Hesse, Robert J., Ph.D.

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Bob Hesse

Robert Hesse is an ordained permanent Catholic deacon serving the Archdiocese of Galveston- Houston and Co-founder and President of Contemplative Network (CN) since 2011, dedicated to interdenominational Christian contemplative prayer. He is an ex-officio board member of CN and is a practicing contemplative in the Trappist Christian tradition. He was inspired at Gethsemani Trappist monastery, at the time home to Trappist Monk Thomas Merton. He was appointed by Trappist Monk Thomas Keating, Commissioned Presenter since 2003, Co-coordinator for Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (COL) 2004-2011, and Emissary in 2005 to the first COL dialogue with the Mind & Life (M&L) Institute for research on contemplatives, in response to an invitation by The Dalai Lama to Keating.

From 2006-2015 he was board member of the interfaith Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH) retiring as Vice Chairman. At 60 years, ISH is the oldest such organization in the U.S.A. located in The Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical center in the world. He has been an Adjunct Faculty member at ISH since 2006 and at the University of St. Thomas (UST) since 2012. He formerly served on the Deacon Spiritual and Community Life Committees of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He was formerly retreat team member at Holy Name Retreat Center and on numerous parish ACTS & Kolbe prison retreats, frequent presenter to Catholic RCIA groups, and founding advisor The WorkFaith Connection™.

He has given numerous presentations on contemplative prayer and faith and science including co-teaching a graduate course at UST. Internationally these include the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Rumi University in Turkey, Hohere Technische Bundeslehranstalt in Austria, European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health (ECRSH) at the University of Gdansk in Poland, St. Mary’s in Canada, International Diaconate Centre (IDC) in Lourdes, France, Catholic Seminary and University of Havana (UoH) School of Medical Science both in Cuba in 2015, which was the first time in over 50 years since the revolution religion was presented to UoH. USA presentation venues include Conferences on Medicine & Religion (CMR) sponsored by Harvard, University of Chicago, St. Louis University (SLU) et.al., Jain Bioethics Conference, Bowen Conference, St. Mary’s Seminary, Rice University, Claremont Lincoln University, Rothko Chapel, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Theosophical Society, Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (ACCW), Center for Faith & Health Initiatives, Foundation for Contemporary Theology, Theresians, and Eagle’s Trace. Interfaith venues include Jain & Buddhist Congregations, Zen-Christian Dialogue, Jewish congregation, Muslim mosque, and Christian denominations: Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Orthodox, Quaker, Protestant, Non-denominational, et.al. His interests are on the convergence of science and religion: physics-creation, chemistry-life, biology-consciousness, and psychology-mysticism. He has special interest in healing suffering from mental illness and research on the scientific effects of prayer. In his early career he had professional engineering licenses in several disciplines and states and established numerous international project management consortia. He is 4th Degree in Knights of Columbus (KOC).

Education includes travels to 98 countries on 7 continents, B.Th. in theology from UST and a B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from SLU.

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