What is a pilgrimage?

Holy Wisdom MonasteryWeekly Wisdom 2 Comments

Submitted by Carol Kretschman, Oblate This is the question we raised after our arrival at the Saint Columba Hotel on the Isle of Iona on September 16, 2023. We concurred that it wasn’t exactly like a retreat. And yet it was very similar. I remained perplexed. Then someone suggested that I read “The Art of Pilgrimage” by Phil Cousineau. He reminds the reader that the complete circle is the universal symbol for the soul – an image of wholeness – and the goal of the sacred journey is to become as whole again as possible. Our longing is the sign that …

How in the world do songbirds survive freezing cold?

Holy Wisdom MonasteryFriends of Wisdom Prairie, Natural Resources, Nature Notes, Weekly Wisdom 2 Comments

By Julie Melton The short answer is that they find food and shelter. But there is more to it. Many songbirds grow a third more feathers in preparation for winter. Fluffing up feathers creates thousands of tiny air pockets that hold heat close to birds’ bodies. Outer feathers help hold the heat in. Birds have to keep their feathers oiled to maintain waterproofing. Insulation isn’t enough. Shelter is vital to survival. Birds can reduce their nighttime temperature to save energy. They still need protection from wind, snow and predators. Some birds huddle together in dense conifer boughs, shrubs, and under …

Reflections from a Summer Steward

Holy Wisdom MonasteryHospitality, Living in Community, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship, Weekly Wisdom, Women Exploring Community 2 Comments

Submitted by Hannah Keziah Agustin In the beginning of our day, there is silence. We center ourselves on the presence of God in the basement of Holy Wisdom Monastery’s main building at 7:30 in the morning, our chairs facing toward each other as we pray. Outside of the windows, the prairie sprawls with the bloom of a Wisconsin summer – bergamot, coneflowers and butterfly milkweed decorate the fields in the day’s early sun. Here, Benedictine sisters, retreatants and community members gather for the hearing of the liturgy, the singing of worship and the reading of God’s word. Here, we come …

5 Tips & Tricks for Year-End Planning

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By Amy Ryan, director of mission advancement As the end of 2022 approaches, we hope this note finds you well and preparing for a fulfilling finish to another challenging year. While this is often a time of great activity, it can also be a time of important reflection.  Here are some tips to help you make the most of your year-end giving:  Determine your tax liability for the year.  Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays takes over, consider pausing to calculate your income and determine your tax liability for the year. Did your income increase? Did you sell …

Woodchuck family makes Holy Wisdom home

Holy Wisdom MonasteryCare for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Weekly Wisdom 1 Comment

By Howard Fenton, Friends of Wisdom Prairie Council At this time of the year a lot of different kinds of families are calling Holy Wisdom home. And there’s one in particular I’d like to tell you about; the woodchuck, or the groundhog to some, or the whistle pig to others. The woodchuck, which doesn’t actually chuck wood, or eat it, is in the Order of Rodents, a member (the largest in fact) of the squirrel family. It’s scientific name is Marmota monax. The genus name gives you a clue that the woodchuck is related to marmots, while the species name …