The Rev. Pat Laudisio, a Deacon in the Episcopal Church, is committed to social action and the contemplative way.  Pat has served as a volunteer chaplain for Hospice, an advocate with the Interfaith AIDS Coalition in Boulder County and a Board member for START Day Center for the Homeless. Over the past 15 years she has worked with Contemplative Outreach as a Facilitator and Presenter of centering prayer and served for three years as a Coordinator for Contemplative Outreach Ltd. of Boulder County.

As a deacon, Pat’s primary outreach work has been with the Colorado Haiti Project :

“I made my first trip to Haiti in 1995 and quickly discovered that this was just the beginning of a new relationship.  Over the past 17 years, I have had the opportunity to watch the Colorado Haiti Project grow from a charitable outreach program into a cooperative effort to focus on the U.N. Millennium Development Goals to improve the standard of living in the Nippes region and the possibility of a better future.  Collaborating with the Episcopal Church of Haiti, the government of Haiti and local community leaders, we are working to provide better education and basic health care in the Nippes region that ultimately will be self-sustaining.”

Contemplation and social action go together.  Pat now works with the Rev. Michelle Danson and Joanie Heard in the development of the Contemplative Beehive.  She is a graduate of the 2-year Benedictine Spiritual Formation Program offered through Benet Hill Monastery and is offering her service as a Spiritual Director.

Contemplative service is a movement from self-centeredness to
other-centeredness.  It is a tug of the heart to respond from our
center and move into action.

Contemplative Service Praxis, Contemplative Outreach, Intl.

The Rev. Pat Laudisio

Joanie Heard

Michelle is a native of Yorkshire, England. Michelle received an Honours degree in Physics at the University of Durham, England, followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She has taught in schools in England and Scotland. For many years she was an “ Executive Homemaker” raising her four children. She earned her M. Div. at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, and has a Certificate in Christian Spirituality from The General Theological Seminary, New York City where she was the Parish Spiritual Director for a large parish in Manhattan. Michelle is also a trained Labyrinth Facilitator, and is currently doing further studies in Spiritual Direction with The Haden Institute in North Carolina, focusing on Jungian Psychology, dream analysis, and Contemplative Spirituality.

Michelle believes in lifetime spiritual formation. She is an Episcopal Priest, Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader, and Educator. She is Co-founder of the Contemplative Beehive of Boulder Valley. She has just completed 6 years on the Board of Spiritual Direction Colorado, and has recently accepted the call to be Chaplain to The Daughters of the King in Colorado. Michelle currently works as a Supply Priest, has a private practice of Spiritual Direction, called “Living Well”, and is on the faculty of the Benedictine Spiritual Formation Program , based out of Benet Hills Monastery, Colorado Springs, and is Adjunct Faculty at Naropa University, Boulder. She is widowed, and remarried, and the mother of four adult children. She lives near Boulder, Colorado.

For re-creation, Michelle enjoys reading, tending her herbaceous border, hiking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, Yoga, Pilates, and spending time with friends and family members.   

Joanie Heard has lived in the Boulder area since 1991.  After attending college in Colorado in the early 70’s she fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, and twenty years later was fortunate to be able to return here to attend CU Law School.  She was motivated to help others but after a number of years as a family law practitioner, Joanie discerned a desire to serve others through ministry in the church.
Upon joining St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Joanie found a community and spiritual home where she could explore and deepen her faith.  In her journey she has participated in a number of ministries from working with young people to mission outreach.  She now serves as a Eucharistic Visitor and is a member of the Daughters of the King, an Episcopal Order for women committed to prayer and service.  Joanie also enjoys being a Verger at Sunday services.

Joanie is especially drawn to the contemplative path. Her work in pastoral ministry enriched her understanding of the gift of presence and listening, and encouraged her to be more attentive to what is heard in the silence.  Joanie began a practice of Centering Prayer seven years ago and considers this practice essential to staying grounded in her spiritual path.  She co-facilitates a centering prayer group and is a Co-coordinator for the Boulder Valley Chapter of Contemplative Outreach.  Her work in the Contemplative Beehive combines her organizational skills with her desire to follow where the Spirit leads, and to share the contemplative way with others.

The Rev. Michelle A. Danson

About the Founders

of Boulder Valley