COP 32ND ANNIVERSARY
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
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.
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
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!
NEWS AND VIEWS
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
After the talk, we had a contemplative Mass during which we observed 2
periods of silence.
| Watch on YouTube:
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
graces and gifts that God gives us all the time.
don’t stop saying thank you…We are all receivers of someone
else’s generosity (i.e., the farmer, the fisherman,, etc.)
we are not meant to live alone
not mean that we forget the wrong that was done to us, but
letting our negative feelings go
Watch on YouTube:
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:
On Clarity of the
knowledgeable and articulate
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
with LD but I learned a lot from the presentation.
informative! I hope it can be done face to face soon.
The slides were
concise and clear
Was the time
allotted for the workshop enough?
Suggest areas for
to have workshops earlier in the afternoon. Having them from
5:30 PM-7:30PM cuts into my dinner time.
Sessions can be
thru examples would be good
Overall feedback for
Thank you to the
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.
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
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
And that is how our Prayer
Room was born…the “Thomas Keating Prayer Room.”
See you all there?