photo by Nick Wilkes Photography

About our community of Benedictine sisters

We are a new kind of monastic community, ecumenical Benedictine sisters, Protestants and Catholics, following the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict. At Holy Wisdom Monastery, we welcome single women of any Christian tradition to journey with us and explore a call to our way of life. Though we come from diverse traditions, we cherish the gift of our differences. We live, pray and work together in prophetic witness to our baptismal unity in Christ.

We delight in diversity, the equality of women and men as disciples, and the centrality of prayer.  We support and encourage these qualities in all the communities that Holy Wisdom Monastery nurtures: oblates, coworkers, Sunday Assembly, Benedictine Sojourners, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, committed volunteers and retreatants.  As we walk together with listening hearts, we honor the richness of the Christian tradition and deepen our encounter with Christ and the Gospel. We offer retreats, spiritual direction and many other opportunities for prayer and spiritual growth. We invite all to join us in our daily monastic rhythm of prayer through the Liturgy of the Hours, and our weekly ecumenical Eucharist in our Sunday Assembly.

We share a spirit of reverence for all creation and a sense of oneness with the land, the days and changing seasons. Our proximity to Lake Mendota keeps us ever mindful of our partnership with the land, water and air quality of Dane County.  Our land is sacred—to the Native Americans who walked these ancient trails long ago and to the people that continue to bless it with their presence today.  Conscious of future generations, we are passionately involved in prairie restoration and ‘green’ living as a way of caring for the earth and maximizing the efficient use of natural resources.  Caring for the earth is a Benedictine tradition and has been an integral part of our mission since 1994.

In the spirit of our pioneering foremothers who served Native Americans in the Dakota territories and established a community in Sioux City, Iowa, we stand in the tradition of monastic women who blaze trails for love’s sake. Read more about our history.

We invite you to continue your spiritual journey with us

Benedictine spirituality animates the life and work of our ecumenical monastic community. This spirituality reminds seekers never to lose hope in God’s mercy (Rule of Benedict 4.73). The journey through life is one we walk together. As the Benedictine Sisters of Holy Wisdom Monastery, we:

  • welcome all to join us in prayer
  • offer hospitality to all
  • practice justice in our relationships
  • are diligent in caring for the earth
  • foster community with those who share our vision

Come learn more about us! Experience life in our community as a Benedictine Sojourner.


Our daily life and work as Benedictine sisters

There is a pattern to our days as Benedictine sisters that keeps us in rhythm with one another:

  • We begin our day in solitude with private prayer, lectio divina (prayerful reading of scripture) and breakfast.
  • We come together for centering prayer, morning prayer and a brief community meeting, followed by a period of work.
  • We gather for midday prayer and lunch, and then we return to the work of the day.
  • At the end of the day, we meet for evening prayer, centering prayer and dinner.
  • After dinner, we are free to enjoy leisure through reading, exercise, gardening, conversation and other interests.
  • We keep silence from late evening through breakfast.

We have a number of articles providing an overview of the various types of prayer and the Benedictine values that shape our life.

If you feel drawn to life in community you may want to learn more about becoming  a Benedictine Sojourner or becoming a sister at Holy Wisdom Monastery. We would love to hear from you.

Questions? Contact Sister Lynne Smith, at lwsmith@benedictinewomen.org, 608-831-9305.



Living in Community
blog posts

Sister Rosy, our newest Protestant community member, wants everyone to know that not all nuns are Catholic.

Other myths
about religious life

Living together in community invites a deepening awareness of the life and work at Holy Wisdom Monastery and of your own heart’s desires.


Each day brings new opportunity within a familiar rhythm.


Experience Benedictine life as a Benedictine Sojourner


We invite you to explore the possibilities of community life with us.