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.


  1. Henry6:25 PM

    What's wrong? Anyone have a suggestion of a more apt location than St. John's Abbey for a retreat for LGBT folks (including monks)?

  2. Anonymous6:28 PM

    So, a Benedictine Abbey is hosting, under a Catholic name I presume, a new-age spiritualist retreat in order to empower the LBGT community (presumably to empower them in sin and not in the sacraments and Catholic moral teaching and life). So, basically, an anti-Christian, diabolical and soul-destroying retreat.


    St. Joseph, pray for us.
    St. Benedict, pray for us.

  3. Henry, perhaps the "normalization" of immorality in a Catholic setting is what is shocking. Maybe the faithful should be grateful that they are at least being open and clear about their preferences?...

  4. Roguejim6:33 PM

    I'm not so much scandalized by the retreat as I am by what the Church will countenance these days. And by the "Church",I include the laity. What was that quote about when good men do nothing? Not enough militancy in the Church Militant.

  5. Maybe they should sign to a Doctrinal Preamble?
    Oh wait, they are not traditionalists, they are fine with canonical "full communion".

  6. P.K.T.P.6:51 PM

    I don't even like body in my shampoo. Still, the building pictured does not look very functional, and the people attending the event are not very functional either.


  7. Glib Gob Pie is one anagram of the name of the retreat leader, Bob Pileggi.

    I think that is an important bit of information to know and I suspect that the success this retreat leader will have raising the christian level of morality of the group will be as successful as would have been the attempt to create a measurable increase in the IQ of, Junior Sample, had Albert Einstein been named a cast member of Hee Haw.

    (Could my references be any more obscure?)

  8. thomas tucker6:57 PM


  9. RomanRevert7:08 PM

    Well, I am almost positive that they accept all of Vat II's teaching and are therefore in the bosom of the Church. I guess that is all that really matters, right? At least they are not part of that awful SSPX that we keep hearing about!

  10. Texana7:09 PM

    How soon will the goats be separated from the sheep? We're gonna need a pretty big goat pen!

  11. Clinton R.7:11 PM

    Truly diabolical. What else can really be said? The age of apostasy continues. May Our Lord have mercy on us sinners. Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis.

  12. Gulag Retreatant7:11 PM

    Today there is this pervasive onslaught within and without the Church.
    Does anyone suggest a book or website that addresses how laity can respond to these people when they rub noses. Obama and government want this, our Church leaders don't care or have the same agenda, what can laity say in a meaningful way. Soon it will be illegal to be Catholic. What can we say today before we are sent to the Gulag?

    Gulag Retreatant

  13. I don't know how to say it, but I would to suggest to reflect on few thoughts by R. G. Conolly, MD, from The Latin Mass Magazine. They are as follows:

    "Despite our culture’s moral collapse, the
    human body is not fooled. The human body doesn’t care a wit about the opinions of various “experts,” doesn’t care about their credentials or CV, doesn’t care about the mass media, nor does it care about the latest democratic vote; it doesn’t care what
    the universities, judicial and legislative
    bodies say, nor does it care what 99.99%
    of the latest public opinion polls say. <...> Nature—the body—is not neutral: there are consequences for defying her, regardless of the perpetrator. <...>

    In other words, even if these no-more-catholics organize such retreats, they cheat themselves. Their bodies (not to speak about the souls that are already in deadly peril) will fail them, HIV and AIDS being one of the most likely outcomes, not to mention others. To my knowledge, not "homosexual gene" was discovered so far. The only question is, how long, oh Lord, you permit the bishops to disregard theirs duties in such and similar cases?

  14. Romanitas7:22 PM

    I know a priest who was once a monk at this place. He gave a sermon once suggesting Lazarus, and perhaps Our Lord Himself, was gay. This place has been off the deep end for years and seen a dying rate of vocations. Future Benedictines should take their lead from Le Barroux rather than this abbey.

    Also, the picture is of the abbey church, a fat, round, auditorium.

  15. Peterman7:45 PM

    So is that statue some monument to mother Russia somewhere in the former eastern block?
    That would look right at home at the JPII cultural center in DC or at Liseux where the JP2'ists have really left their mark.

  16. St. Peter Damian, ora pro nobis.

  17. That is a beautiful church though!

    I bet it has lovely drop-down screens so folks can sing along, like the Liberal Catholic Apostolic Church, with bubble-dots to lead you word-by-word!

    But, seriously, doesn't all of this intone that the Church really is in a crisis of unprecedented proportions?

    If God is beauty, we worship Him beautifully. The ugly liturgies, ugly hymns, ugly stained glass, ugly art, statues, etc., are all indicative that the modern Church has lost contact with the supernatural--with God Himself. It is man himself that is now celebrated in the liturgy.

  18. Anonymous8:15 PM

    The incredible naiveté and lack of formation among the majority of Catholics is appalling. The nonsense of this entire program is that it is headed under the word "Catholic." Point of fact is that all who consent to this outrageous faux Catholic silliness are, in fact no longer members of the Faith. Sorry, but that's the situation. Case closed. Call it what you will, but Catholic it ain't folks. Catholic doctrine is not malleable, never was and never will be. Flaunt your lifestyle if you will, but stop pretending to be something you're not or wishing, hoping trying to persuade the Church to sanction this egregious posturing as Catholic.


  19. No comments written simply as "anonymous", please! This makes cross-references quite hard to follow. Choose any name, even single letters, but choose something, according to our commenting instructions. Thank you!

  20. Francis8:34 PM

    Just when we thought things in the conciliar Church couldn't get any worse. The apostasy and abominations just keep coming from people who are in "full communion" with the Holy See. Lord help us!

  21. I'm not surprised at all by this. St. John's Abbey has been breeding heterodoxy and scandal for some time.

  22. This warped ideology is rampant. Here, in Canada - in Ontario the so-called Ontario English Catholic Teacher Association (in reality, a hard-left radical union) endorses gay-straight clubs, female "priestesses", hold dissident positions on homosexual "relations", wishes to fight "sexism" in the Church etc.

    This evil organization has been destroying our youth for at least two generations.

    I have further confirmed that the priestess position was union policy since at least 2008:

    I have documented much on our blog:

  23. The landscape out there is barren, drought-filled, and scorched-earth.

    Cruise the Groove, of course they won't be asked to sign a Doctrinal Preamble because they already ascribe to every tenant of Vatican II. The Preamble is only for those opposed to today's syncretistic, relativistic, and pantheistic Church; the only true sin in the relativist's "Church" is believing there is sin!

    There are good priests in the Novus Ordo like my Priest friend somewhere in the western US (I dare not name him, because he is already in the cross-hairs of his Modernist Bishop); but they are really and mostly a rarity. Actually, he want to say the TLM, but is frankly afraid of being sent to Siberia if he does so.

    Despite the good will of our Pope (and I truly believe he had the best intentions, and it was a generous gesture, provoked by SSPX, of course), Summorum Pontificum has proven useless, because Tradition-minded Priests are still afraid to use its provisions.

  24. "The landscape out there is barren, drought-filled, and scorched-earth."

    God is somewhat predictable. :-)

    In his mercy, He will send us great saints of the mold of St. Paul.

    Let us pray much for Frs. Rodriguez and Guarnizo. We will need great saints to lead us through the massive persecutions yet to be unleashed on us.

  25. Is that an Abbey or a Visitor space terminal?

  26. Elizabeth11:13 PM

    For what it's worth, I went to their website and on their Comments section, I expressed my thoughts as charitably as I could. Won't make a difference but it made me feel better!


  27. Does Rorate Caeli reaches Holy Father's desk?

  28. RogueJim said, "Not enough militancy in the Church Militant."

    Got that right. It's actually the Church Lazy.

    Knight of Malta said, "Summorum Pontificum has proven useless, because Tradition-minded Priests are still afraid to use its provisions."

    One does get the impression Summorum Pontificum was merely a token gesture. Even the SSPX said, and I'm para-phrasing here, it's not worth the paper it's written on. Why, because there is no enforcement, no mandate... ... ... ...


  29. I think it's good to be heard. The students, alumni and anyone out there needs to reconsider their support for this barren and unhallowed place.

    Also, a reminder to pray for Josh Guimond and his family.

    Josh disappeared at St. John's almost a decade ago after he left a card game at night.

    Many people turned to the Monastery which houses about a dozen credibly accused sex offenders.

    Recently, one of the predators died from severe head trauma. Father Bruce Wolmering's death was ruled as natural by local law enforcement.

  30. P.K.T.P.9:30 AM

    You know the tree by the fruit. Notice how all these heretical groups are accepted by the hierarchy but rejected by the S.S.P.X? Can anyone imagine the S.S.P.X accepting, say, 'Fr.' Raymond Gravel of Repentigny, who advocated the legalisation of abortion and inverted marriage on television? Gravel is now a parish priest at Repentigny. Benedict XVI recognises him and accepts his appointment! He is recognised as part of the Church! Can anyone imagine the S.S.P.X recognising him? Can anyone imagine the S.S.P.X allowing this so-called retreat here? So who is Catholic and who is not?


  31. What madness!

    Such immodesty and spiritualism is not only incredibly imprudent given all the abuse scandals and the temptation and near occasions of sin to those there but also a mortal sin for much the same reason. That such madness could happen at a monastery shows they are no true sons of st Benedict.

    Our lady of the immaculate conception, pray for us.

    St Benedict, pray for us.

  32. One could say this was not envisaged nor wanted by Vatican II, but the fact remains that, if this sort of thing were to happen in the times before Vatican II, those people would be publicly excommunicated. This kind of thing wouldn't be tolerated...

    One simply cannot deny that destruction has started just after the Vatican II ...

  33. On another site, I read the comment that the pope's patience with the SSPX is wearing thin. But apparently his patience for this sort of abomination is inexhaustible. And what about the patience of tradition minded Catholics who have been waiting for fifty years for the church to enforce ecclesiastical discipline on heretics and dissenters? The entire situation is mind boggling. It is like something out of a black comedy by Walker Percy.

  34. Giddy Minnesotan8:41 PM

    Why are people so upset??? After all, they are in full communion, aren't they? And that's what counts, right? Not like those nefarious SSPXers, right?

  35. dominic19554:23 AM

    From Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB's (from Collegeville) blog "Pray Tell"-

    "First, on obedience: Obedience is required in the Bible – but it is above all to God. Unless you can predict the future, you don’t know what the Catholic Church will believe to be God’s will, and what the Catholic Church will teach 100 years from now about women’s ordination or same-sex unions or all the other issues. Neither do I. But we both know that Church teaching has changed on other issues. To name one example, Pope Pius IX taught that the right to hold, sell, and buy slaves is based on natural law. If you had been there in the 19th century, would you have claimed that obedience required everyone to accept the pope’s teaching, which we now know was faulty? Or would it have been true obedience to God to disagree with the Pope?...

    The Catholic Church, particularly the papacy, has a wretched history on thinking that secular culture should be resisted – think of the papacy’s rejection of freedom of conscience, right to worship, right of free speech, freedom of the press, democratic governments, separation of church and state… All these have been rejected by popes are part of an evil secular culture. Some popes rejected electric street lights and railroads as too modern, for Pete’s sake. (Comments made by Father Anthony Ruff OSB-Pray Tell Blog- Post Titled 'Petition: Belgian priests and laity call for reforms.'

    There is something seriously wrong with St. John's/Collegeville...

  36. The Pray Tell Blog is moderated by Fr. Anthony Ruff. Some of the comments he's made are very troubling:

  37. It looks like this is one of those issues that just won't go away..


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