Guest information

We welcome you and hope whether it is solitude or community, healing or celebration, relaxation or productivity you desire, our peaceful and spiritual surroundings will support and renew you. Holy Wisdom Monastery is the home of Benedictine Women of Madison. Our mission is to weave prayer, justice and care for the earth into a shared way of life.

During this time, we are doing our utmost to ensure the health and well-being of our staff and visitors. We ask that anyone who is sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay at home.


If you become ill during your stay, please make arrangements to return home, follow public health guidelines to self-isolate and contact your medical provider about getting tested. Please visit for community testing information in Madison and Dane County.

For more information on what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19, go to this link at the Department of Public Health of Madison and Dane County:

In case of medical or other emergencies

  • Dial 9-911 from any Retreat & Guest House or Monastery phone, or dial 911 from a cell or hermitage phone.
  • Be prepared to describe the nature and location of the emergency.
    Street address is: Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M, Middleton, Wisconsin, Dane County and the Township of Westport. The phone number is: 608-836-1631.
  • As soon as it is safe to do so, after calling 911, notify a staff member directly or through the after-hours notification service: 608-283-7841. (If using a Monastery public phone, dial 9-283-7841.)

In case of fire: activate the fire alarm, if it hasn’t already been activated, and exit the building through the nearest exit. Then call 911. Do not return to the building until an “all clear” signal has been given.

In case of tornado: if a warning has been issued, seek shelter immediately in the lower levels of the Retreat and Guest House and Monastery Building or the basement of the hermitages. If possible, shelter in an interior room or closet without windows. If these aren’t available, seek the lowest level possible and stay as far away from windows as possible. More information and maps of the monastery buildings can be found at our online resource guide (see more information about this on the backside of this page).

First aid kits and AED

  • An automated external defibrillator (AED) is located in the Monastery Building on the upper floor in the hallway leading to the restrooms just off the lobby.
  • First aid kits and flashlights are located in the hallway cabinets found on the first floor of the Retreat and Guest House and in both hermitage bathrooms.

Retreat inquires and reservations

The staff offices are operating on abbreviated hours for now. If you need to reach a staff member during office hours (8 am – 4 pm, M-F, excluding holidays), please do so preferably by email or by phone only:

Standard check-in and checkout for overnight and day retreats

  • Check-in time for individual overnight stays in the Retreat and Guest House is 2 pm or after and checkout is before or by 12 noon, unless you were provided with different times when you made your reservation.
  • Check-in time for day retreatants is 8 am or after and checkout is before or by 6 pm, unless you were provided with different times when you made your reservation.
  • Check-in time for hermitage retreats is 3 pm or after and checkout is before or by 11 am.
  • At the end of your retreat, please email if you have any changes to your invoice or would like to add a donation. Your outstanding balance will be charged to the credit card you used to pay your deposit. For safety measures, we request that you utilize this credit card system.
  • If use of a credit card is not possible, please leave your check or cash payment along with your invoice on the kitchen counter of your hermitage. If you’re staying in the RGH, please place payments in the lobby drop box.
  • Upon departure, please lock the door of your hermitage and return the key to the hermitage’s key box or if you’re staying in the Retreat and Guest House, please return your key to the drop box in the lobby of the building.


Overnight stays include a self-serve continental breakfast, located in the kitchen on the main floor of the Retreat and Guest House. If you have reserved meals, lunches and dinners are served daily, promptly at noon and 5:15 pm, in the dining room of the Monastery Building.

WiFi network access

Our wireless network is available to all guests.

  • Network: HWMGuest
  • Password: Guest4200

For the safety and consideration of all

Smoking or burning candles, incense, etc., is not permitted in any of the monastery buildings. Also, please refrain from cellphone use or video-conferencing on the second floor. As a courtesy to your fellow guests, please help maintain a quiet atmosphere on this floor.

Air conditioning/heat

Temperatures can be set to your comfort. Please set the unit to “Auto” and between 65-75 degrees. Read instructions on the unit where provided as some units require the ”Done” button be pressed to set the temperature.

In case of a maintenance problem

For maintenance issues and other non-life-threatening problems after hours, please contact our after-hours assistance line. Dial 9-283-7841 from Retreat & Guest House/Monastery public phones or 608-283-7841 from a cell or hermitage phone.

General information

  • Building doors – during the pandemic, both buildings will remain locked at all times. You will receive the door code prior to your arrival.
  • Cell phones – Please silence your cell phone on arrival and refrain from making calls from your guest room. Sound carries through all the walls, which might disturb other guests.
  • Contemplative atmosphere – In order to maintain a contemplative atmosphere and respect the privacy of each guest, the use of radios, televisions or other disruptive devices are not permitted within the buildings or near the doorways. Please keep voices low as not to disturb others.
  • Non-smoking policy – We support a policy of clean air. Smoking is prohibited inside the buildings, including the guest rooms and within 30 feet of entrances.
  • Recycling and energy conservation – Please use the recycling bins where provided, close the window and turn off the lights when leaving the guest room for an extended time.
  • Room keys – Keys for the guest rooms have been disinfected and are provided at the self check-in. The key is on a lanyard and can be worn around the neck to prevent loss. There is a $25 fee if the key is lost. If you find yourself locked out of your room, please notify a staff member or after hours call 608-283-7841.
  • Photocopies – Photocopying is available to guests for $0.10/one-sided copy. There is a fee collection box located on the copy machine on the first floor of the RGH.
  • Valuables – Holy Wisdom does not accept responsibility for valuables left in guest rooms.
  • Wheelchairs – The RGH is wheelchair accessible with designated parking and a ramp to the front door. An elevator is located at the center of the building. The monastery building is wheelchair accessible with designated parking and sidewalk to the front door. An elevator is located near the dining room on the upper level and near the library on the lower level.

Monastery building

The monastery building is located adjacent to the Retreat and Guest House. Lunch and dinner are served in this building on the upper level in the guest dining room or community dining room.

Prayer and worship

Daily prayer takes place in the monastery building on the lower level in the oratory. Sunday morning worship takes place at 9 am on the upper level of the monastery building in the assembly room. All are welcome. Click here for the prayer schedule and more information.


The spirituality library is located on the lower level of the monastery building and is always open. Books may be checked out and taken to your room during your stay, but can’t be taken home.


Holy Wisdom Monastery has snowshoes available on a first come, first served basis for registered day and overnight guests and meeting attendees. They are located on the lower level entryway of the Retreat and Guest House, near the basement kitchen. Snowshoes need to be checked out.

Snowshoe overviewHow to use snowshoes

Resources for your stay

What to do on a personal retreatNature trailsLearn more about the sisters
who run Holy Wisdom Monastery
Learn about becoming an
Oblate of Holy Wisdom Monastery
Learn how we
care for the earth
Learn about our facilitiesWhat is the ECCSR?

What is where

Retreat & Guest House (RGH)
First floor

  • Lobby
  • Break out rooms and staff offices
  • Restrooms
  • Lake View Room – Room 110
  • Garden Room – Room 113
  • Kitchen closed during pandemic

Second floor

  • Guest rooms
  • Sun Room – Room 222

Lower level

  • Oblate library/guest computer room – Room 12
  • St. Benedict Room – Room 10
  • Restrooms/shower

Upper level

  • Lobby/gathering area
  • Community dining room (small dining room)
  • Guest dining room (large dining room)
  • Assembly room (large room used for Sunday Assembly worship, meetings, concerts, etc.)
  • Sisters’ offices
  • Restrooms

Lower level

  • Oratory (small chapel where daily prayer is held)
  • Meditation chapel (private chapel where individuals pray and meditate, accessible through oratory)
  • Library – Open M-Th, 7:30 am – 3:00 pm; F, 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Formation offices
  • Staff offices
  • Benedictine Life Foundation office
  • Restrooms