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Center for Action and Contemplation

In Appreciation of Vanessa Guerin, Managing Editor of the Mendicant  

February 14th, 2024
CAC staff member Paul Swanson started a staff meeting recently with a reflection about the dynamic tension between being an amateur and being a professional when working on something we deeply care about. The word “amateur” originated from the French and Italian in the eighteenth century to mean "one who loves" or


February 14th, 2024
The best way out is always through. —Robert Frost  I can’t believe that it’s been twenty years since I was invited to join the small CAC staff. There were twelve of us then, accomplishing a large amount of work with the support of work interns and volunteers. Today, there are almost fifty gifted and

Woundedness and Change 

February 14th, 2024
By Jennifer Tompos This last fall, I sat in a home I had never been in, looking across the dinner table into the eyes of a man who looks just like me. It was like looking at a version of myself. Me staring at him, him staring back at me. Our eyes telling one another the wordless stories of missed decades. I

Embracing Transformation: A Journey into Single Motherhood

February 14th, 2024
Ashanti Rouse holds a wealth of experience in designing and implementing innovative online learning experiences, playing a pivotal role in fostering a culture of continuous learning among learners. Her strategic approach involves leveraging cutting-edge technologies and pedagogical methods to create dynamic and

This Fella in the Straw Hat

November 3rd, 2023
Paul Swanson is on staff at the CAC. He is a jackleg Mennonite and novice in the new monastic Community of the Incarnation. Paul and his wife, Laura, have two feral and beloved children. Learn more about Paul's work kindling the examined life for contemplatives in the world at I discovered a

Finding the Baby

November 3rd, 2023
Betsy Cañas Garmon (Living School Sendee 2023) is an artist, writer, and creativity coach. She hosts workshops and online makers’ circles at the intersection of creativity and spiritual practice and is the creator of the visual journaling course Soul Cartography. The parents of five grown children, Betsy and her

Becoming a Disciple of the Big Picture

November 3rd, 2023
Tia Norman is a teacher and guide specializing in spirituality and practices anchored in the mystical teachings of the Christian contemplative tradition. She leads workshops, retreats, and courses while serving as Pastor of Awakenings, Inc., a contemplative community based in Houston, Texas. She’s interested in

Sacred Giving, Sacred Receiving

November 3rd, 2023
Ben Keesey is the Development & Partnerships Director 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

Contemplative Christianity: A New Way of Seeing and Being

August 5th, 2023
Danny Torrance is a Development Manager at CAC and joined the team in 2023. His focus is to help build a relational and values-aligned approach to fundraising and financial sustainability with CAC's donors. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and enjoys a good cup of coffee, long runs along the river, and surfing

A Lesson in Loving-Kindness

August 4th, 2023
Elaine Walsh Carney, Founding Principal of Pathfinder Philanthropy Advisors, has specialized in philanthropy, facilitation, mediation, and negotiation for thirty-two years. Elaine’s passion is developing and supporting a “culture of philanthropy” in the organizations that she serves. Her current volunteer

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Brandon Strange
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