SEPTEMBER- 2019  Practice Groups for Centering Prayer


(Brighton) Mercy Center (Mercy Motherhouse) 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610. This group meets Mondays  weekly from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The facilitator is Mary Jo Bender: Please call ahead (585) 732-1250 for directions inside the Mercy Center.  Alternately, call  Terry Mirante H (585) 377-5274 or Cell  (585) 200-8007 or email for information.

(Rochester) St. Monica’s Group in the Chapel at St. Monica’s, 831 Genesee St., Rochester, NY 14611. This group meets Mondays weekly from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. The facilitator is Marilyn Catherine: Please call (585) 328-9369 or email at  Alternately, call  Dorothy Siegel (585) 880-5519 for information or for directions for parking and access to the chapel.

(Fairport) Church of the Assumption, 20 East Avenue, Fairport, NY 14450.  This meets Mondays weekly in room #2 of the lower level from 10:00-11:00 am. The facilitators are Kathleen Cunniffe: Please call (585) 435-2527 or email  or Terry Mirante H (585) 377-5274 and Cell (585) 200-8007 or email  for information.


(Spencerport) St John’s Evangelist Church,  55 Martha Street, Spencerport NY 14559  at Martha House across from the church.  This group meets Tuesdays 11:00 am-1:00 pm. The facilitator is Sharon Diehl or Tom Agness. Please call (585) 349-4764 or email for information or alternately call Tom Agness (585) 349-8286 or email

(Greece) St Lawrence Church, 1000 North Greece Road, Rochester, NY 14626. This group  meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 3:30-4:30 pm. The facilitator is Cheryl McElhatten.  Please call (585)749-9225 or email for information.

(Rochester) Mercy Spirituality Center, 65 Highland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620. This group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday in the Chapel from 5:30-7:30 pm.  The facilitator is Mary Coughtry. Please call (585) 507-6219 or email for information.  Suggested free will offering per session is $5.00.  

(Auburn, NY) St Mary’s Church basement, 115 Clark St, Auburn , NY 3021. This group meets weekly on Friday at 10:30-11:30. The facilitator is David Lansford. Please call H 315-252-3640 or  cell 315-406-8379 or email at for information.

 If you would like to be in our Google Email Group to learn about events, new groups, and updates please contact Cheryl McElhatten at with your email address. Thank you.


                                 Father Thomas Keating On Balance

In general, the direction of contemplatives requires some special sensitivities. One of these is a particular alertness to maintaining a balance of inner and outer activities. A purely apophatic prayer may stagnate without some conceptual input through spiritual reading, liturgy, or listening to sermons or lectures that speak to the contemplative person’s state of prayer. There needs to be a balance of intellectual, affective and intuitive elements in prayer. Contemplative prayer frees us from attachment to the use of our faculties in going to God, not from their use. The right use of them disposes us for the gifts of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, which lead to contemplative prayer in the full sense of the term.

From Intimacy With God, p.82

Eight Ideas to Deepen Your Prayer by Dorothy Lindsay

Here are some suggestions for deepening your Centering Prayer:
1. The first step is to firmly establish two twenty -minute sessions everyday. Father Thomas tells us that it takes at least twenty minutes to “settle into the prayer. The first session is for maintenance and the second for deepening your prayer.”
2. Join a  Centering Prayer group.

3.When you are ready, slowly increase the amount of time you pray by a few minutes in each session.
4. After you have established your practice, read or reread Open Mind, Open Heart.
5. Later, read or reread Invitation to Love.
6. When you are ready, read Intimacy with God. All three books are by Thomas Keating.
7. Consider attending a “Day for Centering Pray-ers.” You will get an idea of what a Centering Prayer retreat is like, share with others, and have a chance to learn or relearn some basic and ask questions. Check out the Mercy Spirituality Newsletter.
8. Go on a retreat. Retreats are designed to deepen your intimacy with God and to strengthen your practice.
Happy Praying!