The Teacher –Leader Programme was launched in the Fall of 2019, evolving from discussions about building leadership capacity in the community. It was also influenced by discussions in the School about appropriate training for transmitting the essential teaching at all levels of the community.
During the past several months, great progress has been made and we have learned how to adapt it to the individuals who participate, both for their enrichment and for the benefit of the community as a whole.
Working under the direction and alongside Fr Laurence and a small team of mentors (Peter Ng, Sean Hagan, Sarah Bachelard, Sr Ruth Montrichard), participants have reflected on their personal teaching role in the community and linked to the WCCM Global theme for 2019-2020: Contemplative Christianity.
The participants have had regular meetings with Fr Laurence and their mentors. For the past few months, Junie Nathani has been convening a meeting of the participants and Fr Laurence, approximately every six weeks, to share progress and ideas.
Some of the ongoing activities include:
Leo Corrêa is working on a pilot of a podcast, which will be called “After a Full Stop – a podcast on books and silence”. The first season will be a series of episodes where Leo would read excerpts from the book “Prayer” by Abhishiktananda and make connections with John Main’s teaching and his personal spiritual journey. This podcast has the potential to reach a broad audience and will also be made available to youth coordinators.
Leo has also been more involved with the Catholic University in Brazil and events for students. This is not directly part of the Teacher/Leader program, but more a consequence.
Tim Kelly will co-facilitate a symposium – The Art and Science of Meditation as a Healing Response to Trauma. This will include a panel presentation and discussion with Laurence Freeman, OSB, Richard Mollica, MD, MAR, and Gregory Fricchione, MD.
There will also be a half day Workshop: Developing a Meditation Support Group for Refugees and Asylum-seekers. A panel presentation and discussion with Laurence Freeman OSB, Tim Kelly and representatives of organizations providing meditation support groups for refugees and asylum-seekers.
Both events will take place in mid-October.
Vladimir Volrab completed a book by St Hesychios the Priest called “On Watchfulness and Holiness” which focuses on inner attentiveness and the guarding of the heart. He found it impressive that the spiritual principles are still valid even though the text is more ten thousand years old. Vlad is writing a diary regarding a perspective of his journey.
Vlad will also co-lead a one day retreat with Laurence in January 2021.
The original plan was to have a concluding event in the Spring of 2020 at Bonnevaux where the participants with Fr Laurence would lead a seminar integrating the year’s reflection on the theme of ‘Contemplative Christianity’ and present their personal work.
The pandemic has affected both the progress of the program and in-person events and visit. We are hoping to hold a culmination event at Bonnevaux once the Centre is open for in-person events after May 2021.