Alumni Spotlight

From time to time, we share news from our beloved alumni. Look under “Most Recent Post” below for our latest spotlight. Explore the online archive by browsing the years and months listed to the right (at the bottom of the page on mobile devices).

We would like to feature work that is being done by alumni in the world, illustrating how the teaching and practice of the Living School has enabled and focused that work for the betterment of others. We invite your stories, photos, video clips, or other ways of sharing how the Spirit is moving you to love and serve, wherever you are on the planet.

We also welcome alumni reflections on how you are integrating contemplative practice with daily living. How do you respond to the myriad situations which confront you without falling into defensive modes, ego-investment, reactive instincts which divide the world into “us and them?”

You might explore one or more of these questions:

  • How has what you learned in the Living School shaped your life?
  • How are you continuing to learn and grow in the ways of contemplation and action?
  • What has been your “growing edge” or a challenge as you seek to live what you’re learning?
  • How has your prayer life and active life changed?
  • If someone reading this wanted to help—supporting a project or your personal journey—how might they do that?

Please submit brief reflections to [email protected]. Selected submissions will be posted here as well as shared in the Living School alumni newsletter. By submitting material you acknowledge that you have permission to share the content (including music, images, poetry, etc.). Feel free to include a link where we can learn more about your work. Written submissions should be 500 words or fewer; audio or video recordings should be no longer than 10 minutes.

Most Recent Post

Teresa Pasquale Mateus (‘15)

Image of Teresa Pasquale Mateus, Living School Alumna, Class of 2015With increasing urgency over the last ten years, exploring the contemplative path, I have increased questions about the absence of people of color (POC) in contemplative communities, conversations, and teachings. I learned so much through the Christian contemplative lineage, but I knew for myself that the existing container did not and could not represent the fullness of myself and my identity. I also felt there must be others who were deeply seeking the same—a full mystical journey that included and emphasized the identity of being a person of color.

The Mystic Soul Project emanated from that deep calling. I founded this nonprofit along with fellow POC contemplatives Jade Perry and Ra Mendoza to center the voices, wisdom, and identities of POC at the intersections of contemplation, action, and healing.

The project integrates centering black and brown roots of Christian contemplation, engages identity through a reclaiming and decolonizing of one’s own spiritual origins grounded in tribal and indigenous lineages, and necessitates healing practices/rituals and teachings which engage the specific traumas of POC through colonization, oppression, and marginalization. It also explores the contemporary formation of action, specifically POC-centered activism, intersecting healing and contemplation. The Mystic Soul Project began with a retreat in March with eleven POC leaders of faith and justice and will continue with our inaugural conference in January 2018 in Chicago.

For more information (sign up for our newsletter for updates as they come), visit

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