My Benedictine Rule: A Haibun of Reflections

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Oblates 1 Comment

by David McKee Preface Concerning the word “haibun”… The writing and study of haiku is one of the pillars of my life. So, I have chosen to express my Rule in the form of a haibun:  a Japanese literary form which consists of prose interspersed with haiku. The relationship of the haiku to the prose is often mysterious. They make sense to me, and I hope they make some sense to you. Though I am giving what follows the title of “Rule,” it is essentially a series of reflections on the spiritual dimensions of my life and how they are interwoven …

65th anniversary reflections

Tom Zanzig 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

On Palm Sunday seven years ago, my dear friend, Pamela Johnson and I walked into this sacred space for the first time, took a seat, and experienced Eucharist in a way we never had before. You might call it our “first communion” with this very special community of communities. At the end of the liturgy, Pamela spoke for both of us when, with tears welling in her eyes, she said, “So this is what the church of the future looks like. And I think I just found my spiritual home.” For me, this feels more deeply like home every time …

65 years of welcoming the stranger

Lynne Smith, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

Tonight we gather to celebrate 65 years of Benedictine life and ministry in the Madison area. I want to add my thanks to all of you who have come and all the volunteers and coworkers who have made this evening possible. Indeed all of you make this Benedictine life and witness possible here. Though it may appear that we are celebrating the past, I suggest that this is actually a celebration and welcoming of the future. Benedictine scripture scholar, Demetrius Dumm, OSB, now deceased, said: “In scripture, the entertaining of guests and the entertaining of strangers is the entertaining of …

In praise of celebration

Joanne Kollasch, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

How will we celebrate the sisters 65th anniversary in Madison? Janet in our mission advancement office was posing the question. I confess some reluctance to entertain the question, as a litany of ups and downs in this place flashed through my mind: an open pasture as the setting for our monastery—really? opening a school/closing a school in 1966 not many people were ready for an “ecumenical” retreat and conference center. Bill Wineke, religion writer for the State Journal wrote: “nuns take leap of faith into the dark”—could have written a “leap over the cliff” (Guess some folks believe we did) …

Thank you for 65 years of remarkable work and witness

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

Welcome and thank you for being here. You and all who have gone before us are gems and miners of this place beginning in 1953 when three of our sisters from Sioux City, Iowa, walked to the top of the hill overlooking Lake Mendota and the City of Madison, said a prayer, buried a medal of St. Benedict and whispered to one another, this is the place. Sixty-five years later, we are celebrating the remarkable work and witness of women and men, like you, who prayed with us, spoke and acted with holy boldness on our behalf and collaborated with …

Holy Wisdom Monastery is Travel Green Wisconsin Certified

Toby Grabs Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Hospitality, Meetings Leave a Comment

Holy Wisdom Monastery is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism On February 28, 2017 a representative of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism presented Holy Wisdom Monastery with a recognition certificate from the Travel Green Wisconsin program. Sisters Mary David Walgenbach, Joanne Kollasch and Lynne Smith accepted the award for Holy Wisdom Monastery with many coworkers in attendance. The program recognizes and promotes organizations dedicated to sustainable practices. In a press release Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett commented, “Wisconsin has a longstanding tradition of conservation and Travel Green Wisconsin is an opportunity for businesses to further distinguish themselves for their sustainable …

Pat Hilts' loom set up for weaving Easter III banner for Holy Wisdom Monastery

Gifts woven through time

Janet Neurauter Benedictine Bridge, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

When Pat Hilts responded to a posting on a bulletin board in the Home Economics Building on the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) campus in 1976, she had no idea that she was about to enhance the lives of many people for years to come. “The posting was from a place called St. Benedict Center and they were looking for someone to do some weavings for the monastery,” says Pat. “I had been spinning wool and weaving since 1968 so I decided to answer the ad.” Pat met with Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch and Frank Kasmarcik, a consultant …

Front door and windows of Holy Wisdom Monastery seen through yellow spring flowers blooming in the surrounding prairie

Unraveling and coming home

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Oblates Leave a Comment

by Brad S. Lutz, oblate class of 2000 In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy performs a simple magic spell: she clicks the heels of her magic slippers and repeats, “There’s no place like home….” Walking through the doors of Holy Wisdom Monastery does not require magic but it is an enchanting homecoming. The familiar sounds of bells and psalms, the warm embrace of the monastery’s communities gladden my heart—it’s like I’ve never been away and nothing has changed. Truth is, however, I live a long way from this amazing place and it is increasingly expensive to travel. Truth is, connections …

Children & adults gathered together, sitting on the floor

Even the smallest members practice a form of contemplative prayer

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

by Colleen Hartung, Sunday Assembly member Holy Wisdom Monastery is known as a place formed by the Benedictine values of contemplative prayer and silence. Yet, almost every Sunday, the monastery’s hospitality room—located just off the Sunday Assembly gathering space—is alive with the sounds of children playing and praying. As a response to their baptismal promise to be an example of God’s presence in the lives of its youngest members and their commitment to hospitably welcome all who come to the table, Sunday Assembly participants are engaged in a lively ministry to families and children. On the first and third Sundays of …