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Honoring the Past and Supporting the Future

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Leaving a Gift for the Next Generation

August 29th, 2022

We’re caught in the rigidity of an old system that’s no longer appropriate. So, I say the work [we are called to do together] is to hospice the death of the old structures and systems that no longer serve us, while we midwife the new structures and systems that are consistent with a sustainable, just, fulfilling, and caring future we all want. —Lynn Twist

When we look at the world and the prospects for our collective future, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. But at the same time, seeds of a brighter and more loving future are also visible, as CAC friend and author Lynn Twist reflects in the epigraph above.

We have been working hard for many years with Fr. Richard, CAC’s board of directors, and our faculty on a long-term plan for CAC to play our part in nurturing the emerging contemplative consciousness and spiritual movement necessary for the healing of our world. We hope you are noticing some of the early fruits of this work highlighted in recent issues of the Mendicant.

It is core to our belief that the contemplative mind helps us trust that the reality of disorder always gives way to the hopeful possibility of reorder. This is true wisdom knowing, which elders have the opportunity to pass on to the next generation.If it inspires you to think about supporting the long-term future of CAC’s work, making a gift in your will or trust is one of the most substantial and meaningful commitments you can make. Your gifts give CAC the ability to support the next generation of spiritual seekers, many for the very first time.

I’d like to share with you a short story about a CAC friend and donor named Charlie.  

Charlie was inspired to make a gift to CAC after reflecting on his life’s journey and the support he received many years ago from a wonderful couple. Morton and Barbara Kelsey supported Charlie on his spiritual path for many years and Charlie wanted to honor their impact on his life by making a gift to support spiritual students through the CAC.

Following is an excerpt from the letter that Charlie wrote about his support. 

The older I get (I’m now 78), the more I reflect on my life and the more I realize what a blessing Morton and Barbara Kelsey were to me. The love and guidance that Morton and Barbara provided set me on a course that would allow me to continue to grow and lead me to embrace the writings of Fr. Richard and the work of the CAC.

The thought that I could help provide spiritual support for someone else by making this gift to CAC in Morton and Barbara’s names resonates deeply within me.

If you, like Charlie, are inspired to contribute to CAC and support the spiritual lives of future generations, consider whether there is someone you want to honor who has been deeply significant in your spiritual life. Please consider writing us a letter to tell us about who inspired you. Through this cycle, we honor the past while paying it forward into the future.

If you would like more information about making a gift in your will or trust, please reach out to me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to send you some resources. Alternatively, feel free to click here to access our new partnership portal with FreeWill.com directly. Participation of any kind is a gift and is never expected.

I appreciate all of you who contribute your ongoing time, trust, and generous support to make the work of the CAC possible today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.


BEN KEESEY is the Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships for the Center for Action and Contemplation and has been working with Fr. Richard and the CAC team since 2016. Prior to joining CAC, Ben was the Executive Director of the international justice organization Invisible Children working in three countries in east and central Africa.

This reflection appears in the Summer 2022 issue of the Mendicant, our quarterly donor newsletter.

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