Rorate Caeli

Pray tell us: what is wrong with these people?

What will be their motto? "What happens in Collegeville stays in Collegeville"?

Incarnational Prayer:
Connecting to God through Our Bodies

October 5-7, 2012

A retreat sponsored by the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry to be held at St. John’s Abbey Guesthouse in Collegeville, MN, facilitated by Bob Pileggi.

This retreat is for LGBT folks and their allies to connect to God and themselves through the body. Life has given us this great gift of a body. We can open more to God's love, acceptance and guidance by having a fuller experience of the body; by appreciating it. Various religious teachings might tell us to deny the body in order to get closer to God; this retreat will be healing from that idea - offering us renewed love for our body, self and God. Reconnect to your body in a compassionate way; feel rejuvenation; and open to more empowered self-expression. And in the process learn some simple spiritual practices that have foundations in most of the world's major religions (awareness, breathing, mindful movement, etc.) that you can use on your own at home and share with others.

This will be a safe, spiritual space for LGBT people and their allies. Held in a Christian retreat setting, participants need not be Christian - simply comfortable with that environment. We'll create a community of consciousness together, supporting one-another's journey into and through the body to the Divine.

The retreat leader, Bob Pileggi, loves facilitating connection through presence practices – so that we can feel more fully alive, empowered to express ourselves, and connect authentically with others.

Bob experiences and communicates love primarily through touch – something he did not perceive as welcome in his family as a child and teen. He grew up thinking there was something wrong with him. And as an obese child, he was unloving of his own body. He decided that life could be more enjoyable and that his body was a divine gift, and he started taking better care of it. Now Bob uses touch and conscious embodiment to inspire presence and gratitude for Life – in himself and others.

After twelve years of working for local and national non-profits related to spirituality and civil rights, Bob’s spiritual practice deepened and he was ordained an Interfaith minister. Now Bob produces and facilitates workshops, retreats, custom ceremonies and individual healing sessions with spiritual coaching; yoga; and body, energy and breath work. Bob is a certified yoga instructor, mindfulness practitioner and instructor, internationally certified breath-work practitioner, certified bodyworker, and ordained Interfaith minister. 

Cost: Alone in a single room (one twin bed) $240 per person
Sharing a double room (two twin beds) $210 per person
CSB/SJU students/monks (no housing) $100 per person

Register on-line or contact Fr. Bob Pierson, OSB at [number] or [e-mail adress]

Source: St. John's Abbey Guesthouse. Tip: The Eponymous Flower [We wonder who will be the first to claim being scandalized by... this post; let us repeat it: this is going to take place in a Benedictine Abbey guesthouse,  it is being advertised by it, with a special offer for monks, with registration via one of the Benedictine Fathers - so do not shoot the messenger.]

And an assembly of the letter-soup elite of Catholic colleges in America is highlighted by the Cardinal Newman Society:

Catholic College Profs and Religious Attend Dissident Catholic Group Event

The biggest standing ovation at the dissident Catholic New Ways Ministry’s “Seventh Annual Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality,” which was attended by many Catholic college professors and clergy this weekend, was reserved for Barbara Johnson, the lesbian who was recently denied Communion.

Predictably, featured among the lecturers were Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Catholic layman who signed into law a measure that legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland, as well as Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a retired Australian bishop who summoned the Catholic Church to rethink its teaching on sexuality for heterosexuals and lesbian/gay people, according to New Ways Ministry.

But perhaps even more disturbing is that among the scheduled speakers and workshop leaders, according to the New Ways Announcement, were a number of faculty from Catholic colleges.

Sister Sandy Yost, Professor of electrical and computer engineering of The University of Detroit-Mercy, delivered a lecture entitled “Lesbian Nuns: Journeys of Integration.”

Orlando Espin, professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego, led a workshop entitled “LGBTQs among Latinos/as and Latino/as among the White LGBTQs.“

Jamie Manson, an affiliate faculty member at Fairfield University who also boasts a weekly column in the National Catholic Reporter, was slotted to head up a focus session called “Young Adults, LGBT Issues, and the Catholic Church: A Relationship with a Future? “

Susan Ross, professor and chair of the Theology Department at Loyola University Chicago and currently president-elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America, delivered a lecture called “From Spotless Bride to Working Partner: Relationships, Marriage, and the Church.”


Father Joseph Brown, a Jesuit at Southern Illinois University, and Father Fred Daley, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse whose lecture was entitled, “Gay Priests: Coming Out While Staying In,” were also featured.