Guiding Board

WCCM Guiding Board Members & Patrons

The Work of the Guiding Board | 2011

The Guiding Board of the WCCM is charged by the Community with the responsibility of articulating a vision to sustain and share the development of Christian meditation around the world and to oversee the Community's life and growth. Currently, the 16 members of the Guiding Board come from 10 different countries and 4 of the members are also their country's National Coordinator. At its twice-yearly meetings, the Guiding Board's attention is mostly focused on issues at the Community's centre, for example, the International Office; the Website; Medio Media; the planning of major annual events - the John Main Seminars, the retreat at Monte Oliveto, the Way of Peace events; the format and distribution of the Newsletter; the School; the Director's schedule and concerns.

Roger Layet Roger Layet: UK (Chair)

Roger Layet lives near Bristol in S.W. England with his wife Shelagh, who is a Jungian analyst. They have three children and lots of grandchildren. Shelagh found Christian meditation in 1985 – eventually Roger followed, haltingly. He retired from his strategic planning role in a multi-national packaging company in 2001. He belongs to the Nailsea meditation group, is joint coordinator of Bristol region, and served as WCCM’s UK coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Despite constant failures, he is also faithful to the practice of golf.

GBAna2.jpg Ana Fonseca: Brazil (Vice-Chair)

Ana is a Brazilian copyright lawyer who has been working in the music industry for the past twenty years. She joined the Brazilian Christian Meditation Community in 1996 and began to coordinate the annual visits of Fr Laurence throughout Brazil in 2001. She became the National Coordinator in 2002 and joined the Guiding Board of the World Community in 2003. For the past two years she has been responsible for developing the Christian Meditation Community in South America where groups are now forming in several other countries, including Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela.

GBCatherine2.jpg Catherine Charrière: Switzerland

Catherine lived 16 years in Italy with her husband Salvatore and their two daughters: Délia and Elena. She started the first WCCM group in Florence and helped built the Italian community. Back in Switzerland, they now live in the small city of Rolle (VD) where she leads a meditation group. She continues to work for the International Office (from her Swiss based computer).

GBLaurence2.jpg Laurence Freeman OSB: UK (Trustee)

Laurence Freeman is a monk of the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and Director and spiritual guide of The World Community for Christian Meditation. His spiritual teacher was John Main with whom he studied and whom he helped in the establishment of the first Christian Meditation Centre in London After John Main’s death in 1982 he continued the work of teaching meditation globally. Fr Laurence returned to England in 1991 to establish the International Centre of the newly formed World Community for Christian Meditation that is now present in about a hundred countries. Laurence Freeman is the author of many books and articles and the editor of John Main’s works. He has conducted dialogues and peace initiatives with the Dalai Lama and is active in inter-religious dialogue with other faiths as well as in encouraging the teaching of Christian meditation to children and students and in the re-appropriation of the contemplative wisdom tradition.

GBSean2010.jpg Sean Hagan: USA

Sean lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife (Cecile) and three children (Sophie, Patrick and Tommy). He discovered meditation while living in Japan, but it only became an important part of his life when he discovered the teaching of the WCCM, which allowed him to integrate his Christian faith into the practice. Sean is General Counsel of the International Monetary Fund.

GBLiz2.jpg Elizabeth V. King: USA

A meditator since 1994, Liz is an oblate and leads two weekly groups in her parish. She is active in the U.S. Council and frequently gives talks on meditation in Michigan.

As National Coordinator of China, she has accompanied Fr. Laurence to plant and water the seeds of meditation in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan since 2003, and recently in Japan. She spends hours on the internet with her contacts in Asia, an ocean and a continent away. She speaks four Chinese dialects and also coordinates the translation and printing of Fr. John's and Fr. Laurence’s books into Chinese.

In addition to her WCCM work, she has promoted Chinese arts and culture and still chairs the Chinese American Educational and Cultural Center of Michigan. She often travels with her husband Albert on his lecture circuits and uses the opportunity to promote meditation. At home in Michigan, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren, cooking and an occasional game of mahjong. A former cookbook author, she uses Chinese food to win hearts.

GBFergal2.jpg Andrzej Ziolkowski: Poland

Andrzej lives in Poland. During his professional career he has lived in Germany, 8 years, and Singapore, 20 years, working as a General Manager for a French Multinational Company. He learned to meditate in Singapore in 2002. He is currently the National Coordinator for Poland and the web master for the Polish WCCM site. He joined the Guiding Board in 2013. He is a passionate traveller and a photographer. Andrzej has two grown up children.

GBClaudia.jpg Claudia Morgan: USA

Claudia serves on the board of WCCM USA, is a regional coordinator, an Oblate novice, and the leader of two groups. In addition to WCCM activities, she devotes her time to a national grass-roots lobby committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty, and to other social justice organizations. She believes deeply that meditation practice and social activism are necessarily complementary. Before her full-time commitment to nonprofit service, she practiced corporate law for 20 years in Houston, where she lives with her husband. She enjoys her family, travel, and theater.

JosePype.jpg José Pype Belgium

José was born in 1955 near Ypres in Belgium Flanders and lives now with his wife
Martine in De Klinge, near Antwerp. He is lucky grandfather of tree grandchildren
He works in the sales and marketing department of a pharmaceutical company. He
discovered in 1991 Christian meditation and started in 1996 with a meditation group
in Waasmunster . He became national coordinator after the 2002 JMS seminar. His
mentor was Agnes D’Hooghe who started the first Christian meditation center in
Belgium. Every step in engagement was also a step in a growing responsibility and a
greater commitment to the practice. Belgium now counts about 55 meditation groups .

GBKim.jpg Kim Nataraja: UK

Kim is a retired College Lecturer and Head of Department in Modern Languages. She has been a contemplative since her youth and joined The World Community for Christian Meditation in 1993. In 1998 she became a Benedictine Oblate to the Community and since 1999 she has been the coordinator of the International School. In 2003 she organised and led with her husband Shankar the first ‘The Roots of Christian Mysticism Course’ at the London Christian Meditation Centre, exploring the contemplative experience in Christianity from Scripture to the present Day. She is the author of ‘Dancing with Your Shadow’, published in 2007 by Medio Media and she has been commissioned by Canterbury Press to write a book based on the ‘Roots’ Course to be published in 2009. She is also a founding member of the Bede Griffiths Sangha and is very interested in inter-religious dialogue. She has taken part in the joint ‘Way of Peace’ initiative of HH the Dalai Lama and the WCCM to promote and strengthen inter-religious understanding and harmony.

GBPeter2.jpg Peter Ng: Singapore (Trustee)

Peter leads and co-ordinates the activities of the Singapore Christian Meditation community, which started in 1988 when he and his wife, Patricia, formed the first meditation group in Singapore. They also helped to establish the meditation communities in Malaysia, Mauritius and Indonesia. Peter co-leads two weekly meditation groups. He is a member of the WCCM Guiding Board and the Board of Trustees. He has also been involved in the development of Medio Media, WCCM’s publishing arm. Peter regularly leads introductory programmes on Christian meditation for newcomers, and has helped to produce audio and video teaching materials for such programmes. Peter is Managing Director at the Singapore Government Investment Corporation.

GBPauline032010.jpg Pauline Peters: Australia

Pauline, married to Graeme, has 2 adult sons and is a proud grandmother. She has been meditating for more than 25 years. Before her retirement, she was a Parish Pastoral Associate. She is a member of the Queensland and Australian Meditation Councils and was invited onto the Guiding Board of WCCM in 1996, and served as Chair for several years beginning in 2004. Pauline leads two meditation groups, has led a number of Schools for Christian Meditation and has introduced meditation to parishes, community groups, seminarians and diocesan organizations. Pauline is an Oblate member of the Community.

GBClem3.jpg Clem Sauvé: Canada (Trustee)

Clem was born and raised in Eastern Ontario and educated at the Universities of Ottawa (BA) and Toronto (M.A in Economics). He served in the Ontario Public Service at senior executive level. Clem began meditating at a Zen Centre in 1979 after having ‘discovered’ the practice during a trip to South Korea. He first came across Christian meditation in 1982 but did not become engaged until 1984. He spearheaded the organization of the John Main Seminar 1993 in Toronto, which featured William Johnston, S.J., as speaker. He has been variously involved in this annual event since then. He has been a member of the WCCM Guiding Board since 1994 and a WCCM Trustee for the past 8 years. He also served as Administrator of the WCCM International Centre in London (1997-98). Clem is very involved in WCCM affairs and projects regionally, nationally and internationally.


Patricia Por: Malaysia

Patricia is a medical doctor and Consultant Pathologist , a graduate of Trinity College University of Dublin. Married to Joseph Lip, they have 3 adult children and dote on their latest addition, a grandson.  She started meditating in 1995, after attending an Introductory workshop conducted by Peter Ng in Singapore. On her return to Malaysia, she initiated the first meditation group in Kuala Lumpur in 1997. She has been National Coordinator since 2005 , is active in conducting Introductory workshops,distribution of resource material and organization of national and regional events.
She leads two groups and co-ordinates activities for the other 16 groups in  Peninsular(West) Malaysia while the local Spiritual Director Fr. Paul Cheong, OFMCap oversees 6 new groups in East Malaysia where he has been based since October 2010.  She and her team hosted JMS 2006 in Penang. She chairs the National Council of WCCM Malaysia.  Her new focus is the introduction of meditation to children through a dedicated school coordinator and also sharing the gift of meditation in a palliative care setting .

GBAntonio2.jpg Antonio Sosa: Venezuela: Canada

Antonio is a Venezuelan economist, graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE), with degrees in Social Sciences and Philosophy from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas (UCAB). Since 2007, Antonio coordinates promotion and networking activities for the development of the Venezuelan Christian meditation community and has been organizing the annual visits of F. Laurence to Venezuela since 2008. With a strong catholic background and an interest in inter religious dialogue, Antonio studied and practiced Zen Buddhist meditation at the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order Center in London and at the Caracas Soto Zen. Antonio has been working in development economics and social services for the last 30 years, with executive positions at the Inter American Development Bank (IDB - Washington, DC) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF - Caracas) where he is VP of Infrastructure Financing.

GBSusan2.jpg Susan Spence: UK (Trustee)

Susan has been involved in charity work for most of her life. After studying languages and working in the travel industry in Europe, Susan married and lived in Asia for five years in Japan and the Philippines where she had her first daughter. Her second daughter was born in Belgium after which she returned to the UK. For the last 22 years she has helped run a meditation group in Sevenoaks Kent and is actively involved in her own parish. After returning to university as a mature student, completing a degree in Culture and Belief Systems, she joined the WCCM in London as a volunteer and has worked there for the last 12 years. She is currently the International Office Co-ordinator, an oblate, and a WCCM trustee.

  Patrons of The World Community for Christian Meditation....

His Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady-Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of All Ireland

Eileen Byrne - belonged to the first meditation community established by Father John Main and joined him in Montreal. In 1989 she became the director of the Christian Meditation Centre in London.

Milo Coerper - a Washington DC corporate lawyer and Episcopal priest. He was the facilitator and organiser of the founding meeting of WCCM in New Harmony, Indiana in 1991. He served on the Guiding Board from 1991 to 1999 first as Vice-chair and then as Chair.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama - spiritual and 'de jure' political leader of the Tibetan people. He lives in exile in Northern India because of the continuing brutal occupation of Tibet by the Communist Chinese. He was the John Main Seminar speaker in 1994 on the topic of 'The Good Heart' and has been co-leading with Fr. Laurence the on-going Buddhist/Christian dialogue, The Way of Peace.

Paul Harris - a former director of the Christian Meditation Centre in London who has served the building of WCCM through his writing and teaching.

His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper - President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.He was the principal speaker at the John Main Seminar in 2008, held in Mainz, Germany.

Dom Thomas Keating OCSO - Cistercian monk and retired abbot and is a founder of the Centering Prayer movement. He was the John Main Seminar speaker in 1998 on the topic of 'Heart of the World: The Contemplative Dimensions of the Gospel'.

Robert Kiely - Emeritus Professor of American Literature at Harvard University. He served on the Guiding Board from 1991 to 1998, including a stint as Chair from 1994 to 1997. He led the John Main Seminar in 1985 on the topic of 'The Search for God in Modern Literature'.

Dr Mary McAleese - Former President of Ireland who led the 1997 John Main Seminar on the topic of 'Reconciled Being'.

Balfour Mount - Montreal physician internationally recognised as an expert on Palliative Care. He was the first Chair of the Guiding Board and 'On Wholeness' was the theme of his talks at the 1989 John Main Seminar.

Most Rev Vincent Nichols - Archbishop of Westminster

His Eminence Cardinal George Pell -Archbishop of Sydney

Most Rev. Michael Putney - Bishop of Townsville Australia and a member of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity

Most Rev. Dom Michelangelo Tiribili OSB - Abbot General emeritus of the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Oliveto

His Eminence Cardinal John Tong Hon– Bishop of Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China

The Rt. Reverend & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams- Archbishop of Canterbury.