for Nebraska Contemplative Outreach

Diane Kaiser and Cathy Christiansen

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  1. A brief history of Nebraska Contemplative Outreach

  2. Thomas Hall and his wife Colleen learned Centering Prayer from Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O.  They began showing the Spiritual Journey video tapes of Fr. Keating's talks at local Catholic parishes, the first being Mary Our Queen Church in 1988, and a Centering Prayer group was formed there by Ellie McNulty.  In July 1989, Fr. Thomas Keating organized the first Presenter Training and Thomas and Colleen Hall were commissioned to offer workshops on Centering Prayer.  About that time Nebraska Contemplative Outreach was set up and is characterized as a lay volunteer organization associated with Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.  Father Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O., did a workshop at Creighton University in the 1990's and Father Thomas Keating has been to Omaha a couple of times (in 1990 and in 2004) at our invitation to speak.

What does the Contemplative Outreach logo signify?

The symbol representing Contemplative Outreach is called "Job's Redeemer – Patient Waiting." The heart and soul of Centering Prayer is consenting to God's presence and action in our lives. Like Job, our patient waiting and consenting is our gift of gratitude.

The elements of the symbol include:

  1. The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, which acknowledge that our God is at the center of our consent and being.

  2. The cross, symbol of our salvation, stands for our dying to our thoughts and commentaries.

  3. The flowers symbolize the abundance of life and the resurrection. These flowers represent our letting go, in which our false self gives way to the flowering of the new self.

  4. The circle is a sign of an ongoing process bringing us deeper into Divine Intimacy.

This symbol has been seen in three different locations: on an ancient church in the land of Uz, which is referred to in Scripture as the residence of Job; on a Byzantine stone from excavations in Jerusalem; and in a church named "Multiplication of the Loaves" in the Galilee area.