About Us




“There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance.”

‒ Richard Rohr





Silence teaches me who I am. Silence shows me the actions I should take. Silence teaches me what actions not to take because someone else is best suited for the task. Silence shows me the way forward. I need both silence and action. They make me whole.

‒ Thomas Keating





A glimpse of Reality...

“If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment.”

‒ Mt. 7:1

The phrase, “if you want,” spoke so well of my Lord’s gentleness. In my heart He speaks to me always in a most gentle manner, not imposing His will at all, but ever respectful of the decisions I make in my life. Here, He’s telling me to also be like Him in allowing others their own space and not to insist on my way all the time.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me Your ways.



“The journey to happiness involves finding the courage to go down into ourselves and take responsibility for what's there: all of it.”

‒ Richard Rohr



A glimpse of Reality...

“You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

‒ Mt. 7:5

“You will see clearly” spoke to me from this passage which reminded me of my inability to see eye-to-eye with my daughter. The wooden beam from my eye seems to be my own values conditioning as I was growing up, which I now insist for my daughter to follow. Certainly, she has her own ideas, which, although not the same as mine, are nevertheless very valid for her . . . and I must respect them.

Many thanks, Lord, for reminding me to “let go and let God take over.”

History of Contemplative Outreach Philippines

Contemplative Outreach Philippines (COP) took root at the Parish of Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati in 1985 as a ministry that taught the method of Centering Prayer, and offered practices that brought its fruit into daily life.  However, it was only in 1990 that it became a chapter of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (CO Ltd.) of New York, an organization put up by Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., solely to teach Centering Prayer. 

Many workshops were given during the years that followed.  At this stage, Grace Padilla and Lita Salinas, prime movers of Centering Prayer practice in the country, were invited to be part of the National Faculty of CO Ltd.  They were the first Asians to be given such an assignment.  It was both a function and a privilege.  The function was to teach Centering Prayer and the privilege was to be invited to attend Faculty meetings once a year, Coordinators’ Conferences, Formation Programs and Retreats, all aimed at enriching the ministry in all aspects.  Since all these activities are both for information and formation, the experiences derived from these were unquantifiable.  Both Grace and Lita benefited from these tremendously.  The programs, the inputs that these two learned were brought home and applied to COP and an ongoing Formation Program was devised for everyone who by this time had come together regularly as a Support Group in this new found way of relating to God.

Another factor contributing to the further spread of Centering Prayer practice were the visits of Fr. Basil Pennington (first in 1987 and almost yearly thereafter), Fr. Thomas Keating (in 1989, 1990 and many more times later on), and Fr. William Meninger in 1998.  These three Cistercian monks were responsible for reintroducing the ancient practice of contemplative prayer in a contemporary setting as Centering Prayer”.

Fr. Carl Arico, then Vice-President of CO Ltd., came in 1992, and Ms. Bonnie Shimizu, Chairperson, Resource Faculty Service Team, came in 2005 to give a “Formation for Presenters Workshop” to a group of committed members.  Since then, hundreds of workshops, retreats and formation programs have been given benefiting more than a few thousands, COP members and others, including the clergy and religious communities, desiring to know more about Centering Prayer and its application in daily life. 

As an organization, COP is served by a Servant Leader Team (SLT) made up of 10 members, 9 of whom are elected by its voting members.  The 10th member is the mentor/spiritual adviser commissioned by Fr. Thomas Keating.  Together they make up the Circle of Service (COS) whose function is to see to it that the vision of Contemplative Outreach (CO) is fostered, and its mission of spreading the prayer and supporting the members in their spiritual journey is facilitated.

The Story of Contemplative Outreach Philippines

Following the lead of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (COL), the servant leaders of COP are following a slightly different organizational model starting this year. The approach, one that had Fr. Keating’s endorsement, is less hierarchical, and more participative. No one member of the Coordinating Circle of Service (CCOS) is higher than the other. All are equal, all are heard, and all carry the same weight in the organization’s planning and decision-making process.

The different committees work together as clusters, depending on their respective functions. Thus Publicity, Socials, and Secretariat form one cluster. Retreats and Workshops form another cluster with Legacy of TK, and CPG Heads unit.

At the center of the whole Circle is the Holy Spirit who guides the CCOS in their service ministry.

Attention is love. What we’re doing in meditation, and I’m not using this in any sense pious language or sentimental language, but we are loving. It may not feel like it emotionally at the time, but we are loving, and the effects of this work of attention in the meditation periods will be translated into our lives in the form of love. You basically become more loving people, capable of receiving love. Love is a two way street – giving and receiving.

Laurence Freeman


The following 2 articles by Fr. Thomas Keating explain Centering Prayer vis a vis some misconceptions about it, deepening our understanding and appreciation of it as a prayer that is Christocentric, Scripture-based and rising out of the Christian contemplative tradition of the Desert Fathers.

Centering Prayer Method by Thomas Keating

Clarification Regarding Centering Prayer


Pastoral Statement

An Endorsement from the Archbishop of Manila

On Feb. 16, 1997, his Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, issued a Pastoral Statement on Centering Prayer.  Based on an exhaustive study commissioned by the Cardinal himself, the Statement clarified Centering Prayer’s true definition, purpose, and benefits, and how spiritual guidance can help enhance the practice.

Cardinal Sin concluded the assessment with the pronouncement that Centering Prayer “merits the approval of the Catholic Christian faith community . . . because it has brought renewal and deepening of Christian Prayer and life among increasing numbers of individuals and communities, and has brought back many seekers for God and for spiritual life back to the Church.”

The Cardinal has disseminated the Pastoral Statement on Centering Prayer to all parishes, religious houses, and seminaries in the Archdiocese of Manila.  He personally released it to then COP Director, Lita Salinas (now COP mentor/spiritual adviser), thus recognizing the Outreach as the official organization authorized to teach Centering Prayer and its formation programs through its bona fide commissioned presenters.

February 16, 1997

Spiritual Advisers

Most Rev. Raul Q. Martirez, D.D.   Fr. Ferdinand “Soy” Hernando, MB 

Fr. Orly Sapuay, M.S.

The Members of CCOS

Circle of Service

1. Retreats and Workshops – Charit Montalban    Betty Florendo (Alternate)
2. Thomas Keating Legacy – Billie Trinidad Carmel Dael (Alternate)
3. Publicity – Conchitina Bernardo
4. Finance – Terly Chikiamco    Doris See (Alternate)
5. Socials – Chita Castillo    Chickie Ferraren (Alternate)
6. CPG Heads – Dedette Gamboa    Pagie Flora (Alternate)
7. Convenor – Gilda Reyes
8. Secretariat – Tess Colayco
9. Technical Support – Len Hizon    Cris Rosenthal (Alternate)


Contemplative Outreach Ltd.   www.contemplativeoutreach.org