By Tess Colayco

Nov. 26, 2022 was a special day for COP. Thirty-two years ago, it was formally launched as a faith community, and affiliated with Contemplative Outreach Ltd. in the U.S. CO is a network of faith communities globally, founded by the late Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, for the purpose of promoting Centering Prayer, and contemplative spirituality.

To mark the special occasion, we had a Mass celebrated by Fr. Ferdinand “Soy” Hernando, MB (Missionaries of the Beatitudes). This was followed by a simple program, “Remembering Thomas Keating”, with the special participation of Fr. Carl Arico who was one of the earliest members of the Board of Contemplative Outreach, and a dear friend of Fr. Thomas.

In his live video message during the zoom program, Fr. Carl gave a beautiful reflection on one of Fr. Keating’s profound teachings.

“The greatest experience of God is no experience of God.” That is because He is beyond experience…To be lost in His presence is enough.

Grace Padilla, one of the founding members of Contemplative Outreach Phil., the other one being Lita Salinas, both from the parish of Santuario de San Antonio, gave a brief sharing of her experience with Fr. Keating. She recalled how he was as a mentor, friend, and an extraordinary human being, affirming and inspiring her in her own spiritual journey.

It was a day of fond and grateful remembrance of Fr. Thomas by the 88 COP members who attended the activity. Fr. Thomas always held the Philippine chapter close to his heart, recognizing its commitment, and service to its members. We too are deeply grateful to Fr. Thomas for being our shepherd in the contemplative journey, and pray with and through him, “to live our ordinary lives with extraordinary love.”

After the program tribute to Fr. Thomas, we moved on to our annual Christmas Fellowship, celebrating the event with much joy and camaraderie! There were several raffles and games that delighted everyone, Christmas carols sung by the youth of Don Bosco Parish, and children from La Familia Foundation, plus the special solo singing by Christine Carlos who is a mainstay for COP activities with her beautiful singing voice. Thank you, Christine, for always consenting to sing for us!

A beautiful video presentation, “COP Christmas Thru the Years” so professionally done by COP Office secretary, Sam Leuterio, brought many fond memories. Thank you, Sam, for the heartwarming video!

But the greatest excitement of the fellowship was the revelation of the winner of the Christmas tree contest among the different centering prayer groups. The criterion for winning was for the group to get the most number of Facebook “likes” for their Christmas tree that they put up and showed in the COP Facebook page. At the end of the 1-week period during which COP as well as non-COP members “voted”, the run-away winner was the Don Bosco Makati centering prayer group, that garnered 1006 “likes”! The members of the group are Diva Abad Santos, Vi Hernandez, Gaylord Villa, Anne Aligaya, Carmel Lim, and Tess Colayco. Congratulations, ladies and gentleman, for the well-deserved win! Runners-up were Our Lady of Fatima (2nd place) and St. Raphael centering prayer groups. Congratulations, everyone!

With hearts full of love, gratitude and joy, we ended our memorial of Fr. Keating’s 4th death anniversary, and COP’S 32ND anniversary, assured of God’s loving presence in our lives. Deo gratias!


Enrichment Talks

Fr. Eric Genilo gave a talk, “The Mercy of the Trinity” on Sept. 10, 2022. There were 37 attendees. Using the painting of El Greco about God the Father holding His crucified Son, as Mary did in the sculpture, “Pieta” by Michelangelo, we were brought to an appreciation of the Trinity entering the chaos of humanity.

To be compassionate is “to enter into the chaos of another”. To empathize with our neighbor’s sorrow, suffering, pain, difficulties, etc.). The Father sends the Holy Spirit to help us in this mission. And like the Samaritan in the gospel, who had mercy towards the victim of the robbers, we are called to do likewise. We are challenged to set aside our fears, and instead identify with our suffering fellowmen.

After the talk, we had a contemplative Mass during which we observed 2 periods of silence.

 Photos: Click here |  Watch on YouTube: Click here

Fr. James Gascon gave an Advent talk on Dec. 3, 2022 which was attended by 57 participants. The following were some of the insights that he shared with the group:

  • Advent is a preparation for the coming of Jesus for us, for our family, for our community. However, it should not be limited to the 4 weeks before Christmas, but for our entire life. The spirituality of Advent is characterized by attitudes of gratefulness for God’s blessings, as well as a deepening awareness of God who is present in us 24/7, as love.

  • Relating Advent to our experience of the pandemic, we have learned the virtue of resilience, which doesn’t mean we’re not affected by trials and difficulties but we use it to our advantage. Crisis is a time of danger but also of opportunities.

  • How to build resilience:

    • Recognize the graces and gifts that God gives us all the time.

    • Gratitude – don’t stop saying thank you…We are all receivers of someone else’s generosity (i.e., the farmer, the fisherman,, etc.)

    • Companionship – we are not meant to live alone

    • Forgiveness does not mean that we forget the wrong that was done to us, but letting our negative feelings go

Watch on YouTube: Click here

Feedback from Participants of CP and Lectio Divina Workshops

The following were noted in the evaluation sheets of the participants in the different workshops that they attended:

  1. On Clarity of the Presentation:

    • Speakers were knowledgeable and articulate

    • Topic was well-explained

    • Speaker’s voice could be louder. Maybe it was the microphone in my cellphone that needed to be adjusted.

    • Clear but there were parts that were “frozen”…maybe Internet glitch

    • Very good!

    • I’m familiar with LD but I learned a lot from the presentation.

    • Very informative! I hope it can be done face to face soon.

    • Presentation was clear

    • The slides were concise and clear

  2. Was the time allotted for the workshop enough?

    • Just enough for an introduction to LD

    • Reasonable

    • It was enough for me ‘cause it deepened my understanding of what I already knew

    • Okay

  3. Suggest areas for improvement

    • More convenient to have workshops earlier in the afternoon. Having them from 5:30 PM-7:30PM cuts into my dinner time.

    • Sessions can be quarterly

    • More explanation thru examples would be good

  4. Overall feedback for the workshop

    • Very good!

    • Thank you to the speakers

    • Workshop was excellent! Now all I need to do is to practice what I learned. Do CP and LD.

    • Thank you for the chance to join online.

Photos: Click here and here

Thomas Keating Prayer Room

By Billie Trinidad

The idea of having an online Prayer Room was born out of prayer. It came from the urge to have our members experience what it would be like to pray together, for an hour. Not just in our respective CP groups, but with the whole of COP. Perhaps even having others come and pray with us. We wanted everyone to experience how bonding, and how uplifting praying as one, could be. Coming to the Prayer Room meant an hour of resting in God in silence and a sharing of ourselves, our energies, as we humbly sat before the Blessed Sacrament.

So Terly (Chikiamco) and I decided to create a virtual prayer room.

We would have the Blessed Sacrament exposed and begin with a chant. We started out with Tuesdays and Fridays…later adding Wednesdays, Thursdays and first Saturdays. As you all know, when doing CP, we bring everyone’s intentions with us, praying with the Holy Spirit. So, we set down our major intentions and Sam (Leuterio) created our beautiful Prayer Room.

Our thanks to our “Prayer Room Keepers” Terly (Chikiamco), Sam (Leuterio), Faye (Corcuera), Beth (Nasol), Cynch (Totanes), and Agnes (Chan)…Thank you for your patience.

We opened the Prayer Room to all with the hope that little by little, visitors would come to our prayer room and slowly fall in love with the silence, and look forward to praying with us. It makes for a beautiful way to end the day…or to begin it.

And that is how our Prayer Room was born…the “Thomas Keating Prayer Room.”
See you all there?


Feb. 10

Lectio Divina Workshop Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Feb. 11

"THE PASSION OF MARY” with Fr. Phil Estrella, OMI | Saturday | 10:00 - 12:00 noon

Feb. 11

Lectio Divina Workshop Day 2 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Feb. 24

CCOS Recollection, St. John Bosco chapel | Friday

Mar. 4

United in Prayer Day for CO community | Saturday | 10:00 am

Mar. 10

Centering Prayer Workshop Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Mar. 11

Centering Prayer Workshop Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Mar. 18 or 25

Recommitment Day | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

Mar. 31

Special CCOS /Annual Board Meeting  | Friday | 9:30 - 10:30 am

April 1

Q2 Talk & Mass | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

April 14

Human Condition Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

April 15

Human Condition Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

April 15

Q2 CCOS Meeting | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

May 12

Follow-up Session Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

May 13

Follow-up Session Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

June 9

Lectio Divina Workshop Day 1  | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

June 10

Lectio Divina Workshop Day 2  | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

July 1

Q3 Talk & Mass | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

July 14

Centering Prayer Workshop Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

July 15

Centering Prayer Workshop Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

July 15

Q3 CCOS Meeting | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

Aug 11

Human Condition Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Aug 12

Human Condition Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Sep 8

Follow-up Session Day 1 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Sep 9

Follow-up Session Day 2 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Oct 7

Q4 Talk & Mass | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

Oct 12

Deepening Day 1 | Thursday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Oct 13

Deepening Day 2 | Friday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Oct 14

Deepening Day 3 | Saturday | 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Oct 21

Q4 CCOS Meeting  | Saturday | 9:30 - 11:30 am

Oct 25

Memorial Mass for Fr. Thomas | Wednesday


COP 33rd Anniversary


COP Christmas Mass & Fellowship