Once again COP members
gathered as a community to reiterate their commitment to the vision
and mission of Contemplative Outreach during this year’s Recommitment
Day on Jan. 26, 2019. A contemplative Mass celebrated by Msgr. “Monsi”
Atilano was held at Our Lady’s Chapel, Don Bosco parish, after which
the spiritual practice of “taking a stand” was done by each of the
Mass attendees. This beautiful practice is a legacy of the late Fr.
Basil Pennington who introduced it as one way of helping us grow in
our spiritual life.
After the Mass, the
community proceeded to Roozen Hall for some Recommitment activities
and fellowship. Tess Castaneda, Social committee head emceed the
program which started with brief opening remarks by Tess Colayco of
the Circle of Service. Essentially it was a reminder to be faithful to
our daily practice of centering prayer and lectio divina, to live the
contemplative dimension of the Gospel, and to support the vision and
mission of Contemplative Outreach. With our Founder, Fr. Thomas
Keating’s passing on Oct. 25, 2018, it was but fitting to recall with
gratitude and love how Fr. Keating had touched our lives. His life of
extraordinary holiness and beauty will always inspire us to follow the
path that he walked before us, that of the contemplative way. Billie
Trinidad then read a beautiful prayer by Fr. Keating that was so
appropriate for the day’s activity.
An inspirational message
followed, given by COP Formator, Lita Salinas. She reminded us that
our recommitment should not be just a yearly practice but a daily one.
Indeed the journey of personal transformation is one that we have to
live moment to moment in our daily lives. Then we did lectio divina, a
back to back practice with centering prayer that we do every day.
Terly Chikiamco, Finance
committee head, then reported on the financial status of the
community, and also announced on behalf of Betty Florendo, Retreats
and Workshops head, the schedule for retreats and workshops in 2019.
This was followed with the introduction of the different centering
prayer groups during which some of the CPG heads shared interesting
information regarding their members (i.e., how long they had been
together, their bonding activities, etc.) It was heartwarming to see
the different CPG’s relating warmly to each other, sharing similar
experiences, and encouraging one another in their contemplative
A hearty packed lunch
followed the “business” part of the program. It was a time of happy
camaraderie and warm bonding with our friends and companions in the
Refreshed and renewed in
spirit, we pray that we may bring to reality Fr. Keating’s prophetic
words, said before he passed away: “After my demise, Centering Prayer
is likely to grow significantly even more. I don’t know why. It’s just
the nature of things. The seed has to fall into the ground and die for
its full energies to be activated.”
This is the mission of
Contemplative Outreach, to teach the prayer, to share the Christian
contemplative tradition with others. And being God’s beloved, Fr.
Keating’s prayer is also for us to allow ourselves “to be loved
unconditionally by God, and in turn, bring this love to everyone,
past, present and future.” May we consent fully to it.
In keeping with the
Christmas spirit of joy, fellowship and celebration of the season, COP
members danced and sang with gusto, laughed heartily, and bonded
warmly with each other during their Christmas party lst Dec. ---- As
in the previous year, it was held at Sunshine Place, a center for
total wellness located at Jupiter St., Makati. The venue was perfect,
up on the roof deck, nicely decorated and spacious to accommodate the
The celebration started
with holy Mass said by “Monsi” Atilano, followed by an inspirational
message by COP Formator, Lita Salinas. A special surprise number in
the entertainment portion of the morning was the tap dance performed
by Billie Trinidad, Tess Castaneda and Gilda Reyes. Big applause to
the three ladies who went out of their way to take tap dancing lessons
just to be able to add more sparkle and fun to the Christmas party!
Big thanks also to Tess Castaneda, head of Socials committee, and her
team for a good job! Everyone had a jolly good time!