Upcoming Events

Discover Your Path to the Heart of God*: Practices for Contemplative Living

October 2023 – April 2024

3rd Saturday of Each Month, In-Person Only, 9 AM – 2 PM

Next Event: Saturday, November 18

St. Walburga Monastery, 851 North Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ

The term ‘contemplative life’ is the abiding state of divine union itself, in which one is habitually and continuously moved both in prayer and action by the Spirit. Centering prayer is an entrance into the process that leads to divine union. — Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart

Join a committed group of centering prayer practitioners to support each other on the contemplative path. The program will be modeled after what was formerly known as the 9-month course in Contemplative Living given by Cathy McCarthy, Sr. Peggy Murphy, Therese Saulnier, and Joanne O’Neill and others in Orange County, NY, and based on Julie Saad’s book Contemplative Life: Discovering Our Path to the Heart of God*. All are welcome. 

Explore a different contemplative practice each month:

October 21: Introduction to Program, Fundamentals of Centering Prayer, Holy Listening

November 18: Stepping Stones, A Guided Meditation to Promote Awareness of God’s Presence and Action in Our Lives 

December 16:  Advent Day of Prayer with Fr. Carl Arico

January 20: Logging

February 17: Spiritual Reading

March 16: Going Deeper — how are we doing with incorporating the practices?

April 20: Lectio Divina

Cost and Registration: We ask $20/event or $115 for all 7 events. All are welcome regardless of ability to pay. No fee is requested from members of vowed religious communities. Online registration and payment are available at: https://conj.ticketbud.com/a-contemplative-living-experience-. You also may pay on site in person or by postal mail (send a check to Barbara Sherry, 1189 Kennedy Blvd, Bayonne, NJ 07002). We request but do not require advance registration to anticipate the number of participants and to contact you in the event of any change in plans. Thank you.

Lunch: Please bring lunch. Coffee, tea, and some food will be provided.

Please contact Eileen McCaffrey Schuman at coordinator@centeringprayernj.com for more information.

Overnight accommodations: Limited accommodations are available at St. Walburga Monastery Friday night before and/or Saturday night after a Practices for Contemplative Living day. This is not a retreat but an effort to facilitate participation by those who live at a distance and to offer an option for those who may desire more time away for prayer. Meals are included. Guests are invited to pray the Liturgy of the Hours with the Sisters.

Cost: $100 for the first night, $50 for a subsequent night, paid to the Benedictine Sisters.

Registration and payment, and any questions about the overnight option, are handled directly by the Benedictine Sisters. Call 908-352-4278 x205 or email center@bensisnj.orgRooms must be reserved with the Sisters by the Tuesday of the week during which you wish to stay.

Monthly Mini-Intensives on Zoom

First Saturdays, 8 am to 9:15 am
Please enter in silence, with volume muted.

Format: Two 25-minute prayer times separated by time for an optional meditative walk, followed by Lectio Divina with Guidelines for Christian Living by Father Thomas Keating.
Registration is not required; link to join is the same for each session.
Link to join
Meeting ID: 889 855 1069
Passcode: 601121
Dial by your location
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Lectio Divina and the Four Senses of Scripture

December 12–15, 2023
Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY

Led by: Leslee Terpay of Contemplative Outreach Ltd.
Conferences and prayer time will focus on one of the ultimate prayers of consent: Mary’s Magnificat. There will be an integrations of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina prayer times. 
Click here to learn more. 



“Within the stillness of silence, God speaks to the heart”

–sign at St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, MA

Material from Past Events

Fr. Carl Arico’s Advent Day of Prayer December 18, 2021

Please find links to audio recordings of Fr. Carl Arico’s talks on December 18, 2021 as well as text of prayers and other readings used that day.