A Ministry of
St. Columba's Inverness
In Celebration of the 100th year Anniversary of
Teilhard de Chardin's Discovery of the Noosphere Concept
An In-Person Retreat
with Brian Thomas Swimme
and Fr. Vincent Pizzuto
Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22
Retreat Theme The most pressing spiritual challenge of our time is to develop a form of consciousness that sees through war and ecocide to the creative energies of spiritual evolution. The life and work of Teilhard de Chardin aimed at shifting Christian spirituality from its concerns for escaping a fallen world to the joys of participating in an unfolding mystery. "Divinization" was how Teilhard referred to the cosmological meaning of evolution. The aim of our eco-retreat will be to identify the ways in which we are immersed in the process of spiritualization, and to realize that we are all involved one way or another in the building of a noosphere, a "thinking Earth".
Brian Thomas Swimme is Director of the Third Story for Human Energy and professor of evolutionary cosmology on the graduate faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies. Brian's published work portrays the 14 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis "as a spellbinding drama, full of suspense, valor, tragedy, and celebration”. Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe is his most recent book published in 2022. His work includes The Universe is a Green Dragon (1984), The Universe Story, written with Thomas Berry (1992), The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (1996), and The Journey of the Universe, written with Mary Evelyn Tucker (2011). Swimme is the producer of three DVD series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), The Earth's Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2004). Brian teamed with Mary Evelyn Tucker, David Kennard, Patsy Northcutt, and Catherine Butler to produce Journey of the Universe, an Emmy-winning film released in 2011. These works draw together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology and biology, with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe. Brian was featured in the television series Soul of the Universe (The BBC, 1991) and The Sacred Balance produced by David Suzuki (CBC and PBS, 2003). Brian founded the international Epic of Evolution Society in 1998, and is Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe.
Father Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D. holds a Masters of Education in Religious Education from Boston College (1995), as well as a Masters (STL) and Doctorate (STD) in New Testament exegesis from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (2003). He is a Full Professor at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco where he teaches primarily in the areas of New Testament and Christian Mysticism in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. He has published and presented internationally in the areas of New Testament, christology, contemplative Christian spirituality, interreligious dialogue, same-gender marriage and theological responses to the climate crises. In April 2018 he published his second book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life (Liturgical Press, 2018). A Spanish translation, Contemplar a Cristo: Los Evangelios y la vida interior (Desclée De Brouwer, 2022), is now available. His pastoral experience as founder and Vicar of the contemplative Christian community, New Skellig, has deep roots in the Celtic Christian tradition, a spiritual heritage shared by St. Columba's Inverness. In his ministry at St. Columba's, Fr. Vincent has drawn from his rich pastoral and theological background to address the spiritual needs of the congregation and open our doors as a center for contemplative Christianity in the wider West Marin community. He is eager to collaborate on our shared interests of environmental sustainability, the celebration of the arts, supporting local movements for social justice, and opening dialogue with other spiritual centers in West Marin.