Recent Events

Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6, 2018

Contemplative Spring Retreat

Retreat Presenter, Martin Laird, O.S.A.
Father Martin Laird is Professor of Early Christian Studies at Villanova University. Fr. Laird’s published works include Into the Silent Land and A Sunlit Absence. This retreat offers time and space away from the busyness of daily life and allows the body, mind, and spirit to surrender to God’s presence and action within each one of us.

Location and Directions
Villa Maria Eduction and Spirituality Center
225 Villa Marie Road
Pulaski, PA 16143
[link to Villa Maria website]

March 10, 2018

United in Prayer Day

Location and Directions
Laurel Lake Retirement Community
200 Laurel Lake Drive
Hudson, OH 44236
[link to church website]

Registration/Check-in: 8:30 a.m.
Event: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

January 21, 2017

Silent Day of Prayer

Saturday, January, 21 2017
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

St. Basil the Great Catholic Church
8700 Brecksville Road
Brecksville, OH 44141
(At the Parish Life Center behind the church.)

March 11, 2017

Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop

Saturday, March 11, 2017 
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Federated Church
76 Bell Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

March 18, 2017

United in Prayer Day

Saturday, March 18, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Laurel Lake Retirement Community
200 Laurel Lake Drive
Hudson, OH, 44236

Click here for more information about United in Prayer Day.

April 6, 2017

Webinar Trinity: the Soul of Creation

Thursday through Saturday, April 6 – 8, 2017 
St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church, Brecksville, Ohio

A live broadcast of the conference Trinity: the Soul of Creation, being presented by Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault and William Paul Young in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Click here for more information about the topic of the conference.

June 10, 2017

Silent Saturday

Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2747 Fairmount Boulevard
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Several sessions of sitting Centering Prayer, readings and quiet reflection.

August 11 – 13, 2017

St. Theresa of Avila and the Interior Castle

Friday through Sunday, August 11 – 13, 2017

River’s Edge
3430 Rocky River Drive
Cleveland, Ohio
[link to website]

A special Retreat / Conference weekend presented by Susan Komis, allowing sacred space and time to explore the Seven Mansions of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle. Together we reflected on the light of Teresa’s timeless insights into the human soul, its journey towards God, and how Teresa’s teaching is relevant to our personal contemporary spiritual journey. This retreat/conference included presentations, small group discussion with periods of Centering Prayer, reflection and silence. Suggested reading for this special event was “The Interior Castle,” from the Collected Works of Teresa, Vol. II, translation by Kavanaugh & Rodriguez.

September 30, 2017

Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop

Location and Directions

Holy Martyrs Catholic Church
3100 Old Weymouth Road
Medina, Ohio 44256
[link to church website]

Date and Time

Saturday, September 30, 2017 
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
(Registration begins at 9:00 a.m., the Workshop begins at 9:30 a.m.)

Follow-up sessions October 7 and October 14.

Contact Information

To RSVP or for more information, contact Kate Valentine at email or by phone at (330) 659-6356.

October 7, 2017

Silent Saturday

Location and Directions

St. Christopher’s Parish
20141 Detroit Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116
[link to church website]

Date and Time
Saturday, October 7, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
(Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., Centering Prayer beings at 9:00 a.m.)

Contact Information

To RSVP or for more information, contact Darlene Sasz at email or by phone at (440) 331-0903.

December 7, 14 and 21, 2017

Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop

Location and Directions

Church of St. Dominic
3450 Norwood Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44122
[link to church website]

Date and Time

Thursday, December 7, 14 and 21, 2017 
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
(Please plan to arrive early so the workshop can begin promptly at 7 o’clock.)

Contact Information

To RSVP or for more information, contact the parish office at St. Dominic via email or by phone at (216) 991-1444.

Leadership Meeting November 12, 2016


November 12, 2016

Team Meeting

St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church, Brecksville, OH


Mike Davault                                    Jackie Fabian                                    Chris Grostic, Coordinator                  Marilyn Mack         Nancy Moran                   Suzanne Sweeney                  Juanita Vargo


Chris Grostic, Coordinator, opened the meeting @ 9:35 a.m. after prayer.

Silent Saturday Retreat Report:

Jackie Fabian reported that 25 people attended the retreat on October 29th @ St. Rita Parish, Solon, OH.

Participant feedback was very positive. The team consensus was that it was one of the best retreat days that has occurred.

Jackie stated that Josefina Fernandez had reported to her that St. Basil in Brecksville would be interested in doing the next Silent Saturday in January.

Theological Principles:

Chris Grostic believed that it was time to release again the Theological Principles of CONEO. It lists  the limitations set by the International Contemplative Outreach on our ministry We must also be aware of our own limitations: the number of team members available to do any expansion. We are already limited by the shortage of volunteers available to do retreats, etc.

Every CONEO group has its own personality based on their leadership and they are at liberty to include in their meetings anything that will enrich the group to fill the goals of contemplative prayer.

Appreciation Luncheon & Awards

The Appreciation Luncheon on November 6th was very successful due to the careful planning of Josefina Fernandez and the support of Chris and Steve Gotch. Thank you notes will be sent to Chris and Steve for the use of their facilities and the fine food selection.

Communication to Prayer Groups:

Mike Devault will be going on vacation until February. Before he leaves he will send out one more e-mail communication to the prayer groups. Suzanne Sweeney volunteered to take over his library duties until he returns, including keeping track of the sales. He has developed a list of 10 books to be recommended to new prayer group members.

Mike intends to visit the Epiphany Episcopal Church, Euclid before he leaves. They have a large ecumenical gathering each year. Mike has already visited the prayer groups at: St. Rita, St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Paul in Canton.


Chris Grostic advised that Brian Smith, our Communications Coordinator, reported that we had e-mail issues in our last mailing. We are transitioning to a new system and some addresses did not transfer over. There are 600 on our list, but 180 were listed as unsubscribed and some team members did not receive the communications. We will work on this to clear up the problems before the next meeting.

Mike Devault advised he is sending a final prayer group and team member listing. Members should check their own e-mail addresses to make sure they are correct.


Chris Grostic requested that prayer group leaders should make sure their members know who the new team leaders are and their responsibilities.

Chris stated that CONEO meetings should be attended by Team Leaders. Any prayer group member that wishes to attend a Team Meeting; e.g. December 10, is welcome to attend.


Nancy Moran stated that requiring a member to do both a workshop and the follow-up meetings is too stressful, as the preparation time, travel time and teaching responsibilities are very intense. She suggested that the retreat leader be relieved of the follow-up responsibilities. The team agreed.


Chris Grostic stated that the Federated Family Life Center in Chagrin Falls wanted us to do an Intro Workshop in the first quarter of 2017. Federated wants to increase their membership to either start a new group or use as a filler to already established groups. We need a presenter and a Book Table representative.

Any other prayer group that wants an Introductory Workshop should call Chris Grostic.


Nancy Moran reported that Villa Maria is inviting James Finley June 23-25, 2017. She suggested that we cooperate with Villa Maria by offering to lead prayer after the lectures, ask if we can put out our advertising on their hospitality table or getting a block of rooms that our prayer groups can have access to, if they want to attend. Chris Grostic suggested that this be discussed in January after our own Introductory Workshop is completed.

Nancy Moran, also, stated that the Erie, PA Contemplative Outreach is planning to bring in Fr. Menninger. No date has been scheduled.



Chris Grostic reported that the International Office is having their retreat, September 21, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Many of their staff are retiring and they need to select new staff and reset their future goals. Any member can attend. For further information go on their website.


Marilyn Mack will be taking an annual vacation visiting her children in Texas and California for the holidays. Meetings that occur while she is gone will have to have notes taken by someone else.

NEXT MEETING:   December 10, 2016 at St. Matthews.

Respectfully submitted,


Marilyn Louise Mack, Secretary.



Kay Powers:

One correction is that the International program Sept 21 to 24 that you mentioned is a conference not a retreat.  We had annual conferences up until two years ago.   The new individuals are already on board and running CO.  What we will be doing is learning more of the direction CO is going and a time for input of what we would like CO to include in their new look.


You might want to go to the Contemplative Outreach website, get your name on their email list  and learn more about CO in general.  I would be happy to discuss CO’s history. with you.  Let me know if you would like to set up a phone meeting.


Peace be with you,



From Nancy Moran

An addendum to the minutes – this is not a correction because we didn’t discuss it in the meeting but I want to take this opportunity to make a comment regarding workshop stress in the minutes.  As we already know all the opportunities the Holy Spirit gives us to share centering prayer are meaningful and enriching for both for the transmitter and the receiver.  This is very true of the Introduction to Centering Prayer Workshops.  We also know the gifts of the Holy Spirit are peace and rest – I/we experience stress only when we make it so.  In reality, presenting at workshops is a grace that strengthens our love for and commitment to centering prayer. I wanted to write this because I want to encourage people who have the impetus to do the presenter formation to know what a good and grace filled experience it is.

I also want to clarify that if the presenters want to facilitate the follow up sessions this may certainly be an option.

Sample page of events



Centering Prayer Introductory Program
St. Basil the Great Catholic Church
8700 Brecksville Rd, Brecksville, OH 44141

Follow Up Sessions:

Saturday August 13  
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Saturday August 20    
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Saturday. August 27   
9:00 am to 11:00 am

August 6, 2016

Silent Day of Prayer 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

St. Rita Catholic Church

32820 Baldwin Rd, Solon Ohio 44139

with parking next to the church and entering on the side to St. Mark Chapel

St. Rita’ s Centering Prayer group is glad to announce a day for getting together in silent prayer. On Saturday August 6 from 9am to 12 pm, we will  dedicate to practice 2 double sits of Centering Prayer, have a time for a Lectio Divina and listen a short reading from Fr. Thomas Keating.

If you are in need for a quiet space and pray with a  contemplative community, you are cordially invited to share this moment with us.

Please, RSVP to Jackie Fabian, who is the leader of this group. Her e-mail address:


September 16 – 22, 2016

Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat and Post Intensive Retreat  

CONEO_CP Intensive and Post Intensive registration flyer

September 16 – 22, 2016

Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center

2067 Evergreen St., Villa Maria, PA 16155

Join fellow practitioners for immersion in the practice of Centering Prayer, as taught by Contemplative Outreach. Two retreats are available during the week, based on your background:

Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat: The Intensive Retreat features an educational component, plus up to three hours of Centering Prayer and two videos from the “Spiritual Journey” video series each day. Throughout the retreat experience, one becomes more immersed in the conceptual background of the spiritual practice, as well as refinement in the practice itself.

Recommended preparation: established daily practice of Centering Prayer for at least six months to one year.

Centering Prayer Post Intensive Retreat: The Post Intensive Retreat provides an opportunity for even more intensive Centering Prayer, solitude, and silence in community. The Post Intensive is predominantly silent, with no videos shown.

Recommended preparation: previous attendance at an Intensive Retreat or equivalent.

Both retreats will be held simultaneously at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center (, located in Western Pennsylvania on the picturesque grounds of Villa Maria Community Center, home of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary.

Questions? Contact Kay Powers (216.932.8911 or or visit

REGISTRATION (Limited Space Available)

 Name: ______________________

Address: ______________________


Phone: ______________________

Email: ______________________

Dietary restrictions: __________________

Select Retreat: [ ] Intensive Retreat

[ ] Post Intensive Retreat

Room & Board – before 8/15/2016:

[ ] Single Room ($600)

[ ] Double Room ($450)

After 8/15/2016:

[ ] Single Room ($625)

[ ] Double Room ($475)

Mail with check (payable to “CONEO”) to: CONEO Retreat

c/o Ivi Latronica

210 Kenneth Dr.

Brunswick, OH 44212

CONEO_CP Intensive and Post Intensive registration flyer

November 6, 2016

Recognition and Appreciation Date for Facilitators and Volunteers

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2016.     Save the date!

Facilitators and Volunteers 
Recognition and Appreciation Date
November 6, 2:00 – 4:30 pm
We will share a meal, Centering Prayer, time for recognition and sharing and
Greenbridge Teahouse and Café  –  9036 Church St, Twinsburg, OH 44087
Please RSVP to
John Garrit by November 2

We will honor those who has supported CONEO from the initial days of the Chapter. Plan now to share this celebration.

Foundation Of Contemplative Living: Audio Sessions

Exploring foundations of Contemplative Living
A Retreat with James Finley 

April 29-30 and May 1, 2016
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Contemplative Outreach Northeast Ohio (CONEO) had the privilege to work with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio for the retreat Exploring the Foundations of Contemplative Living led by Dr. James Finley on April, 29, 30 and May 1, 2016. Chuck Herbruck, from the Centering Prayer group at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, made this event possible through over a year of behind-the-scenes work. Over 350 people attended.

In keeping with Dr. Finley’s wishes, the audio files were made available to upload on the CONEO website. Click on the blue link at the beginning of each numbered item, below, to play an MP3 audio file.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Path to Inner Peace: Freeing the Mind and Heart through Spiritual SobrietyIntroductions and thanks by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

  1. TRACK033 — Introduction by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
  2. TRACK034 — Dr. Finley speaks on how the 12 steps can help all of us to be set free from habits of the mind and heart that perpetuate suffering.
  3. TRACK035 — Questions and Answers.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thomas Merton and Teresa of Avila.

  1. TRACK036 — Introduction by the Rev. Richard Israel, Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
  2. TRACK037 — Dr. James Finley on Thomas Merton, Part I
  3. TRACK038 — Questions and Answers, Part 1
  4. TRACK039 — Reconvene after break, a note from Sarah Widener, River’s Edge
  5. TRACK040 — Dr. James Finley on Thomas Merton, Part 2
  6. TRACK041 — Dr. James Finley calls for questions (laughing!)
  7. TRACK042 — Questions and Answers Part 2.
  8. TRACK043 — A note from Cleveland Ecumenical Institute for Religious Studies
  9. TRACK044 — Dr. Finley on Teresa of Avila, Part 1
  10. TRACK045 — Questions and Answers, Part 1
  11. TRACK046 — Reconvene after break, a note from Josefina Fernandez, CONEO
  12. TRACK047 — Dr. Finley on Teresa of Avila, Part 2

May 1, 2016 Sunday

  1. 05 01 16 JF — Dr. Finley’s Homily at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church


Visioning Day Invitation



Questions and Answers

Contemplative Outreach Northeast Ohio

Q: What is a Visioning Day?  Why should I attend and what does servant leadership discernment mean?

A:  The following may be helpful for you  ….

Q:  What will we do at a Visioning Day?

A:  We will gather together to explore future options available to our Chapter, meeting in large and small groups.  We will have two Centering Prayer periods, and visit with one another over lunch!

Q:  Why should I attend?

A:  Our contemplative community is important..  Those who practice Centering Prayer know the value of being committed to a group that supports one another in practice and presence.  Understanding more about the Chapter in function and structure is valuable to the individual in the context of the community.  In the broader spectrum, in our relationship to Contemplative Outreach and the value of the teachings of Fr. Thomas Keating.  A Visioning Day gives a person the “big picture” and invites everyone to give input regarding the future direction of the Chapter.

We want to keep the door open to those who are being called to contemplative prayer and embrace a contemplative life.

Q:  What is Servant Leadership?

A:  One of the ways we put contemplation into action is through service to others in the Centering Prayer community.  The desire for service arises naturally out of one’s contemplative practice.  Servant Leadership allows people to embrace loving service to others and openness to the will of God.

Q:  What will be discerned?

A:  Our wonderful Coordinator is stepping down from that role in the near future.  We will ask participants to gather in a circle, share a period of Centering Prayer, and allow the Spirit to raise up a person who may be willing to follow in the footsteps of our current Coordinator.

There are other opportunities in the chapter for service such as enrichment, hospitality, communication, events, retreats, etc.  No pressure is put on anyone to serve in any way.  You may not be called to serve at this time, but your support and presence are greatly needed.  As the Centering Prayer groups support individual prayer practice, so does group discernment support the callings of individuals.

Susan Komis from Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. will facilitate the day for us and assist our understanding of ways/means that will strengthen our contemplative community.  We encourage you to plan to stay for the entire day.

CONEO Visioning Day
Saturday, July 23, 2016
9:00 am – 3:30 pmSt. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
9549 Highland Dr, Brecksville, OH 44141

Our Visioning Day will include:
Coffee and refreshments
Two periods of Centering Prayer
Large group and small group process

Free Will Offering

RSVP to Josefina Fernandez

and EVITE invitation

September 16-22

Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat and Post Intensive Retreat  

CONEO_CP Intensive and Post Intensive registration flyer

Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center

2067 Evergreen St., Villa Maria, PA 16155

Visioning Day with Susan Komis

Visioning Day is a special event for our contemplative Community in the Spirit of Centering Prayer

A “Visioning” day provides an opportunity for all Centering Prayer practitioners in our community to gather together to celebrate our history, assess our needs as a contemplative community, and “envision” future growth and direction for Heart of Texas Contemplative Outreach.

All participants will have an opportunity to offer input and be a part of future planning as we envision our future as a contemplative community. We are excited about this day and encourage all to attend. We ask in advance that you commit to attending the entire day . . . you won’t want to miss it!

In the Visioning process, we will:

  • Celebrate our strengths in our initial stages of growth and formation
  • Explore challenges and assess needs to implement realistic growth
  • Prioritize needs and create a road map for the next 1-2 years
  • Acknowledge and encourage ecumenical dimension and Spirit
  • Establish needs of Leadership Team; discernment of Service Teams
  • Prayerful discernment process for Chapter Coordinator

Why participate? 

Chances are your first experience with Centering Prayer was made available to you by volunteers of a chapter of Contemplative Outreach, who chose to participate in the building of our contemplative community.

Participating offers:

  • An opportunity to give back a portion of what you have spiritually received
  • A chance to help build our contemplative community
  • An opportunity to create a vision for the future of Centering Prayer in this region
  • A chance to meet others in the community who share the same contemplative lifestyle
  • An opportunity to share your gifts and talents in loving service to others


Our Visioning Day will include:

  • Coffee and refreshments
  • Two periods of Centering Prayer
  • Lunch
  • Large group and small group process



We request that you pre-register for the day at the link below so we can plan for lunch.




Susan Komis has served Contemplative Outreach since 1990, first as a volunteer for the St. Louis, MO chapter, then as a Coordinator. She is Director of the Chapter Programs & Services (CPS) team which supports Coordinators and Contact Persons throughout the Contemplative Outreach spiritual community. She assists chapters by making on-site visitations and offering programs for leadership enrichment and chapter development. Susan serves as a staff person for Contemplative Outreach retreats, mentors other servant-leaders, and continues to develop leadership formation programs for Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. Susan is a certified Pastoral Minister and has worked in Adult Faith Development and various other ministries, including spiritual direction and interspiritual dialogue.




…”Mercy “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe” (Misericordiae Vultus, 21), thus restoring his relationship with him. In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him…


“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee