Q: Why are there fees for spiritual teachings and offerings?
A: Contemplative Outreach offers a wide variety of both free and paid resources and support, ensuring our programs are as accessible as possible to serve all people wishing to live a contemplative life. We do our utmost to accommodate all requests.
The resources that are free ‚Äì like this Q&A, the hundreds of resources on our website, our semi-annual printed newsletter, free videos on YouTube, etc. are made available through the generosity of donors, or through funds received in other ways. For example, Contemplative Outreach offers both an iOS and an Android Centering Prayer mobile app for free. This app is a timer to support one‚Äôs Centering Prayer practice. However, these apps are very expensive to produce. Various donors and grantors helped to fund the endeavor so that thousands and thousands of people could download and use the app for free. In the same way, the generosity of donors funds our scholarship program for online courses so that anyone, anywhere can participate for a reduced fee. Our fees for retreats, courses and workshops are far below average market prices compared to other spiritual and religious offerings and programs.
Creation and delivery of resources worldwide has a cost. Collecting, creating, publishing and distributing teachings and offerings requires people and infrastructure, like websites, office space, insurance, telephones, technical experts, videographers, printers, and many other professional services. We also have a very small and very busy paid staff supporting thousands of people and over 1400 volunteers worldwide.
Thank God for the generosity of so many people who have made this possible. It is the richness of the people of God.
We are so blessed!
‚Äì Fr. Carl.