A good laugh and a long sleep

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Retreats Leave a Comment

Amanda Conway (left) and Jill Carlson, ready to offer Benedictine hospitality at our Retreat and Guest House Amanda Conway lives by the Irish proverb, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” The proverb fits well with her role as our new hospitality and event coordinator. We want overnight guests to get a long sleep and enjoy a good laugh with other guests and the sisters at meals. Amanda, a native of Monroe, Wisconsin, knew about Holy Wisdom from her work as a funeral director at Cress Funeral Home in Madison. “I knew the …

2014—the year of communities

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Homepage, Hospitality, Monastic Life, Oblates, Retreats, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

Members from the various communities at Holy Wisdom Monastery come together to celebrate Sister Joanne Kollasch’s 60 years of monastic profession. Sister Joanne sums up community living, “in community you receive so much more than you give.” (Photo by Kent Sweitzer)   As I reflect on the year 2014, I’m amazed at all that has emerged at Holy Wisdom Monastery in one short year. What rises to the top for me is the sense of community. Community living takes many forms here, from the monastic community to the Sunday Assembly worshipping community, to the oblate community, to the volunteer community, the …

The Gift of Hospitality

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

Prayer is at the heart of the monastery. At Holy Wisdom Monastery the sisters invite guests to pray with them at daily prayer. What makes a monastery? Essentially a praying community of women or men, a Rule of life and silence enough to welcome and make room for the guest…. At Holy Wisdom, the sisters live the Gospel way of life in the Benedictine tradition, and along with other ministries, welcome the stranger and friend. For Saint Benedict, sometimes called the founder of Western monasticism, and the 1,500 year tradition following him, the ideal remains to this day, “Receive any …

Remembering Our Loved Ones—Memorial Services at Holy Wisdom

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Memorial Service Leave a Comment

Remembering a loved one at Holy Wisdom Monastery. When someone passes away, one of the biggest decisions the family has to make is how those left behind can express their condolences and remember their loved one. A memorial service is one of the more meaningful ways to bring family and friends together to pay tribute to the deceased. Carolyn Moynihan Bradt, a Sunday Assembly member, held her husband Dr. Jack Bradt’s memorial service at Holy Wisdom on April 7, 2013. “The monastery was perfect for Jack and our family. He is buried at the Farley Center, Natural Path Sanctuary in …

Groups Enjoy Benedictine Hospitality

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Meetings Leave a Comment

“All guests are to be received with sincere hospitality, ‘with the courtesy of love.” – Rule of Benedict 53:1 Benedict of Nursia determined this rule in Italy over 1500 years ago, and it still rings true today at Holy Wisdom Monastery as we host groups of all faith backgrounds, school and business groups, medical and meditation groups, state government agencies and many other groups. “If the group fits within the sisters’ mission of prayer, hospitality, justice and care of the earth we welcome them,” explained Sister Mary David Walgenbach. Group Health Cooperative meets in the sunny garden room in the Retreat and Guest House, …

It's been a quiet week…

Ann Moyer Hospitality, Living in Community Leave a Comment

“It’s been a quiet week…” at Lost Lake (the small, glacial lake on the grounds of Holy Wisdom Monastery!) – both literally and figuratively.  In the Retreat & Guest House we are hosting 40 Appamada practitioners for a silent meditation retreat.  The days have been cool, and the skies have often been gray, and much needed rain has soaked the earth and brought down many fall leaves.  Inside the pulse of life is felt and surrounded by the gracious space of quiet, Benedictine hospitality. We offered an Exploring Benedictine Community retreat last weekend, which included an extended stay during the …

Recipes from the cooking demonstration on June 13, 2012 with Barbara Wright

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Care for the Earth, Hospitality Leave a Comment

Last night we hosted the first (but certainly not the last!) cooking demonstration with our monastery chef, Barbara Wright. We gathered in the kitchen at 6:00 pm and watched Barbara prepare a meal for 18 people, telling stories and giving out tips on where to shop for food and where to buy knives. Below are the recipes for the dishes that Barbara shared with us last night (click here to download a PDF file of these recipes). We hope to do more of these, perhaps as soon as this summer! To learn more about cooking demonstrations at Holy Wisdom Monastery, …

The way we answer doors

Lynne Smith, OSB Hospitality, Living in Community, Monastic Life 2 Comments

The way we answer doors is the way we deal with the world.  ~ Wisdom from the Tradition, Conference of Benedictine Prioresses How else can we bring a divided world together except by providing the open hearth where all feel warm and safe enough to speak their truths and listen from their hearts.  ~ An Extravagant Love, Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB These reflections on Benedictine hospitality are found in Wisdom from the Tradition, written by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses. Insights into the wisdom to be found within the Benedictine tradition were gathered from Benedictine women’s communities throughout the US …

Hospitality: All Are Welcome at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

Hospitality is one of the core values that the sisters live at Holy Wisdom Monastery. One way they do this is by welcoming all to participate in the activities at the monastery. Among the many guests of the monastery, members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer (GLBTQ) communities in Madison and beyond find a place of spiritual comfort and refuge here. Sunday Assembly has a number of gay and lesbian members. Jim Green and Bill Diederich have been worshipping and attending retreats with the sisters since the early 1970s. Bill and Jim recently celebrated their 40th anniversary together …

Sister Asella Returns to Korea

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

In June 2009, Sister Asella Kim, a Missionary Benedictine from Seoul, Korea, came to live with the sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery. She was here on a year’s sabbatical after serving a Korean and American parish in New Jersey for six years. Asella has known us since 1994 when she spent four years here learning English and continuing her education. Because Sister Asella is a kindred spirit we count her as part of our community. She especially enjoyed walking in the prairie and working in the garden. She even requested a three-month extension of her sabbatical so she could help bring in the produce …