About Contemplative Outreach Dublin


Contemplative Outreach Dublin has been in existence for 10 years and currently has 11 active volunteers on the team. As autumn approaches it signals the time for preparing for the year ahead. We are currently planning our Second Saturday Programme. We meet in a Pastoral Centre on the Second Saturday of each month. An average of 23 people attend from across the city of Dublin, some travel from different parts of the country and some drive from over 100 miles away. We meet from 10 am-12pm, with a period of Centering Prayer, followed by coffee and a showing of DVD by Fr Thomas Keating.

Br. Denis Gleeson and myself will be leading a 5-day Introduction to Centering Prayer Retreat in September.

The chapter hosts about six retreats a year. Sr Fionnuala Quinn has completed her summer retreat schedule, leading Retreats with Sr. Blanaid Gallagher O.P. and Lesley  O’Connor around various parts of Ireland. In addition, in her role as international coordinator for Contemplative Outreach, Sr Fionnuala will be attending the Contemplative Outreach Conference in Denver at which the new Vision, Theological Principles and Guidelines will be reflected upon for service and the future of our mission in the world. Sr Fionnuala then flies onto Trinidad to conduct a Servant  Leader Training and address their annual conference. The address will be the “Place of Silence in Our Lives”.

The Four Consents Retreat, led by Mary Anne Best from the International office of Contemplative Outreach in the U.S.

Fr. Thomas speaks to the different levels of awareness in his chapter on ‚ÄúThe Four Consents,‚Äù in Invitation to Love: ‚ÄúEach time one consents, one comes closer to transforming union with God in this life.‚Äù

Mary Anne Best joined 56 participants at the Emmaus Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin on Saturday 21st June, 2017 to lead a retreat on the Four Consents.

These can be summarised as to consenting to:

  • Our basic goodness

  • The full development of our being

  • Our diminishment and acceptance of death

  • Being transformed

The day comprised of three periods of Centering Prayer coupled with teaching periods by 
Mary Anne.  The Holy Spirit really filled the room and there was calmness and serenity as well as
a palpable feeling of listening with intent.

It is always a joy when a member of the Contemplative Outreach Team from America visits Ireland.

As Br. Denis Gleeson remarked ‚ÄúIt gives us fresh enthusiasm and a renewed sense of purpose when a member of the CO Team leads a retreat.” The day started at 9:30am and ended at 4pm with lunch at 1pm. The Retreat coincided with the 10th Anniversary of Contemplative Outreach Dublin. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Sr. Fionnuala Quinn, international coordinator for Contemplative Outreach and member of CO Dublin, who was responsible for setting it all up.

Group photo of the participants at recent The Four Consents Retreat Day led by 
Mary Anne Best at the Emmaus Centre, Swords, Co., Dublin Ireland.


Other activities

Double CD
Fionnuala Quinn OP and Denis Gleeson CFC compiled and launched a double audio CD in 2014: An Introduction to Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina and the Welcoming Prayer.


Unbinding Christian Faith: Free to Be
Denis Gleeson is a Christian Brother and is a member of Contemplative Outreach Dublin. He has qualifications in education, theology, Christian spirituality, counselling and spiritual accompaniment. He has many years’ experience as an educator and offers a wide variety of retreats and workshops around personal, psychological and spiritual development and prayer. Denis launched his first book in 2015 titled, Unbinding Christian Faith: Free to Be, which includes a chapter devoted to Centering Prayer. From the book cover: “This is a fresh look at essential Christian belief. It clears away obstacles to faith arising out of false assumptions, misconceptions of the Divine, outdated theology and inadequate views of Scripture and of morality. This is a book for religious education teachers, parents, spiritual directors and parish groups.‚Äù

Links to Contemplative Outreach Dublin:
email: contemplativeoutreachdublin16@gmail.com
Find us on Facebook: Contemplative Outreach Dublin

Rev’d Robert Lawson is a Church of Ireland priest (Anglican) and is a member of the Clergy team at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. He is the contact person for Contemplative Outreach Dublin and is also a member of Contemplative Outreach Communications Team, which is discerning issues related to making Contemplative Outreach accessible to a wider global audience.