From December 12-14, Benedictine Women of Madison received a visit from Joella Kidwell, OSB, President of the Federation of Saint Gertrude; and Margaret Michaud, OSB, St. Bede Monastery. Every monastery belonging to the Federation of Saint Gertrude receives a visit from the federation president every five years. It’s a time to check in about what is going well at the monastery and a time to evaluate what might be improved.
Sisters Joella and Margaret made 11 commendations for the work at Holy Wisdom Monastery, including:
- The successful creation of an ecumenical monastic community since their last visit and the admission of one new member into the formation program;
- Completion of a ‘green’ monastery building, which was certified on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scale with 63 out of 69 possible points;
- Utilizing outside professional consultants in various areas of organizational decision-making;
- The creative development of an Associate membership program, which now has one member and allows Mary Lynn Adams to maintain close ties to the monastic community;
- The quality of the Liturgy of the Hours (daily prayer) and the participation of guests and co-workers;
- Frequent visits to Sister Martha in Iowa in order to maintain a strong connection with her;
- High involvement of associated groups, including Sunday Assembly, Oblates, Ambassadors, co-workers and volunteers.
Sisters Joella and Margaret also made two recommendations, including making it a priority to reduce debt and to continue to recruit new members for the monastic community.