We lost some genuinely special people this past year at Holy Wisdom Monastery. In April, we mourned the loss of Jim McCarthy (April 6), Rev. Ed Beers (April 16), and Judy Schoennherr (April 21). We were honored to host all of their memorial services at the monastery, where the consolation was the opportunity to welcome so many longtime friends and family members into our space.
Near the end of October, we dedicated a couple of memorial trees in memory of Ed—a burr oak along the driveway after entering the monastery property and another burr oak near the parking lot of the Retreat and Guest House. Judy and her husband Richard’s memories live on through the niche with their names on a plaque in the columbarium at Holy Wisdom Monastery. These three also live on because so many donors have chosen to remember them through gifts to the Benedictine Life Foundation (BLF). Memorial gifts are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law, and can be a wonderful way for the spirit of the deceased to live on through the sisters’ ministries and mission. Donors can choose a specific ministry to support, a certain value from the sisters’ mission to support, or give an unrestricted gift for the sisters to use where it is most needed. So far, gifts in memory of loved ones have totaled $5,500 in 2012 from nearly a hundred donors.
Donors can also make tribute gifts in honor of a friend or loved one. This can make a wonderful holiday gift, and is a special way to share the Holy Wisdom Monastery values with an important person in your life. Gifts in honor of a friend or loved one have totaled $3,600 so far this calendar year to support the mission at the monastery. BLF can notify the person you are making a gift in honor of so that they will know of your generosity and of the ministry that you are supporting at the monastery.