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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2014 Winter - Spring Newsletter

  1. REMINDER - Only 13 openings left for this retreat.

  2. June 7 - June 14, 2014

  3. 8-Day Intensive/Post Intensive Centering Prayer Retreat

  4. Fr. Terry Ryan, Retreat Director and Presenter of Women Mystics I Wish I Had Met”

  5. St. Benedict Center, Schuyler, NE

  6. Retreat fee $540  (includes 7 nights in private room plus meals)

  7. Retreat Registration Form

  8. (Registration deadline is May 21, 2014)

  9. Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP

  10. Fr. Ryan is a Paulist priest, ordained in 1977, who has been teaching about the mystics of western spirituality since 1978.  He spends summers at Snowmass Trappist Monastery in Colorado.  Father Ryan will be giving talks during this retreat on Women Mystics I Wish I Had Met” about Dorothy Soelle, Etty Hillesum, and Elizabeth Lesuer, three modern women with a mystical spiritual depth.  They were searchers with all their questions, life difficulties, observations, and practice.  In examining their journey, their attraction to inner prayer, we hope to learn more about our own quest to experience union with God. 

  12. Saint Benedict Center

  13. Intensive Retreat

  14. The Intensive Retreat provides an opportunity to deepen the practice of Centering Prayer in an atmosphere of silence and community support.

  15. Prerequisites:  Have a regular practice of centering prayer.  Prior Centering Prayer retreat experience is desirable but not required.

  16. What to Expect: Periods of Centering Prayer 3 times daily, Mass by retreat director, talks given by retreat director, group Lectio Divina, meals in silence, a silent retreat day, private talks with retreat director, open forums, and ample free time for reflection and walking around the contemplative grounds of St. Benedict Center.

  17. Post Intensive Retreat

  18. The Post Intensive Retreat emphasizes increased silence and solitude.

  19. Prerequisites:  Prior Intensive Retreat experience is required.

  20. What to expect: Grand Silence [no eye contact] is observed for a good portion of this retreat, periods of Centering Prayer 3 times daily, group Lectio Divina, additional times for Centering Prayer or Lectio Divina in private, a "Desert Day/Hermit Day", private talks with the retreat director, and ample free time for reflection and walking around the contemplative grounds of St. Benedict Center.


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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.