Beliefs RNS Press Release Service

Contemplative Founders Meeting with Young Contemplative Leaders

WASHINGTON — What is the Spirit doing now? This question frames the “New Contemplative Leaders Exchange,” a gathering of 19 young contemplative leaders with Thomas Keating, Tilden Edwards, Richard Rohr, and Laurence Freeman, August 14-18, 2017, at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.

Fifty years ago, Keating, Edwards, Rohr, and Freeman were at the forefront of a rediscovery of contemplative prayer in the West. They each discovered that their own Christian tradition contained a contemplative core and began to spread this message and to invite others to join them in contemplative practice. Their individual journeys led to the creation of Contemplative Outreach (Keating), the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation (Edwards), the Center for Action and Contemplation (Rohr) and World Community for Christian Meditation (Freeman).

These respected leaders have invited 19 young contemplative leaders to join them this August so that together they might begin to explore where the fresh winds of the Spirit are leading the contemplative spirituality movement today.

The August gathering is an opportunity for the founders and new thought leaders to celebrate the renewal of contemplative prayer in the past 50 years and to notice and name the Spirit’s movement today. The participants will intentionally ground their time together in prayer, seeking a heart-centered listening for what is called for individually and in the partner organizations.

Based on the premise that contemplative practice serves as the vital grounding of Christian life and service, the gathering will explore how prayer moves us to respond to the urgent social and spiritual needs of our time. All four organizations have made a commitment to partner together in the days and months ahead.

Tilden H. Edwards, Jr. is the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation based in Washington, DC; Richard Rohr is the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation based in Albuquerque, NM; Thomas Keating is a founding member of the centering prayer movement and of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. and is based in Snowmass, CO; and Laurence Freeman established the International Centre of the World Community for Christian Meditation and is based in England.

For more details about this event and for a full list of participants, please contact Margaret Benefiel, Shalem’s Executive Director.


The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation has provided support for contemplative living and leadership for over 40 years, offering a wide variety of programs and resources for spiritual directors, clergy, lay leaders and individuals who want to open themselves more fully to God in their daily lives and work.

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