Where and with whom will I do my formation? Anyone who is a commissioned presenter may provide the formation either one-on-one, in a small group or remotely.
How much does the formation to become a presenter cost? The provider of the formation will determine the cost, based on materials needed, possible stipends for the person/persons involved and other considerations. Our suggested offering for this training will be between $200 - $250 / student.
Our First Formation Class - 11/6-11/17/2020 and 11/13-11/14/2020
Five New England candidates deeply steeped in their Centering Prayer practice were trained by, Mike Smoolca, a Commissioned Presenter of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina, long-time Centering Prayer group facilitator and the Contemplative Outreach of CT Coordinator.
The following provides some background of the Presenters-In-Training that completed this training:
John Pagano, Connecticut John Pagano has been practicing centering prayer for 6 years and enjoys attending workshops and prayer group meetings. He wishes to continue to expand his knowledge of centering prayer through becoming a Commissioned Presenter of Centering Prayer. John works as an occupational therapist in an adolescent psychiatric hospital. He has a Ph.D. in marriage and family studies and presents workshops internationally on working with youth who have complex behavioral challenges.
Frank Pendola, Rhode Island Frank is a retired teacher, husband, father and grandfather who currently serves as song leader in two local parishes in R.I. He began practicing Centering Prayer after a few years of attempting to start a "contemplative" practice. A friend recommended that he read something by Thomas Keating and he was immediately drawn to Centering Prayer. Even though the closest group that he could find was at Holy Family in West Hartford, CT, an hour and a half away, Frank gladly made the drive to attend Centering Prayer meetings. That was about six years ago and the rest is history.
Suzanne Robinson, Maine At present, Suzanne Robinson and her husband Davis live in Kennebunkport, Maine. She was first introduced to Centering Prayer in the year 2000 when a friend sent her a Christmas card with an enclosure about Centering Prayer Basic Retreat with Fr. Thomas in Snowmass. Colorado. The retreats were said to be “Full”, but she called and Pat Johnson answered, responding, “We have just had a cancellation for the retreat that begins next week.” Suzanne felt it was a sign to attend. While in Snowmass she discovered that she was drawn to Centering Prayer, and so it has been ever since. When the opportunity to train to become a Commissioned Center Prayer Presenter came to her attention this fall, Suzanne felt that it was a natural next step on her journey.
Denise Sleeper, New Hampshire Denise Sleeper lives in Laconia, New Hampshire. She retired from a twenty five plus year career working with people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorder when her husband was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease at age 47. Denise shared that it was a devastating journey that traveled like a tsunami through their lives. She began her Centering Prayer journey when she attended a silent retreat soon after her husband transitioned to a nursing home just two years after his diagnosis. Denise’s hope for the future is “to help people to connect to their true source in a deep and personal way, which is what ultimately will help people to ride the storms of life with confidence and grace and come to know God as He Is...Pure Love.”
Rev. F. Vernon Wright V, Massachusetts Reverend Wright is an ordained parish minister for the United Church of Christ in Scituate, MA. A husband and father of three children, Reverend Wright, currently serves the First Trinitarian Congregational Church in Scituate. His first entry into Centering Prayer began in 1998 while he was in seminary near Boston. He submits that contemplation opened his eyes to becoming a parish minister. Ordination followed in 2001 and his Centering Prayer practice began in earnest while serving a UCC church in Helena Montana. Since his return to MA in 2008 to serve the Second Congregational Church, UCC, Rev. Wright has continued to practice, stating that Centering Prayer is the keel to the sailboat of who he is. His hope is that by becoming an official Centering Prayer presenter, he will become better at sharing the grace this method has brought to his own life.