A Celebration of Community Living

Holy Wisdom Monastery Living in Community Leave a Comment

Benedictine Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery Celebrate Community and Breaking Barriers Middleton, WI September 21, 2021 — A small community of Benedictine Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery celebrates a combined 151 years of religious life this weekend, Sept. 24-26, 2021, at their Celebration of Community. In addition, they welcome a new Sister into their community on Sunday, as Novice Everline Jeruto makes her first monastic profession. The Sisters at Holy Wisdom live together in community and follow the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict. For 68 years they have lived out their mission of weaving prayer, hospitality, justice and care …

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How Did You Become a Sister?, Ft. Sister Denise West

Brooke Moriarty Community of Benedict, Monastic Life, Myth busting, Podcast, Rule of Benedict, Women Exploring Community 6 Comments

Want to be the first to hear every new episode? Click here to sign up for email notifications! How do you imagine one becomes a monk? Is it something you plan or something you discover? Do you have to be religious your whole life before joining a monastery? Truth be told, there is no one answer. Our own sister’s community at Holy Wisdom Monastery have an array of unique stories that led them to their lives here in Middleton. In this episode, we sit with Sister Denise West and listen to her journey from a non-secular home in Tennessee to …

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‘Becoming Ecumenical: The New Spirit of Vatican II,’ The Holy Wisdom Podcast

Brooke Moriarty Building Community, Hospitality, Interfaith Relations, Living in Community, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Podcast, Rule of Benedict Leave a Comment

Want to be the first to hear every new episode? Click here to sign up for email notifications! In this continuation of Ep. 1, Becoming Ecumenical: Bringing Christians Together, we sit down once more with Sister Mary David Walgenbach and Sister Joanne Kollasch. Starting in 1966, the sisters take us along the hurdles and fundamental moments of growth into an ecumenical community throughout the 60’s, 70’s, and Vatican II. From welcoming retreat groups for many different Christian denominations to hosting the Dalai Lama, the sisters have embraced the hospitality of St. Benedict, calling it “the everyday path to God that …

Reflections on the Feast of Saint Scholastica

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

In an article, “Keeping a Journal Can Reduce Stress,” in the Wisconsin State Journal, Sunday, February 10, 2019, psychologist Howard Weissman states, “Journaling is a way of slowing down our limited lease on life and appreciating with gratitude that which makes life meaningful and joyful and worthwhile.” The article states that journaling can be a way to “pause and reflect how [we] got where [we] are.” (p. E6) Weissman’s thoughts made me think of the purpose of leisure and contemplation in Benedictine life. An important part of Benedictine life is slowing down to take time to notice and reflect on …

Beginning another chapter

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

On January 10, 2019, we welcomed the Rev. Nancy Enderle and the Rev. Jerry Buss, the co-directors of the Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal to the coworkers at the monastery. Joanne remarked to me: “This begins another chapter.” Her comment set me thinking about the chapters in our community’s story. The sisters’ community has authored many chapters in its life. They are a testimony to the sisters hearing and responding to the needs around them. If I were to write a summary of the chapters, it might go like this. Chapter 1 – Hospital When the Sisters of Saint …

We are the Body of Christ

Lynne Smith, OSB 65th Anniversary, Living in Community, Sunday Assembly 6 Comments

One of the experiences that profoundly shaped my life as a sister at Holy Wisdom Monastery was the listening sessions we held in October of 2005 with members of Sunday Assembly to hear your input and concerns about the future of Sunday Assembly. The issue we were grappling with was how we would conduct Sunday worship as an ecumenical community. The sisters had discussed this matter for several years with our Ecumenical board. We laid several options on the table. Each sister could go to her own denominational church. We could go as a group to churches of various denominations …

Sisters at Holy Wisdom endorse statement from LCWR on gun violence

Holy Wisdom Monastery Justice, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

The Benedictine sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery endorse the following statement from Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR): Mourning is Not Enough: LCWR Calls for Action to Prevent Gun Violence February 23, 2018 On February 14 a very troubled 19-year-old took an AR-15 assault rifle to Marjory Stoneman High School and opened fire killing 14 students and three staff members. The shooting was a horrible tragedy that has become all too familiar to students, teachers, and parents across the country. The heartbreak in Parkland, Florida is far too common. A recent study of World Health Organization data published in the American …

Benedictine Sisters win international Assisi Award for conservation efforts spanning more than 60 years

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Living in Community, Uncategorized 2 Comments

The Benedictine Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery received the inaugural Assisi Award for faith-based conservation at the 28th International Congress of Conservation Biology’s Opening Ceremony on July 23, 2017 in Cartagena, Colombia in front of nearly 1,500 attendees. The Assisi Award acknowledges organizations and individuals whose work demonstrates that faith-based conservation is contributing significantly to the common global effort of conserving life on Earth. Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch accepted the award on behalf of their religious community located near Madison, Wisconsin. Their community is the first ecumenical Benedictine community in North America where Catholic and Protestant women …