Through the Decades – 1950s

Holy Wisdom Monastery 70th Anniversary Leave a Comment

As the 70th anniversary of the sisters’ arrival in Wisconsin is celebrated this year, it is important to share the history and culture of the Benedictine Women of Madison. What brought the sisters to this area? What influences shaped the mission, vision and values? Who played key roles in what eventually became Holy Wisdom Monastery? Highlights* of the growth, change and stability of the Benedictine Women of Madison will be reviewed in the next seven weeks culminating with the 70th Anniversary Celebration on July 9, 2023. *These highlights only reflect the history of the sisters after their move to Madison in 1953. In this issue, the focus is on the beginning – the 1950s. 1953 1954  1955  1959  What’s coming up? Next, the focus is on the 1960s, a time of great change and upheaval in the United States. Through personal and communal experiences …

Churches join in celebration of ‘Revelations of Divine Love’

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Uncategorized 1 Comment

Submitted by Sister Joanne Kollasch, OSB The following is excerpted from an article entitled “Churches join in celebration of ‘Revelations of Divine Love’” by Madoc Cairns in the May 20, 2023, issue of The Tablet. I am touched by this ecumenical celebration of the English mystic, Julian of Norwich, and the Pope’s prayer for consolation and strength based on her writings. “Julian, an anchorite, or enclosed hermit, living in Norwich in the fourteenth to fifteenth century, began receiving visions of Christ’s Passion in 1373 when she was 30 years old. The Revelations of Divine Love is the oldest surviving work by a …

New Chef Begins This Month

Toby Grabs Uncategorized 5 Comments

Our new Monastery Chef, Brian Maki, will have his first day of work at Holy Wisdom Monastery on Tuesday, April 25. He is looking forward to serving others with you, as part of the monastery’s mission. Below is a note from him: “Hello everyone! My name is Brian and I’m very excited to be starting my new chapter as the Chef for Holy Wisdom Monastery in the coming weeks. I wanted to write a short note to you as an opportunity to introduce myself. I started my career in the culinary field as a young dishwasher and instantly fell in …

International Women’s Day

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The Sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, Wisconsin welcome and celebrate International Women’s Day. We are a small community of Benedictine women who enjoy and benefit from an international world view.  Our community is a member of the world-wide Benedictine order begun in the sixth century. Our interests and work focus not only locally but on sisters’ communities and work in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. Travel to these countries prompts a desire and understanding for collaboration.   After a visit with sisters in Korea, Korean sisters came to our monastery to learn English. They attended classes at WESLI – …

Feast of St. Scholastica – A Reflection on Prayer

Denise West, OSB Uncategorized 11 Comments

Feb. 10 is the Feast Day of St. Scholastica. Scholastica is the twin sister of her more famous brother Benedict of Nursia. They grew up in a wealthy family and they both founded monasteries in the sixth century. Everything we know about them comes from a book written by Gregory the Great after Benedict’s death. Scholastica is mostly known for her great love of the spiritual life and for her fervent prayer. The famous story is that these siblings would leave their monasteries once a year to meet for spiritual conversation. On the last occasion of their meeting, they spent …

Julie Melton Receives 2022 Facilitator of the Year Award

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

Julie Melton, of Madison, has received the Facilitator of the Year Award from the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW). Melton was recognized for her work at Holy Wisdom Monastery with prairie restoration as well as her environmental education programs.  “I love leading people to a better understanding of how birds are connected to the prairie plants and the whole environment,” she added. President Steve Sample noted that “through her efforts Melton has helped to maintain and increase the Eastern Bluebird population, key goals of our statewide organization.” A fifth grade teacher who got Melton excited about birds is why …

Summer Stewards Reflection By Grace

Holy Wisdom Monastery Living in Community, Monastic Life, Retreats, Women Exploring Community Leave a Comment

We were immersed in monastery life. We attended prayer, ate meals with the sisters and other retreatants, and shared in chores. The fresh vegetables we harvested in the morning became the dinner we enjoyed in the evening. We helped with restoration efforts on the prairie and in the pines.

Holy Wisdom Monastery Receives Grant from the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation as they Commit to Net Zero Energy Project

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Press release Leave a Comment

July 22, 2022, Middleton, WI – The Benedictine sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery received a $575,000 grant from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation to help them achieve net zero energy consumption for their campus in Middleton. “This generous grant helps us launch a project to upgrade an aging HVAC system and install new efficient energy systems as we continue to Care for the Earth as part of the sisters’ mission which is rooted in the Benedictine values of stability and respect for all of creation,” explained Charles McLimans, CEO at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Details of …

Dear Holy Wisdom Community,

Holy Wisdom Monastery Living in Community 5 Comments

By Mary Chiang, guest of the sisters I will be leaving June 1, on a plane back to NYC. I need a good head start to say my farewells and want to say thank you for your warm hospitality and resilience to the faith, hope and love of our Lord. I have learned so much here. One lesson is how a binary point of view harms and limits understanding, compassion, and divides people. The life and practice of Benedictine values is a real discipline and I admire every person who devotes themselves to not giving up. It’s so easy to …

Binoculars Available to Borrow While Exploring at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Amy Alstad Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Hospitality Leave a Comment

Friends of Wisdom Prairie is pleased to share a new opportunity: Holy Wisdom now has binoculars available for all to borrow. Bird watching is a lovely activity that perfectly complements Benedictine spirituality. It invites you to appreciate the beauty of creation. It pairs well with silence, stillness and contemplation, and connects you to the many birds flourishing here as a result of our work caring for the earth. To borrow a pair of binoculars, visit the front desk in the Monastery building and speak with the porter (front desk volunteer). Binoculars are available Monday-Friday starting at 10:00 am and must …