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.   

Current events:

Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop

April 20, 2024

St. Susanna's Centering Prayer Group of CHRIST THE DIVINE REDEEMER PARISH hosts a Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop

Time: 8:30 Registration & Continental Breakfast

Workshop: 9:00 AM - NOON

Follow Up Sessions Scheduled and to be confirmed by participants. All who wish to learn this prayer of consent and silence are welcome. 

Click here for more information and REGISTRATION

Spring retreat

April 26 - 28 (Two nights)

A Weekend-Retreat with Jim McElroy
Deepening the Contemplative Path: The Gift of Emotional Healing

  • Retreat Leader: Jim McElroy
  • Location: St. Emma's Monastery Greensburg

In this retreat we weave together the practices of Centering Prayer, the Welcoming Prayer, and emotional awareness to allow God's gift of emotional healing to unfold in the Now. We will come together in conferences to deepen our understanding of the human condition, divine therapy, and emotional sobriety, based on the teachings of Father Keating and AA co-founder Bill Wilson. Plenty of quiet time will give us the space to practice, reflect, and just to be. The beautiful surroundings of St. Emma's monastery provide an environment that promises to lovingly support our re-treat.

This retreat is open to all (it is not specifically a 12-step retreat).

Jim McElroy is on the governing board for Contemplative Outreach, and has been on the leadership team of 12-Step Outreach since its formation in 2005. He is the former coordinator of CO St. Louis, is on the Welcoming Prayer Service Team, and is a member of the Living Flame teaching team.


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

Other Upcoming Retreats and Programs

In-Person Retreats:

Online (Zoom) Retreats and Programs

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.