Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue

Contemplation invites us to take a long, loving look at the real.

“Contemplation is not a validation of things as they are…but a constant questioning and restlessness that waits for and believes in the coming of a transformed vision of God…a new and integrating spirituality capable of creating a new politics and generating new social structures.”  – Constance FitzGerald, OCD

Nancy Sylvester, IHM, founded the Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue (ICCD) in 2002 after completing her service in IHM congregational leadership, in the national presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Rreligious and as executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby.

About ICCD

ICCD is a 501(c)3 organization founded to educate, resource and organize people of faith to reflect, analyze and act on the critical issues of the church and society through a process of communal contemplation and dialogue.

ICCD’s vision is rooted in the belief that the increasing polarities we are experiencing in every aspect of our lives reflect the reality that we are living in a time of impasse – a time when we experience the inadequacy of our current structures and belief systems to address the needs, expectations and dreams of Earth community and feel increasingly powerless to do anything about it. ICCD believes that these crises we experience today need to be addressed at a new level of consciousness and that contemplation invites us to that transformation

Since its founding, ICCD has attracted social justice activists, educators, spiritual directors, leaders of religious congregations—people committed to working for systemic change—who experienced impasse—or a “no-way out” situation—in their personal, political or ecclesial lives. They knew something was wrong and desired to engage the situation from a place of inner strength shaped by their spirituality. Through its programs rooted in communal contemplation and dialogue, hundreds of people have come to a new understanding of how to be and act in responding to this moment in our evolutionary journey.

Learn more

You can learn more about ICCD’s mission and the programs it offers on its website

The website offers a rich collection of reflections on understanding what is happening today, drawing on numerous sources to make connections among contemplation and the development of consciousness, breakthroughs in cosmology and evolution, insights of quantum physics to name a few. It explores what it means to exercise contemplative power and most recently to address the growing polarization we experience so as to make a difference. There are a host of resources which you can use with your family, friends and colleagues. They are available at

Sister Nancy also contributes articles about contemplation to Global Sisters Report, a project of National Catholic Reporter. Her articles may be accessed here.