After his ordination in 1957, M. Basil Pennington spent several years studying in Rome and received and S.T.L. and a J.C.L. He assisted at the Second Vatican Council as a peritus and in the preparation of the new Code of Canon Law. He started Cistercian Publications in 1968 and founded the Institute of Cistercian Studies at Western Michigan University in 1973. He became known through his efforts to help the Church refind its contemplative dimension through the Centering Prayer movement.