In a sacred process of discernment on April 21, Dan Wagner and Jesse Fox became the new coordinators of Contemplative Outreach of Central Florida. They will serve a three year term and facilitate the work of the COCFL leadership teams. Here are their thoughts about their roles reported in the April COCFL Newsletter.
Dan Wagner. (left in photo)The seed of my growth into Centering Prayer started with the 1988 birth of my son that led me to begin the return to my faith. In 1991, I began to practice Centering Prayer as I went with great interest to St. Benedict’s school where they began offering daily Christian Centering Prayer sessions and retreats with facilitator Sr. Jean Lavin, O.S.B.
In 2006 I began going to prayer at the House of Prayer in Erie, Pennsylvania and to retreats sponsored by the Erie branch of Contemplative Outreach. There I met Fr. Keating and was the recipient of a personal interview with him that I will always cherish.
On the horizon in June I will attend a retreat in St. Louis presented by Susan Rush and Susan Komis entitled: Deepening the Contemplative Dimension of Servant Leadership. I look to learn more about Centering Prayer with a focus on how to advance in our collective and individual transformation in Christ.
In our COCFL November retreat with Fr. Martin Laird, author of “Into the Silent Land,” we have an opportunity to learn about the Desert Fathers and Mothers and the contemplative vision that spans hundreds of years.
I look forward to serving as a co-coordinator for Contemplative Outreach of Central Florida for the next three years and to this wonder-filled opportunity. Peace and blessings to us all!
Jesse Fox. (right in photo) It is an honor to be serving the Central Florida Chapter of Contemplative Outreach over the next three years. My journey to this place began many years ago as a child of a pastor and missionaries. Though I never had the word “contemplation” in my vocabulary, with the perspective of my adult years I now realize that much of my energy was trying to be in that sacred space or return to it! It wasn’t until later after working through the writings of St. John of the Cross and Fr. Thomas Keating that I found a clearer vision and method to what that is. I have been able to blend the personal and professional over the years, as a counselor and professor. I am able to teach and incorporate the principles of Centering Prayer into my work. But the greatest fulfillment I have is learning to grow closer to the Divine life within us; working through the mystery of the Trinity in my life and in everyone I meet.
My hope for this Chapter of Contemplative Outreach would be to continue growing in our intimacy with the infinite love of God, through the practice of Centering Prayer, and that we would honor the legacy of many great leaders who have taken the chapter to where it is today. I truly hope that we will be able to expand our connection to more diverse groups, especially with young adults, who would benefit as I have from connecting with God through gift of contemplation.