Cultivating a reserve of hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community Leave a Comment

Recent posts have included selections from our current midday readings from Hope in the Midst of Darkness, a collection of writings put together by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  Yet another of these readings that really spoke to me is written by Christine Vladimiroff, OSB from Erie, PA. She begins with the following quotes: Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. – Christopher Reeve Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12 Sister Christine goes on to say: In our time, much of what made the world feel so secure …

Jim Penczykowski's Homily from July 3, 2011

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

The following homily was delivered by Jim Penczykowski at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on July 3, 2011.   Does anyone here have an identical twin? Are identical twins truly identical in every respect or can we say that even those who share identical chromosomes are unique? I dare say that most of us relish the thought that “I am unique in all the world.” Not only individual persons, but also groups and communities of persons fancy themselves as unique in the entire world. We like to set ourselves apart. We like to see ourselves as special. We also …

Finding hope in the midst of darkness

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community 6 Comments

Where do you find hope in the midst of darkness? Do you find hope in lived experiences, stories told within your family or faith community, in the words of scripture, in secular writings? We are currently reading selections from a book titled Hope in the Midst of Darkness.  Each selection is written by a different sister from among the many communities and congregations which are members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious which produced this book.  I would like to share from a piece written by Lorelle Elcock, OP, from Ossining, New York. Sister Lorelle chose to tell the …

Patti LaCross' Homily from June 26, 2011

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Patti LaCross delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on June 26, 2011.  The readings from the common lectionary that day were Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, and John 6:51-58. Scripture scholars seem to agree that the Israelites who fled Egypt and landed in the Sinai wilderness subsisted in part by eating the secretions and bodies of insects they found on local scrub trees in the morning. Many believe that the name given this substance – Manna- derives from Man hu, a Hebraic expression for “What is it??” Imagine the buzz of young children in …

Wisdom from the Rule of Benedict

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict, Spirituality Articles Leave a Comment

One of my greatest joys is in sharing the richness of the Rule of Benedict.  Along with the Gospels, the Rule holds the foundational wisdom that forms every Benedictine community.  The wisdom of Benedict has also been embraced by spiritual seekers throughout the world for its fundamental clarity and insights. Periodically we welcome women to our Exploring Benedictine Sojourners retreats, an opportunity to immerse themselves in our Benedictine way.  What follows is some of the wisdom of the Rule I share with them. Sister Joan Chittister, author of Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, Living the Rule of Benedict Today, once shared this …

What’s this Prairie Rhapsody concert all about?

Jan Lottig Main Leave a Comment

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend dozens of Trevor Stephenson and the Madison Bach Musicians’ concerts – including concerts open to the public and private concerts in Trevor’s home, where he has several harpsichords and pianos lined up in his living room. This year, the sisters are pleased to welcome back Trevor and the other Madison Bach Musicians for the Prairie Rhapsody concert on Thursday, July 14 at 6:30 pm. Trevor’s running commentary and amusing antidotes make these concerts humorous, entertaining and fun.  During every concert, Trevor tells stories about Bach and other composers from that era in a way that …

Nature Notes – Summer 2011

Greg Armstrong Nature Notes Leave a Comment

Ahh, the warm days of summer, when we can go outdoors without the encumbrance of coats, hats and gloves! The growing season for plants is in full swing and birds and bees are busily feeding on the bounty of the season. The exuberance of the prairie is a wonder to see. I guess my favorite time on the prairie is in late July and the beginning of August, because my favorite prairie plants are in flower and it can be breath taking. Prairie dock and black eyed Susan and blazing star all compete for attention from their pollinators, and we …

Homily by Kathleen Norris on June 19, 2011

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It’s not so many words: “So God created humankind in God’s own image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them.” These phrases are restated, repeated three times, for emphasis, and to get our attention. But the words pass quickly, and are easy to miss if we are distracted. They are just a few words in the context of the entire creation story, and when we get the whole picture, we are reminded that we are only a small part of a very big creation — and we come late in the day, as …

What is your image of a monastery?

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Women Exploring Community Leave a Comment

In honor of women who are gathering at Holy Wisdom Monastery next week for an Ever Wonder? retreat (or those who may still be thinking of testing the waters of this community), I would like to share this personal reflection written by Mary Lynn Adams, associate member of our community: What is your image of a monastery?  An ancient building, with thick, stone walls?  Monks covered in rough dark cowls, noiselessly passing along the edges of corridors?  Solemn prayers?  Stark living conditions?  Being cut off from family, friends and community? Well, take that image, and set it to one side. …

An Amazing Ride: Neal Smith Retires After 25 Years

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

Benedictines take vows of stability, conversion of life and obedience. Neal Smith brought stability to the sisters and co-workers at Holy Wisdom Monastery with his leadership and accounting abilities. On July 1, 2011, Neal celebrates 25 years at Holy Wisdom Monastery and his retirement as executive director. Neal’s history with the sisters started in 1973 while he was still in school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison finishing a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting degree. Neal was introduced to Sister Mary David Walgenbach who took Neal horseback riding. The sisters became one of Neal’s clients while he worked part time at …