Laurence Freeman OSB
Laurence Freeman OSB is a monk of Turvey Abbey in the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. He is the Director and spiritual guide of the World Community for Christian Meditation. John Main was his teacher and Fr Laurence assisted him in establishing the first Christian Meditation Centre and the foundations of the community. In 1990, when the World Community was established, Laurence set up the International Centre in London where he now resides and from where he travels and teaches widely.
Roger Layet lives near Bristol in S.W. England with his wife Shelagh. They have three children and lots of grandchildren. Shelagh found Christian meditation in 1985 – eventually Roger followed, haltingly. He retired from his strategic planning role in a multi-national packaging company in 2001. He belongs to the Nailsea meditation group, is joint coordinator of Bristol region, and served as WCCM’s UK coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Despite constant failures, he is also faithful to the practice of golf.
Ana is a Brazilian copyright lawyer who has been working in the music industry for the past twenty years. She joined the Brazilian Christian Meditation Community in 1996 and began to coordinate the annual visits of Fr Laurence throughout Brazil in 2001. Ana joined the Guiding Board of the World Community in 2003 and was the Brazilian National Coordinator from 2002 -2012.Ana has been responsible for developing the Christian Meditation Community in South America.
Clem was born and raised in Eastern Ontario and educated at the Universities of Ottawa (BA) and Toronto (M.A in Economics). He served in the Ontario Public Service at senior executive level. Clem began meditating at a Zen Centre in 1979 after having ‘discovered’ the practice during a trip to South Korea. He first came across Christian meditation in 1982 but did not become engaged until 1984. He spearheaded the organization of the John Main Seminar 1993 in Toronto, which featured William Johnston, S.J., as speaker. He has been variously involved in this annual event since then. He has been a member of the WCCM Guiding Board since 1994 and a WCCM Trustee for the past 8 years. He also served as Administrator of the WCCM International Centre in London (1997-98). Clem is very involved in WCCM affairs and projects regionally, nationally and internationally.
Peter leads and co-ordinates the activities of the Singapore Christian Meditation community, which started in 1988 when he and his wife, Patricia, formed the first meditation group in Singapore. They also helped to establish the meditation communities in Malaysia, Mauritius and Indonesia. Peter co-leads two weekly meditation groups. He is a member of the WCCM Guiding Board and the Board of Trustees. He has also been involved in the development of Medio Media, WCCM’s publishing arm. Peter regularly leads introductory programmes on Christian meditation for newcomers, and has helped to produce audio and video teaching materials for such programmes.
Pauline, married to Graeme, has 2 adult sons and is a proud grandmother. She has been meditating for more than 30 years. Before her retirement, she was a Parish Pastoral Associate. She is a member of the Queensland and Australian Meditation Councils and was invited onto the Guiding Board of WCCM in 1996, and served as Chair for several years beginning in 2004. Pauline leads a meditation group, has led a number of Schools for Christian Meditation and has introduced meditation to parishes, community groups, seminarians and diocesan organizations. Pauline is an Oblate of the Community and Director of Liaison for National Communities.
Kim is a retired College Lecturer and Head of Department in Modern Languages. She has been a contemplative since her youth and joined The World Community for Christian Meditation in 1993. In 1998 she became a Benedictine Oblate to the Community and since 1999 she has been the Director of the International School. In 2003 she organized and led with her husband Shankar the first ‘The Roots of Christian Mysticism Course’ at the London Christian Meditation Centre, exploring the contemplative experience in Christianity from Scripture to the present Day.
Sean lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife (Cecile) and three children (Sophie, Patrick and Tommy). He discovered meditation while living in Japan, but it only became an important part of his life when he discovered the teaching of the WCCM, which allowed him to integrate his Christian faith into the practice. Sean is General Counsel of the International Monetary Fund.
Gene Bebeau and his wife, Jan, live in Jacksonville, FL and he has worked as a physician in Jacksonville since 1991. Jan and Gene have three sons Johnny, who is married to Caitlin, Philip and Adam. They first learned about Christian meditation at a retreat with Fr Laurence in 1993.They established a meditation group in their parish in 1996.
Gene teaches Christian Meditation in parishes, hospitals, at Marywood Retreat Center in Jacksonville, and at seminars and workshops around the U.S. He is the US National Coordinator and joined the Guiding Board in 2012. Gene has, also, done mission work in Haiti through Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation.
Susan has been involved in charity work for most of her life. After studying languages and working in the travel industry in Europe, Susan lived in Asia for five years in Japan and the Philippines where she had her first daughter. Her second daughter was born in Belgium after which she returned to the UK.
A meditator since 1994, Liz is an oblate and leads two weekly groups in her parish. She is active in the U.S. Council and frequently gives talks on meditation in Michigan. As National Coordinator of China, she has accompanied Fr. Laurence to plant and water the seeds of meditation in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan since 2003, and recently in Japan. She spends hours on the internet with her contacts in Asia, an ocean and a continent away.
She speaks four Chinese dialects and also coordinates the translation and printing of Fr. John's and Fr. Laurence’s books into Chinese. In addition to her WCCM work, she has promoted Chinese arts and culture and still chairs the Chinese American Educational and Cultural Center of Michigan. She often travels with her husband Albert on his lecture circuits and uses the opportunity to promote meditation. At home in Michigan, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren, cooking and an occasional game of mahjong. A former cookbook author, she uses Chinese food to win hearts.
Claudia serves on the board of WCCM USA, is a regional coordinator, an Oblate, and the leader of two groups. In addition to WCCM activities, she devotes her time to a national grass-roots lobby committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty, and to other social justice organizations.
She believes deeply that meditation practice and social activism are necessarily complementary. Before her full-time commitment to nonprofit service, she practiced corporate law for 20 years in Houston. Currently she lives with her husband in New York City. She enjoys her family, travel, and theater.
José was born in 1955 near Ypres in Belgium Flanders and lives now with his wife Martine in De Klinge, near Antwerp. He works in the sales and marketing department of a pharmaceutical company. He discovered Christian meditation in 1991 and started a meditation group in Waasmunster in 1996. He became national coordinator after the 2002 JMS seminar. His mentor was Agnes D’Hooghe who started the first Christian meditation center in Belgium. Every step in engagement was also a step in a growing responsibility and a greater commitment to the practice. Belgium now has about 55 meditation groups.
Patricia is a medical doctor and Consultant Pathologist , a graduate of Trinity College University of Dublin. Married to Joseph Lip, they have 3 adult children and dote on their latest addition, a grandson. She started meditating in 1995, after attending an Introductory workshop conducted by Peter Ng in Singapore. On her return to Malaysia, she initiated the first meditation group in Kuala Lumpur in 1997. She has been National Coordinator since 2005, is active in conducting Introductory workshops, distribution of resource material and organization of national and regional events.
She leads two groups and co-ordinates activities for the other 16 groups in Peninsular(West) Malaysia while the local Spiritual Director Fr. Paul Cheong, OFMCap oversees 6 new groups in East Malaysia where he has been based since October 2010. She and her team hosted JMS 2006 in Penang. She chairs the National Council of WCCM Malaysia. Her new focus is the introduction of meditation to children through a dedicated school coordinator and also sharing the gift of meditation in a palliative care setting.
Andrzej lives in Poland. During his professional career he has lived in Germany, 8 years, and Singapore, 20 years, working as a General Manager for a French Multinational Company. He learned to meditate in Singapore in 2002. He is currently the National Coordinator for Poland and the web master for the Polish WCCM site. He joined the Guiding Board in 2013. He is a passionate traveller and a photographer. Andrzej has two grown up children.
Catherine Charrière: Switzerland Catherine lived 16 years in Italy with her husband Salvatore and their two daughters: Délia and Elena. She started the first WCCM group in Florence and helped build the Italian community. Back in Switzerland, they now live in the small city of Rolle (VD) where she leads a meditation group. Catherine coordinates the Southern European region.
Antonio is a Venezuelan economist, graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE), with degrees in Social Sciences and Philosophy from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas (UCAB). Since 2007, Antonio coordinates promotion and networking activities for the development of the Venezuelan Christian meditation community and has been organizing the annual visits of F. Laurence to Venezuela since 2008. With a strong catholic background and an interest in inter religious dialogue, Antonio studied and practiced Zen Buddhist meditation at the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order Center in London and at the Caracas Soto Zen. Antonio has been working in development economics and social services for the last 30 years, with executive positions at the Inter American Development Bank (IDB - Washington, DC) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF - Caracas) where he is VP of Infrastructure Financing.