Father Patrick Eastman

Biography of Reverend Patrick W. H. Eastman OSB obl. MA

Father Patrick was born in South-West England on September 24, 1937. After graduation he was employed as an executive in industry working as a purchasing manager for an engineering company. Prior to his Anglican ordination, he received an MA in theology from Oxford University, England. During his education for the Anglican priesthood he studied moral theology for a semester with Fathers Bernard Häring and Joseph Fuchs in Rome. He served as a priest in the Church of England from 1969 through 1983. Since ordination he has received an BA in Perspectives of Human Nature from Sunderland University in England and completed all the course work for the MA programme in Monastic Studies and Spirituality at St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.

Father Patrick and his wife, Maureen were received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at the Cistercian (Trappist) Abbey at Nunraw, Scotland on November 4, 1983. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma in August 1984.

From November 1983 until September 1995, he was the Director of Spiritual Formation for the Diocese of Tulsa, providing spiritual direction and retreats for parishes, religious communities, and priests. His concern for spiritual growth and the welfare of the priests was also expressed by his role as coordinator of the Committee for Priestly Life and Ministry in the Diocese. He has taught spirituality and related topics for the Permanent Diaconate Formation program and to Religious and lay groups. He has personally acted as spiritual director for many priests, religious and laity as well as training others in spiritual direction.

From January 1988 until July 1989, Father Patrick also supplied priestly ministry for the parishes of Sacred Heart, Skiatook and St. Jude's, Tulsa. From 1989 to 1991 he was the director of Family Life ministries for the Diocese. He served as administrator for St. Bernard of Clairvaux parish from June to October 1990. From February 1990 to September 1995 he acted as part time chaplain to the community at Osage Monastery, a Benedictine Ashram committed to East/West dialogue. He served as the diocesan liaison for the Catholic Charismatic groups from 1983 to 1995. He was an associate pastor of St. Bernard's church in Tulsa from 1995 to 2003.

Father Patrick founded and edited Monos, a bimonthly spirituality journal in 1985 which continued under his role as spiritual director of The Monos Community until 2004. He was a regular columnist on the subject of prayer for the Eastern Oklahoma Catholic diocesan newspaper from 1984 to 1992. Father Patrick has contributed articles to a number of spirituality and monastic publications. He currently writes a regular article on Prayer and Spirituality for the Clifton Diocesan newspaper and website.

Father Patrick has been a Benedictine Oblate since 1963 and is currently an Oblate of the Camaldolese Benedictines at Big Sur CA. He retains close links with several Cistercian (Trappist) communities. He was a Zen student in the Sanbokyodan lineage under Dr. Ruben Habito from 1995 and from October 2001 until March 2005 he was a formal student of the Mountain and Rivers Order under the direction of Abbot John Daido Loori Roshi at Zen Mountain Monastery having spent a month's residency there. His teacher is now Fr. Robert Kennedy Roshi SJ in Jersey City who installed him as a Dharma Holder in the White Plum Sangha in June 2006.

Father Patrick's interests include the history and development of Christian spirituality and mysticism, contemplative prayer, the recovery of the Christian Wisdom tradition, interfaith dialogue especially with Zen Buddhism, the new science, and the writings and life of Thomas Merton and Bede Griffiths. He is a member of the International Thomas Merton Society and on the Committee of the British Section of that Society, Pax Christi and Amnesty International. His central and most important concern is to draw from the ancient Christian and Monastic tradition and teach a contemplative path to non-violence and justice.

From May 2004 until October 2006 Father Patrick was Priest-in-Charge of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Fairford with St. Mary's, Cricklade in Gloucestershire England. He has now retired from Parish Ministry but continues to serve as a member of the Clifton Diocesan Committee for the On-going Formation of Priests and he is a Committee member of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He continues to provide individual Spiritual Direction and is available to conduct retreats and workshops on several spiritual topics but especially on Zen practice in a Christian context, the Eucharist, non-violence, and the writings of Thomas Merton, Bede Griffiths, and Julian of Norwich.