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Misson & Vision


Our mission is to practice and promote interfaith contemplative prayer, so its quality-of-life improvements can be more widely experienced by others. This is accomplished through interfaith prayer, research, and ministries, implemented based on the research results.

Because most faiths have a contemplative tradition, we look to a future of interfaith contemplative prayer practice. Our ultimate goal is to have God’s loving, healing embrace be experienced by a greater union of people: mind, body, and soul.


Contemplative Network’s leadership consists of members who practice contemplative prayer. Contemplative Network is a self-governing, independent group. All board and organization members are volunteers, receiving no salary or other compensation, with no one a having lifetime appointment. 



Our Board of Directors

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Robert "Bob" J. Hesse, Ph.D
Chairman and Co-Founder, is a permanent Catholic deacon, and author of Faith and Science: A Journey into God’s Mystical Love. This textbook is the agenda for the first faith and science conference in Rome and for graduate courses in Rome and Houston, resulting in a published Teacher’s Guide. He has degrees in both faith and science, with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Hesse has given numerous international and interfaith presentations, retreats and courses on faith and science and contemplative prayer. He has co-authored medical research studies on improvements in quality-of-life associated with interfaith contemplative prayer.


Rev. Gena Davis, M.B.A, M.Div.
Secretary, is an Episcopal priest and a practicing Christian Mystic. She earned her M.Div. from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. Her contemplative prayer practice of over 20 years led her to share her gifts by: teaching interfaith centering prayer, being a contemplative prayer facilitator, and leading contemplative retreats. She is a commissioned spiritual director and a Benedictine Oblate with the World Community for Christian Meditation, culminating in taking Benedictine monastic vows.


Rev. John K. Graham, M.Div., M.D., Ph.D., D.Min.
Is an Episcopal Priest, having received his M.D. degree from Tulane University and D.Min. degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. He has written two books. He completed a fellowship in psychotherapy, receiving his Ph.D. in mind-body medicine from Saybrook University. He is President Emeritus of the Institute for Spirituality and Health, the first organization in the U.S. to train hospital chaplains. His passion is to see the integration of spirituality and medicine, which he believe can bring optimum health to people.


Lanson Jones
Has a B.A. degree in political science from Texas A&M University. He is an entrepreneur who developed and sold energy-related companies. Jones has been a Christian his entire life. As the result of a horrific traffic accident in his teens, he experienced a near-death experience (NDE), which profoundly changed his life. As a young adult, he fasted and learned meditation. Recently, he discovered centering prayer. He is devoted to using his life and resources to help others. He felt divinely called to join CN to assist us in fulfilling our medical and spiritual mission.


Roshi Robert Kennedy, SJ, M.A., Th.M., Ph.D., S.T.D., D.Min.
Fr. Bob is a Jesuit Catholic priest and a Zen Buddhist Roshi. He has degrees from Fordham University in New York, Sofia University in Tokyo, the University of Ottawa, St. Paul University in Ottawa and the University of Andover-Newton in Boston. He taught theology and Japanese, was a psychotherapist and wrote two books. He leads a Buddhist Zazen meditation to an international, interfaith group of practitioners. He is active in interfaith work teaching Zen practice to adherents of all faith traditions.


Carole Pentony, Ph.D.
Represents the Christian Carmelite and Cistercian traditions and has a special interest in Bio-Spiritual Focusing and the Welcoming Prayer, methods endorsed by Fr. Thomas Keating. She is a certified bio-focusing teacher and practicing clinical psychologist. She is a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer and leads a weekly prayer group. 

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Imam Jamal Rahman
Is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality and prayer, and interfaith relations, having published many books on the subject. Along with his Interfaith Amigos, he has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. Jamal is co-founder and Muslim Sufi minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He is a former co-host of Interfaith Talk Radio and travels nationally and internationally presenting at retreats and workshops.


Rabbi Harvey Rosenstock, M.D.
Is a Kabbalist prayer practitioner and leader. His entire family is active at Congregation Brith Shalom in Houston. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Oregon Medical School and served as a medical office in the US Navy. He practiced clinical and forensic psychiatry for 45 years and specializes in PTSD. He and his wife, Judith, have collaborated on books and jointly treated patients. He is a docent at the Holocaust Museum in Houston. He believes in the museum’s critically important message and the mission from which society can gain strength, compatibility, and sustained freedom. 


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Linden Price, M.Ed.
Executive Director, received his B.A. degree in Social Sciences and Education from the College of Santa Fe and his M.Ed. in Human Development from the University of Maryland. His meditative prayer practice began during his novitiate in the Christian Brothers formation program as a teen. Price has been active in parish ministries: Pastoral Council, Youth Group and Catechism Education. He sings in the choir and is a cantor. He worked in  executive positions in Human Resources and Administration functions.


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Trappist Monk Fr. Micah Schonberger, COSO
Spiritual Director, recently celebrated his 50th anniversary as a Trappist priest, Monk Micah, as we fondly call him, is the only man to join the Trappists as a result of Centering Prayer. He resided at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado for 35 years. He recently transferred to their founding monastery in Massachusetts. As he so eloquently said, “Though I’m 82, old monks don’t retire. They adjust their prayer life. Invited to offer reflections for this publication {our newsletter}, it becomes part of my prayer life.” We accept your prayers and reflections with a grateful heart, Monk Micah.


Deborah Klesel, RN, M.S., Ph.D., MSN
Director Research, earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in nursing, from  the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) where she is Assistant Professor teaching nursing. She is a trained critical care nurse practitioner. She has held leadership positions in intensive and end of life care. Dr. Klesel’s research in breast cancer survivorship, determined spiritual resources are key to longevity post diagnosis and treatment. Current research interests are nurse as presence of God during bedside care, where the art of intentional prayer meets the science of healing.


Bob Hillegas
Director Technologies, has spent 40 years as a programmer and is an active practitioner of contemplation with Centering Prayer as his daily spiritual practice. It was a presentation of Bob Hesse at Holy Name Retreat Center, during a Catholic men’s retreat 15 years ago, that prompted Hillegas to start his daily practice of Centering Prayer. He has been active with various prayer groups through the years. He currently meets monthly via Zoom with the First Saturday Contemplative Resource Meeting, and weekly with the Lectio Divina Group from St. Theresa Memorial Park. 


Jan Masterson
Director Communications, has a B.A. in English. She edited books on faith and science, travel adventures, and faith and culture. She writes two quarterly newsletter columns. She has interviewed prominent people and the man and woman on the street for profile and feature stories. She has experience in planning and budgeting for marketing campaigns, capital expenditures and personnel requirements. As a result of being raised in an ecumenical family, she embarked on a quest to study faith traditions and spiritual philosophies. After several years, she realized this project is a life-long lesson. 

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Andrea Morgan
Director Resources, has been practitioner of Centering Prayer for over 10 years. She has been involved with the parent organization since before the official formation of the non-profit Contemplative Network. She is the archivist of CN’s resources including documents, CDs, and DVDs of various mystics and teachers. She leads a monthly Prayer and Study Group at the Emmaus Spirituality Center in Houston. Andrea is a devoted wife and mother.  

Officers & Staff


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Calixto Machado, M.D., Ph.D., FANN
Neuroscience Researcher, is a Specialist in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology. He trained in neurology centers in Sweden, Italy, and Austria. He has run numerous research protocols on: brain death, coma, persistent vegetative states and other disorders of consciousness, stroke, autism, near-death experience (NDE), and mystical experience. He published numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and three books. He has demonstrated a strong desire to develop and maintain close relations between U.S. and Cuban Neuroscientists. He is recognized by the American Academy of Neurology as the only bridge between American and Cuban scholars. 


Yanin Ferrer, M.D.
Neuroscience Researcher, is a neurologist and researcher at the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Havana, Cuba. She received her medical degree from the University School of Medicine in Havana. She was appointed to the medical internship at the Hospital Manuel Fajardo, graduating with honors. She earned a postgraduate degree in Neurology at Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. She is co-author of more than 30 publications in Hight Impact Journals and winner as co-author on three occasions of the “National Health Award in Cuba”. She won the Prize of the Cuban Academy of Sciences twice. 


Mauricio Chinchilla Acosta, M.D.
Neuroscience Researcher, is a neurologist and researcher at the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Havana. He graduated in Medicine from the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, He did his medical internship at the Hospital Manuel Fajardo, graduating with Honors. He has a postgraduate degree in Family Medicine at the Latin American School of Medicine  and a postgraduate degree in Neurology at the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. Acosta is co-author of more than 60 articles in top-level journals, winner as co-author on three occasions of the National Health Award in Cuba, and twice winner as co-author of the Prize of the Cuban Academy of Sciences.

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Heather Reichert
Digital Media & Design, is owner of Branded with Joy, LLC, as a Brand and Image Consultant. She has worked with several organizations in various capacities as Membership Director and numerous non-profits to develop and strengthen their image through consistency in their messaging via web site, publication designs and strategic planning. In addition to her business, Heather also serves as a Spiritual Director and Pastoral Council Vice Chair for her home parish of St. Angela Merici and sits on the Advisory Council for Catholic Charities Fort Bend County, Texas. 


Our History

Keating History

Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. (COL) established Houston as one of its first chapters. Trappist Monk, Abbot Thomas Keating appointed Fred Eckhart as its Coordinator. Under his leadership COL’s first prison ministry was established.


Upon Fred’s retirement, members of the Houston chapter elected, and Fr. Keating anointed Dr. Bob Hesse and Dr. Kimball Kehoe as Houston Chapter Co-Coordinators.


Fr. Thomas Keating encouraged the formation of Contemplative Network (CN) to implement his vision of expanding beyond just teaching centering prayer, to include interfaith dialogue and medical research on centering prayer. Houston was the logical choice in that it has the world’s largest medical center and was the most culturally diverse U.S. city. Dr. Bob Hesse and Dr. Kimball Kehoe cofounded CN as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The result of years of volunteer work started to produce results. Multiple medical studies started to show improvement in the quality-of-life associated with centering prayer. The board expanded to include more theistic faiths.

3D Scans

Support Our Ministry

We appreciate your generosity.  100% of your donations are used for interfaith: teaching of centering prayer, conducting medical research on its improvements to quality of life and healing effects, and for establishing ministries based on that research.  

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