Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler | www.contemplativeoutreach.org
Gail’s journey to contemplative Christianity is rooted in the ritual and mystery she experienced in the Catholic Church as a child in the ’50s and early ’60s, and is informed by her study of Tibetan Buddhism in the ’70s and early ’80s. She found the convergence of her Christian background and her Buddhist contemplative experience in the contemplative Christian heritage and the practice of Centering Prayer. Gail attended the first intensive Centering Prayer retreat that Fr. Thomas Keating offered at the Lama Foundation in San Cristobal, New Mexico in 1983. As a result, she became a devoted Centering Prayer practitioner and a founding member of Contemplative Outreach. As a laywoman, Gail represents the essence of the community that Contemplative Outreach serves: Christians wishing for a deeper relationship with God through transformation lived out in ordinary life, outside the monastic cloister.
Gail is a mother, grandmother and had a private psychotherapy practice from 1982-1992, all at a time when she was engaging more deeply in the practice of Centering Prayer and laying the foundations for what would become the worldwide community of Contemplative Outreach. She understands the difficulties of balancing the activities of an ordinary life with the attraction to silence, solitude and service.