Renewal of Wisdom Barn

Wisdom Barn is nestled between a hillside oak savanna and a restored prairie close to Lake Mendota and across the lake from the State Capital in Madison. It is a German style hillside dairy barn built in the 1890s with white pine timbers and siding. After farm operations ceased in the 1970s the old barn fell into disrepair. In 2012, Holy Wisdom Monastery, an inclusive and welcoming ecumenical community in the Benedictine tradition, acquired this old barn as part of a purchase of adjoining agricultural land, which has since been restored to a high quality native prairie.

“The red barn framed in the oak hill setting stirs the imagination of many guests, volunteers, staff and the sisters for its future. With many suggestions the last one of preserving it for historical reasons seems to enhance the setting of the prairie and oak savanna. Thank you for considering our request.”

–Sister Mary David Walgenbach, Prioress at Holy Wisdom Monastery

The Future of Wisdom Barn

Friends of Wisdom Barn along with Monastery staff are working together to preserve this old barn. We have learned that Wisdom Barn can be stabilized and preserved. However, at this time Holy Wisdom Monastery is not in a position to provide funding for these repairs. So Friends of Wisdom Barn have engaged a local family owned company that specializes in restoring old barns to provide necessary repairs to the structure, roof and floors. The total estimated cost for this project is $100,000.

Join in Stabilizing Wisdom Barn

Would you consider uniting with our community of communities to lift the Wisdom Barn with stability and care? Your tax-deductible gift will help honor the heritage of the barn and restore to be used as a safe space for all.

Later this year, we envision a special ceremony to recognize those who make this project possible and hope you will be among those interested in supporting this cause.

Gifts to this project can be made securely online below or by check payable to Benedictine Life Foundation with Wisdom Barn written in the memo and sent to Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M, Middleton, WI 53562.


Please contact Amy Ryan, director of mission advancement, with questions about donating to Wisdom Barn at 608-836-1631, x124,

For additional information about Wisdom Barn contact Toby Grabs at 608-836-1631, x108,


Thank You to Our
Pillars of Community
and Wisdom Barn Donors

Together you have raised $91,750* for Wisdom Barn.

* As of April 11, 2022

Anonymous (2) ^
Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation ^
Schlecht Family Foundations ^
Karla Bukstein
Lynne Cleeland
Sandra Collins ^
Judi Dilks and Rex Merrill
Paula and Bob Dinndorf ^
Lois and James Downing ^
John and Corrine Flad ^
Sharon and Robert Gilson ^
Mary Hampton
Cathy Jones ^
Larry Kruckman and Carolyn White ^
Margaret and Daniel Lee ^
Peggy Lescrenier ^
Abbie Loomis ^
Bruce and Jan Maas ^
Dr Gary Maier ^
Peter Marshall ^
Sally and Thomas McCoy
Maia McNamara
Gordon and Kristy Meicher ^
Ann and David Moyer ^
George Potaracke ^
Marian and David Quade ^
Amy L. Ryan
Michael Stier
Kathleen Wessels
John J. Whalen ^
Tina Wood
Mike and Sue Zaleski
Margarita Zamora

^ Pillars of Community