subscribe to current local breaking news  
The Shelter Island Reporter
Search Current Week
Official Newspaper of the Town of Shelter Island and the Village of Dering Harbor
  Top Stories  
  Police Reports
  On the Street
  Letters to the Editor
  Around the Island
  Food & Wine
  Back Issues
  Digital Edition

  Holiday Guide
  Legal Notices  
  Homeowners Network
  Community Links
  East End Businesses

  Community Bulletin

  All Boards

  Send Letter to Editor
  Email us
  Subscribe Now
  Site Help
  News Tips
  Reader Survey

times/review online


  Staff Roster


  The Suffolk Times

  The News-Review

  The North Shore Sun

  The Wine Press

Updated: 5/21/2009 - 4:20 AM

St. Gabe's is on the market
  0 comments below

St. Gabe's chapel. Cara Loriz photo
St. Gabriel's Spiritual Center for Youth is officially up for sale and no retreat programming is planned beyond the end of July.

Barbara Signorelli, St. Gabe's administrator, said Friday that the retreat is “open now. It's been a phenomenal year despite the news.” In May 2008, the Passionist Fathers, who own the property, announced they would sell it, and by January 2009 the Passionist priests no longer resided at the retreat.

St. Gabe's staff of eight, including three retreat team missionaries (Bryan Knipfing, Chris Mandato and Allyse Gruslin), “have kept up their energy and morale,” Ms. Signorelli said. But no retreats have been booked beyond July 31.

The property has been listed for about three weeks with a Bridgehampton agent of Brown Harris Stevens real estate. The 24.8-acre property, with 1,500 feet of waterfront and 10 buildings (including the 29-room guest house), is listed for $19.9 million. The web listing touts the “unique and inspiring” ownership opportunity: “This prime property, adjacent to over 20 acres of protected waterfront land, provides a magnificent setting for a host of possibilities, including new custom estates, a grand resort or spa and the extensive shoreline provides the luxury of private deepwater dockage. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such a large contiguous holding of buildable waterfront land on the East End of Long Island.”

The Passionists allowed the retreat to continue for a year after announcing their intent to sell but not beyond that. Operating with the property on the market would be difficult in the best of circumstances. Retreat team members traditionally serve for a full year. “I really can't operate on a month by month basis,” Ms. Signorelli said.

Hopes that the Rockville Centre Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church would find a way to keep the retreat operating have not been realized, at least not yet. St. Gabe's has operated since 1963 and typically serves 2,000 high school teens each year, 90 percent of them from the Rockville Centre Diocese. What the retreat does for teens is evident in the 170 postings on St. Gabe's website guest book. The most recent posting, from a retreat held just last weekend, reads: “My  first year at St. Gabe's was life changing. I felt a deep connection with the staff, my youth group and with God.” For more on the retreat's services, see this week's letter to the editor from Ms. Gruslin (page 19) or the YouTube posting from a group of teens lending their voices to the cause in a video called “Save Gabe.”

Although the work continues at St. Gabe's, the clock is ticking. “It's a big investment. It's a hard time to put those funds together,” Ms. Signorelli acknowledged. But she is “still holding on to some hope” that a buyer will emerge who will want to keep the youth retreat open.

Notice about comments:
The Shelter Island Reporter is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. The Shelter Island Reporter does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not The Shelter Island Reporter. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Service and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website.

Add your comments below:

captcha 6cbc886fc3514a79b138cda4f2b18e64

0 comments found

Most Popular

Voice your opinion

Start a discussion, join a discussion or make a comment.

Click "Community Bulletin Board" link on the left or "Discuss this story" link at the top of every story to get started.

summer wine press 2007