photo by Jennifer Peters

Benedictine values shape all that we do

At Holy Wisdom Monastery, our mission, vision and ministries are shaped by values drawn from the Rule of Benedict: beauty, balance, simplicity, silence and respect for all of creation. We express these values by:

  • building community with all who come through our doors
  • inviting guests to experience the rhythm of prayer as a way of seeking God and balancing busy lives
  • offering hospitality to individuals and groups through peaceful, contemplative spaces, healthy meals and interaction with other people
  • embracing justice by respecting the dignity of every person
  • committing ourselves to stability by putting down deep roots, which calls us to care for the land on which we live

Our mission

Holy Wisdom Monastery, home of Benedictine Women of Madison and a community of ecumenical Benedictine communities, weaves prayer, hospitality, justice and care for the earth into a shared way of life.

Our vision

Holy Wisdom Monastery welcomes people into sacred space and our community of communities to pray, study and nourish one another. Compelled by the Gospel and rooted in the Benedictine tradition, we support personal and community growth as we live out our mission and values in a changing world.


The Rule of Benedict

The Rule of Benedict envisions a community that supports each person’s relationship with God and others. Members live and work together, seeking God. The Rule highlights a balance of daily work and prayer. All work is valued, provides service to others and is an opportunity for personal development. Time is set aside throughout the day for prayer.

Benedict of Nursia lived in Italy during the 6th century. He wrote a guide for community life, which he called a “little rule for beginners.” His writing draws on many years of experience and wisdom, helping his disciples in their search for God. Benedict and his followers founded monasteries for both women and men throughout Europe. These monasteries served as places of hope and hospitality and as a witness to God’s love during dark periods of history.

The Benedictine tradition lives through the centuries as a testament to the strength and common sense of the Rule. Modern Benedictine communities throughout the world live the values of the Rule in ways that apply to their local environment and to the unique skills of each member.

Fifteen centuries after its creation, the key values in the Rule of Benedict remain pertinent to ordinary life. Short in length and translated in many languages, the Rule suggests ways to seek and celebrate God through:

  • listening
  • hospitality
  • humility
  • embracing change
  • respect for people
  • learning
  • prayer
  • work

To learn more, read articles about the Rule of Benedict and about Benedictine spirituality and values.