Over two years ago, our Visitor Center here at the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, NM, closed its doors. At the time, we hoped it was just for the week, which turned into a month, then a summer, and so on. Everyone has their own version of this same story. The movement from togetherness to aloneness. Since that time, the CAC has been operating from our homes, working together with miles between us to bring content that is so needed during these most trying of times.
With those two years behind us, I am so happy to announce that our Visitor Center is officially reopened. And not only are we here to greet you once again, but we’ll be doing it from a different campus than before. We have a spacious new bookstore now located at our own Tepeyac House. You’ll be greeted by some incredible new staff and the most gorgeous grounds. We offer this space not as a destination to see, but rather as a place to simply come and be.
These past years have created such a longing for connection with so many. And while technology has allowed some incredible avenues of much needed connection, sometimes we need more tangible experiences. A book. A tree. A conversation. A bit of hope in a still uncertain world. I see it as an invitation to return to togetherness after being alone for what has felt like far too long.
As head of our Community Engagement team, I have the pleasure of hearing from lots of you. You share with us beautiful stories of growth and heart wrenching stories of pain. With each story I hear, the more I come to realize that we truly all are experiencing things collectively. Some of you had recently left a spiritual community when the pandemic hit. For others, a relationship had been lost. As I heard each of these, I realized something impactful: I was not nearly as alone as I believed. Our experiences were universal, felt by each of us in different corners of the globe. What a beautiful connection you all provided.
I also understand that each of you couldn’t feel that along with me, as those stories weren’t visible. This is why I love our visitor center. It’s an opportunity for each of you to see what I see every day: we are more together than we realize. I have seen visitors meet each other in our bookstore and realize they knew each other from elementary school in the Philippines. I’ve watched strangers leave this place as friends, heading out to grab lunch. I’ve seen tears, I’ve made connections. My favorite is when you all come back to see us again, with new stories of transformation. It’s truly a place for us to come together.
For those who have been longing for that, as we have, we invite you to come see us, either for the first time or once again. We’re now here Tuesdays through Fridays from 10am to 4pm MST. Our Community Engagement Team, the same team that answers all your questions, will be here to greet you. We’ll point you in the direction of going deeper into this beautiful Christian contemplative tradition, as well as our beautiful grounds and labyrinth. But most importantly, we will have an opportunity to simply be. Together.
The Center for Action and Contemplation, its Core Faculty, and Board of Directors invite you to accompany us on this journey of transformation as we do the challenging work of reclaiming our founder’s vision for action and contemplation in a time of global change and contemplative renewal.
Returning to the Center will be an opportunity to reflect together with our community on our discoveries and growing pains as an institution on the path of praxis and prayer, action and contemplation. You can expect regular updates on our progress in this work as well as institutional history, community stories, staff essays, videos, and even opportunities to contribute. You will find the latest posts on our website as well as social media and in the News from New Mexico, the CAC’s monthly newsletter. We welcome your feedback!