Churches join in celebration of ‘Revelations of Divine Love’

Joanne Kollasch, OSBUncategorized 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 …

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

Brooke MoriartyCommunity 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 …

Knowing who we are journeying with

Lynne Smith, OSBLiving in Community 2 Comments

Last Friday, the Servant Leadership class from UW Extension held its monthly class at the monastery. Toby Grabs, our operations manager, gave the class a tour and introduction to the monastery. I met with them to talk about how we exercise leadership in the monastery. I lifted up three principles that have guided us and served to move us into the future: listening to others collaboration and community. Because we have always been a small community and because we value collaboration and community building, we have consulted with and involved others in our ministry and decision-making through the years. In …

Perspective from monastery hilltop overlooking prairie, Lake Mendota and Madison in the distance.

Gaining perspective in contentious times

Lynne Smith, OSBBuilding Community, Living in Community 6 Comments

I was talking with a leader of a class being held at the monastery last week. While he was on break, he spoke about the reasons he likes coming to the monastery. He said coming to the monastery helps him gain perspective on his work. The view from the top of the hill of the capital and downtown Madison represents this change of perspective. He teaches at the university and finds it helpful to come across the lake periodically to step back and look at his life and work from another viewpoint. The sisters have been reading Joan Chittister’s commentary …

Three women standing by a stream in the winter

A new thing

Denise West, OSBFar from home, Living in Community 6 Comments

How much longer is your stay? Have you gotten what you expected out of your sojourner experience? Now that it’s been almost four months (two more to go), I’m getting this question a lot. As for the second question, the answer is a resounding Yes. This experience has been transforming in the ways that I’d hoped. Paz and I both left Wisconsin for Christmas, and it was the first time being away from the monastery community. I wondered how much of the way I’d been living would ‘stick’ once I went out into the world. Would I resort to my …

brightly lit, snow-covered tree branches casting shadows on the snow

Home for the Holidays

Rosy Kandathil, OSBLetters home, Living in Community Leave a Comment

My first semester at St John’s School of Theology ended with a whimper. Although I was officially back at the monastery for winter break, I had a final paper and an exam yet to submit online. It was confusing: my body was home, but my head was still at school. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, with two hours to my deadline, I finally pressed the send button and breathed a sigh of relief. It was done; all of my assignments were in. Now I can relax, I thought. The semester had been long and challenging in unexpected ways. It …

Sister Lynne walking along prairie path in early morning

Finding the seeds of God’s call in my life

Lynne Smith, OSBBuilding Community, Living in Community 3 Comments

At the monastery, I like to walk around the property on Sunday afternoon to see what has changed since the last time I walked. The close connection to and care for the land we have at Holy Wisdom is something that resonated deeply with me when I was exploring a call to life in our community. I believe that a call comes right out of one’s life. That means that rather than being something extraordinary that drops down from heaven to overwhelm a person, a call grows from the values, characteristics and dreams one has already begun to develop. My desire …