In 1974, Father William Meninger, a Trappist monk and retreat master at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Mass. found a dusty little book in the abbey library, "The Cloud of Unknowing." As he read it he was delighted to discover that this anonymous 14th century book presented contemplative meditation as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God.
This form of meditation, recently known as 'Centering Prayer' (from a text of Thomas Merton) can be traced from and through the earliest centuries of Christianity. The Centering Prayer centers one on God.
Father Meninger takes a limited time each year from his silent monastic life to travel the world and teach contemplative prayer. His book, "The Loving Search For God" is an effort to bring the message of The Cloud of Unknowing
to men and women of the 21st Century. In 1974 he originated the workshop on Contemplative Meditation (later known as Centering Prayer) which he now teaches worldwide along with workshops on Forgiveness, the Enneagram, Sacred Scriptures, and Prayer. He leaves the monastery only 4 times each year to do this lest he lose his own monastic orientation while sharing it with others.
Curriculum Vitae: Ordained in 1958, after 8 years in St. John's Seminary, he was incardinated into the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. where he worked on an Indian Reservation and with Mexican traveling workers for 6 years. In 1963 he entered the Trappists at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, where he served in the guest house for 15 years, taught Scripture, liturgy and patristics; served as subprior, prior and dean of the junior professed monks.
In 1979 he was transferred to a daughter house, St. Benedicts Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, where he served as Prior, vocation director, novice master, and teacher of theology and scripture. He spent 3 years in Israel where he studied scripture and taught at the Center for Biblical Studies in Jerusalem and at the Trappist Monastery of Latroun.
He also did graduate studies at Seattle University, Harvard Divinity School, and Boston University.