You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you

St. Augustine

Welcome to Contemplative Outreach Pittsburgh

         Silence is God's first language. 

                     Everything else is a poor translation. 

Thomas Keating

  • Contemplative Outreach Pittsburgh is a chapter of Contemplative Outreach Ltd--a worldwide network of individuals and small groups committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in daily life
  • Our core practice is Centering Prayer, a silent prayer practice which opens us to the gift of contemplation, a deep relationship with God, beyond words, permeating every aspect of our lives.   

When you pray, go into your room and shut the door

Upcoming Retreats and Programs

Join us for our upcoming Spring Retreat:

"The Triple Way to Transformation"

Presenter: Dr. Susan Muto

  • Date: April 14/15
  • Location: Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center

Our presenter will be Susan Muto, PhD., Dean of the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality and Executive Director of the Epiphany Association. She is a renowned speaker and author who will present a mystical guide to the soul's quest for God aimed at our understanding of how to live the threefold path of purgation, illumination, and union with God. This retreat will include three conferences which focus on the triple way to transformation highlighted in Scripture and brought to light by such spiritual masters as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Teresa of Avila, and Thomas Merton; all of whom in both style and content convey the goodness, truth, and beauty of living with the sacred. These conferences reveal that our thoughts, images, and hopes must be rooted in a calm, courageous peace, expressed daily in our care and concern for one another. Only then can we live to the fullest the virtues of silence, simplicity, solitude, and solidarity.

For more information about the retreat and registration, click HERE

To register directly online, click HERE

Space is limited, please register by March 30, 2023

Sponsored by the Contemplative Outreach Chapters of Chicago, Atlanta, Colorado, and Maryland/Washington, along with Metanoia Journey (Austin) and Closer Than Breath

Ubuntu and Contemplation: How an Indigenous African Philosophy Maps Our Spiritual Path

  • May 13, 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • Zoom Workshop
  • Presenter: The Very Reverend Michael Battle, PhD

Emerging from the ancient cultural traditions of sub-Saharan Africa, the deeply communitarian philosophy known as Ubuntu challenges Western habits of mind in ways that complement and complete the experience of contemplation. In this workshop, we hope to bring together people from diverse backgrounds who share an interest in contemplation. Together we will learn about Ubuntu as we pray through, think about and practice how to release the natural unity the Holy Spirit constantly offers the world.

5-Day Centering Prayer Retreat

  • August 13 - 18
  • Bethany Retreat Center

This 5-Day Retreat will be an in-depth retreat for those experienced in Centering Prayer. The retreat will facilitate entrance into a more profound level of spiritual practice in an atmosphere of silence, solitude, and community with an opportunity to spend extended time in deep silence in community to encourage a more intimate union with God. An existing Centering Prayer practice is a prerequisite for attending this retreat. We will be using the series by Thomas Keating, GOD is LOVE, The Heart of all Creation.

Online Courses from Contemplative Outreach

Contemplative Outreach offers many in-home and online opportunities to deepen one's relationship with God and support the process of transformation in Christ. Attending a workshop, a retreat, a Zoom-video Centering Prayer group or participating in an online course with a global community can all support and deepen one's relationship with God and the experience of living a contemplative life

  Be still, and know that I am God

Contemplative Prayer

We may think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words. But this is only one expression. In the Christian tradition contemplative prayer is considered to be the pure gift of God. It is the opening of mind and heart - our whole being - to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words, or emotions. Through grace we open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing, and closer than consciousness itself. Contemplation is not a special state "achieved" in moments of silence, but it is the deep relationship with the "ground of our being", unfolding in each moment of our lives.

Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a method designed to facilitate the development of contemplative prayer by preparing our faculties to receive this gift. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; rather it casts a new light and depth of meaning to them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. This method of prayer is a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with him. Practicing Centering Prayer is like gardening - we water, weed, and tend regularly, allowing for the beautiful flower of contemplation to grow, but the flower itself, its growth, its beauty, its aliveness, is a pure gift.