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Sr. Joyce Rupp speaking at SEAS Parish in Plano December 11, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.

I know this blog is new,  but I do think I need to bring up a recent issue that I think is pretty important and that people need to know about.   A ‘women’s retreat’ is being held Feb. 20th at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano.  The retreat is being given by Sr. Joyce Rupp.  Based on prior knowledge of these retreats, it will essentially consist of Sr. Rupp lecturing a number of women for the better part of a day.   The retreat is sponsored by five north Dallas area parishes, St. Mark in Plano, St. Elizabeth in Plano, St. Joseph in Richardson, Our Lady of Angels in Allen, and Prince of Peace in Plano.

Why is this a problem?  Why would I care that a female roman catholic religious is speaking at a catholic parish in Plano?  Well, unfortunately, there are many religious, male and female, whose communion with the Church, whose thoughts and practices being in accord with Church teaching, is doubtful at best.  Sr. Donna Quinn of the Sinsinawa Dominicans in Chicago is one http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102302.html; http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/12/dominican-sister-associates-bv-mary-with-pro-choice-position-no-really/.  Another is Sr. Joan Chittister.   There is strong evidence that Sr. Rupp, while not as at odds with core Church doctrine as Sr.’s Chittister and Quinn (and Fr. Reese, and Fr. Drinan), is at best a pretty poor choice for a Catholic speaker in the Dallas Diocese, and at worst poses a grave threat to the souls of all those who attend this ‘retreat.’

On her own website, Sr. Rupp makes plain that she is very friendly with New Age beliefs.  She constantly refers to God in the feminine with the name of ‘Sophia,’ ostensibly a ‘goddess of wisdom,’ she incorporates eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism into much of her ‘theology,’ and she gives strong hints that she has been involved in, or is involved in, active homosexual relationships.   The Church counsels that New Age practices, such as astrology, power crystals, dreamcatchers, and the like, pose a mortal threat to one’s soul.  New Age beliefs are fundamentally self-centered, drawing on supposed mystical powers of the universe to make one have improved self-esteem, or to gain insight into the future, or to understand and contact those in ‘other dimensions.’  Much New Age belief is strongly associated with the work of Carl Jung, an Austrian psychologist who was a strong proponent of the interpretation of dreams, while at the same time a vociferous opponent of the Church.  Sr. Rupp has a master’s degree in Jungian psychology, in addition to a degree from the ‘leading center of New Age’ study. 

“But, but……!” you may be saying, …”aren’t Sr. Rupp’s conferences  popular?”  Indeed, they do have a certain degree of popularity, but that is unfortunate and really immaterial as to whether a Catholic Church should be hosting a conference headed by a woman whose beliefs are problematic, at best.   And, it is important to understand the reason for whatever popularity Sr. Rupp’s speaking engagements have.  New Age practices have grown in popularity precisely because they are focused on the self.  Likewise, attendees at Sr. Rupp’s conferences are encouraged to feel very good about themselves, that they are in fact ‘inherently perfect,’ and that it is only the world that imposes sin and failings on people.  This type of message can have a powerful appeal, and can lead those not well formed in the Faith to feel that they are doing great, that they have no need to change any aspect of their lives.  This type of thinking, appealing as it may be, is directly counter to Church doctrine, which makes clear that all mankind are sinners, from the moment of conception, and that it is only the saving Graces the Church offers through God’s infinite love that we have a chance at salvation.  According to Sr. Rupp, all one has to do to be pleasing to God is to “be true to oneself.”  While being true to itself may have merit, it is a far cry from being all that is necessary to be pleasing in the site of God.  And, such a view is, again, a fundamentally New Age viewpoint.   This is why the Church has proclaimed that becoming involved in New Age practices can pose a mortal threat to one’s soul. 

I will follow up this post with others describing in more detail Sr. Rupp’s theology, the problems therein, and provide additional reasons why Sr. Rupp should not be hosting a Catholic women’s conference in the Dallas Diocese, and certainly not on Church property. 

I pray that any woman considering attending the retreat will at the very least review Sr. Rupp’s writings on her website, and form their own opinion as to whether they should attend.  If you feel strongly that this conference should not be held, or at least not be held at a Catholic church, I pray that you will contact the pastors at the parishes involved in this retreat.  This especially applies if you are a member of one of those parishes, but I encourage anyone to write.  Contact information for the various pastors below. 

One note, this conference was originally to be hosted at St. Mark, but was moved to St. Elizabeth Seton.  One of the main drivers of this retreat is Judy Clark, the head of the family ministry at St. Mark. 

St. Mark Parish
Father Cliff Smith – cgsmith49@aol.com
Judy Clark – jpclark@stmarkplano.org

St. Elizabeth Seton Plano
Monsignor Henry Petter – hpetter@eseton.org

Our Lady of Angels Allen
Monsignor John Bell – jbell@ourladyofangels.com

Prince of Peace Plano
Father James Balint – Fr.Jim6@popplano.org

St. Joseph Richardson
Monsignor John Fischer – pastor@stjosephcc.net

If you do e-mail, please be direct, to the point, and nice.


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[…] Nevertheless, the conference is still being advertised in flyers and in parish bulletins, and has not yet been cancelled, so there is still some merit in contacting the pastors and parish staff involved.  You can see that contact information here and here. […]

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