Thank You, Volunteers! 

Lara Dulin Volunteers 1 Comment

Dear Volunteers of Holy Wisdom Monastery, 

Words cannot express the value that volunteers have at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Over many years, you have supported this small community of sisters in their mission, and helped guide the monastery toward bringing Benedictine spirituality to the greater community. However you serve the monastery – on the prairie, in the kitchen, at Sunday Assembly, on a committee, as a spiritual guide, at the front desk or elsewhere – know that you are always welcomed and needed here. As coworkers, we look to you for the wisdom, energy and talents that you bring to Holy Wisdom Monastery. We can’t do what we do without you! Some coworkers and sisters have been invited to share their personal words of gratitude:

“I see the fingerprints of volunteers on just about every square inch of Wisdom Prairie. And when I think of all of the volunteer time that has been spent lovingly and generously tending the grounds, I am moved almost beyond words of gratitude… 

It is an absolute honor and privilege for me 

… to carry forward the efforts of the many volunteers who came before me 

… to work joyfully alongside the volunteers of today 

… and to tend this space so that a new generation of volunteer stewards may further our work

I am deeply grateful for every single one of the volunteers whose contributions have made Wisdom Prairie a place of silence, healing and beauty.” –Amy Alstad, director of land management and environmental education

“The amazing volunteers is one of the things that first stood out to me when I started at Holy Wisdom five years ago. The warm welcome from the volunteers was equally impactful as the warm welcome from the coworkers and felt, and still feels, one in the same. Each and every volunteer makes the monastery a richer place to spend time; everyone brings their own individual gifts, talents, passions and enthusiasms to the good community that we have here and the good that we all are able to do. And much of the good that we do is only possible with the amazing contributions from the volunteers. Thank you volunteers for making Holy Wisdom a better place to work and a better place where we all can do God’s work.” –Toby Grabs, director of operations

“My heartfelt thanks to all our Sunday Assembly liturgical ministers – homilists, presiders, cantors, lectors, communion ministers, greeters, choir members, instrumentalists, sacristans, technology assistants, hospitality helpers; communion bread bakers, our prayer leaders who assist at the sisters’ daily Liturgy of the Hours prayer; our Sunday Assembly Council members and all the folks who serve in our various committees and activities. Without you, Sunday Assembly and the mission and vision of the sisters’ community could not exist, could not thrive and could not witness as a beacon of Benedictine spirituality!” –Lynn Lemberger, director of worship and music 

“The sisters’ community at Holy Wisdom Monastery has always been small, however, volunteers have worked alongside the sisters in prayer and work to magnify their Benedictine charism. Today the community of communities is made up of five vibrant and thriving communities in which volunteers are integrated into the life of each of the communities. The sisters are the heart of the community, and the volunteers are the lifeblood.” –Charles McLimans, CEO

“We truly could not host events or groups at Holy Wisdom Monastery without our volunteers. It takes a team to make these events and retreats successful and our volunteers play a vital role in that. We are so thankful that they are part of our team!” –Brooke Miller, guest services manager

“I just wanted to say I couldn’t do my job without the volunteers’ help. A big thank you to all the volunteers – I appreciate you all.” –Cortez Mitchell, groundskeeper

“Simply put, volunteers allow the sisters’ mission to thrive. Their shared gifts are realized out on the land, within the communities and throughout the ministries at Holy Wisdom Monastery. The unique talents, personalities and wisdom of our passionate volunteers, create a special culture and amplify the Benedictine values we each share in our heart and actions. Our love and admiration of those willing to share of their time and talent – of past and present volunteers – are felt today and will ripple for generations.” –Amy Ryan, director of mission advancement

“I want to express appreciation for the volunteers who are at the reception desk every day in the monastery. They truly manifest the spirit of Benedict’s porter at the door, welcoming every one – guests, coworkers, other volunteers – with a spirit of gratitude and graciousness. Always good conversation partners, I have received so many tips, “heads up’s,” insights, and ideas from all of them. 

Volunteer leaders are essential to the mission of the monastery because they represent the diversity of the greater community and as such generate a dynamic and creative energy while at the same time being a grounding and stabilizing force for the whole. Their commitments contribute to stability as well as to our generative beauty!” –Pam Shellberg, director of spiritual nourishment

“Over the years, I have worked with volunteers in the kitchen, in the oblate community, as spiritual guides, on the land, at the front desk, in the garden, at events, at Sunday Assembly. Holy Wisdom monastery would not be what it is today without the generosity, hospitality and commitment of hundreds of volunteers who share their gifts and talents here. Because we are a small community, we invite others to be part of the mission and life of the monastery. As Sister Joanne says, Benedictine spirituality only comes alive in people who live it. Our volunteers embody Christ’s hospitality as they welcome others to prayer, to Sunday liturgy, to become oblates, to the land, to the monastery and retreat and guest house. When I see the care that our volunteers take to welcome new people to the monastery, I am inspired to live my Benedictine commitment more deeply. It isn’t just the work they do but the spirit they bring that radiates from them whether they are making beds, washing dishes, showing guests around, leading prayer, planting native shrubs, leading retreats, providing spiritual guidance, serving on boards and committees and so much more. Their commitment and joy shines through. Saint Benedict says we go to God together, I am grateful to be going to God in such a wonderful company of people. Thank you for being here!” –Sister Lynne Smith, OSB

“One of my favorite lines from Sister Joanne is that the monastery is a good place because the people who come here are good. I couldn’t agree more. I’m grateful for the many wonderful and talented people who express their gratitude and deepen their bond with the various people and communities here by contributing their time, expertise and efforts in all kinds of ways. Being such a small community of sisters, we wouldn’t be able to offer the ministries, the liturgies, the hospitality, the beauty that we do if it weren’t for each of the volunteers who show up in support of the work of the monastery. It would be a much different place if it weren’t for all of you who express your love of Christ and neighbor by participating in whatever way you can. I’m moved, humbled and grateful for your generosity and commitment. Thank you.”  –Sister Denise West, OSB

Comments 1

  1. I appreciate the opportunity to read the statements of gratitude for our amazing volunteers from other coworkers. Holy Wisdom Monastery is indeed blessed to have such an incredible group of volunteers!

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