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GuestLaurence Freeman


I first met Fr. Laurence at the New Contemplative Exchange in Snowmass Colorado in August of 2017. He was there as one of the representatives of what we affectionately call the “Big 4” networks of Christian contemplative practice - along with Fr. Thomas Keating (Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.), Rev. Dr. Tilden Edwards (Shalem Institute), Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM (Center for Action and Contemplation).

Laurence Freeman was born in England in 1951 where he was educated by the Benedictines and studied English Literature at New College, Oxford University. Before entering monastic life, he had experience with the United Nations in New York, banking and journalism.

Today Fr Laurence is a Benedictine monk of the Monastery of Sta Maria di Pilastrello, Lendinara, in the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto. He is Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation.

In the monastery, his spiritual teacher was John Main. He helped Fr John to establish the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. At the invitation of the Archbishop of Montreal, in 1977, he accompanied John Main to establish a Benedictine community of monks and laypeople dedicated to the practice and teaching of Christian meditation. Fr Laurence studied theology at the Universite de Montreal and at McGill University. He made his solemn monastic profession in 1979 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1980.

After the death of John Main in 1982, he continued the work of teaching meditation that had already begun to develop a global community. In 1991, Fr Laurence returned to England to establish the International Centre of the newly formed World Community for Christian Meditation, now present in more than a hundred countries and which has become a ‘monastery without walls’, in which he travels and teaches widely.

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