Sister Neal? A Story about Neal's Work at the Monastery

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by Diane Smith – Neal’s wife One of the conferences Neal attended annually was NATRI – theNational Association for Treasurers of Religious Institutes. In his first years at the Monastery, there were very few men who were treasurers of women’s religious groups, so it was always a bit surprising to see one or two men in this “sea” of women at these meetings. As is usual, when you arrive at the designated hotel, you register and pick up your nametag and packet of information. The days are generally filled with keynote speakers and then general sessions, where you can choose …

Thank You to Neal from the Sisters

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We cannot say enough about Neal Smith’s contributions to the sisters’ community over his twenty-five years with us. He has been a colleague, friend, member of the Bingen Community and Sunday Assembly, and “honorary sister.” We are grateful for his Benedictine heart and his commitment to the mission and vision of the community. Over the years, Neal has used his considerable skills in many ways to help us implement our vision. He developed and put into operation a ten-year master plan for the monastery which led, in part, to the restoration of 100 acres of prairie on the monastery grounds. …

Martha Glaser, OSB (1919-2011)

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Sister Martha Glaser, OSB, 92, died Saturday, May 14, 2011, at Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City, Iowa following a brief illness. Sister Martha was born Feb. 18, 1919, in Spalding, Nebraska, the daughter of John and Louise (Pfeifer) Glaser. She entered the Order of St. Benedict following her graduation from high school. Sister Martha was one of the three sisters who came to establish a new Benedictine home here in Madison. Over the years, she served as the food service director at St. Vincent’s Hospital and St. Monica Home, both in Sioux City, Iowa; St. Benedict’s Hospital in Sterling, Colorado; and …

Welcome, Sharon!

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We are pleased to announce the arrival of Sharon Colby, our new director of administration. Sharon has taken over some of Neal Smith’s duties as well as supervising the guest services department. She has extensive experience with non-profit organizational development and has worked at the local, state and national level, in addition to working in four different countries. Sharon worked most recently in New Mexico with the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. She first heard about Holy Wisdom Monastery in 1974 when she was a student at UW-Madison. She didn’t visit at that time, but she followed the place …

Consensus-Building Decision-Making

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We provide space – quiet, relaxed and inviting space – for meetings at Holy Wisdom Monastery. We recognize the value of good planning for these meetings, and so we share the following suggestions from Drew Howick, a former president of our Benedictine Life Foundation board. The following was adapted with permission from the book “The New Compleat Facilitator: A Handbook for Facilitators,” written by Drew Howick, Stuart Daily, and Abby Sprik, and published in its second edition in 2002 by Howick Associates. Over 20,000 copies have been sold to date. Here are some helpful tips for building consensus during a decision-making …

Unexpected Gifts of the Spirit – Colleen Hartung's Homily at Sunday Assembly on June 12, 2011

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The following homily was delivered by Colleen Hartung at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on June 12, 2011. Today’s gospel takes us back to the day of Jesus’ resurrection.  It is evening and the followers of Jesus are huddled behind locked doors.  They are afraid for their lives.  They are confused by Mary Magdalene’s claims to have seen her teacher.  And many, like Peter, are guilt ridden for various acts of betrayal and abandonment.  Not peace but bottomless sorrow, gripping fear, overwhelming guilt and growing confusion fill the room.  And then, so the story goes, there is an unexpected …

Come Holy Spirit

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

This Sunday we, along with Christians throughout the world, will celebrate Pentecost: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4) This, in fulfillment of Jesus’s promise recorded in the Gospel of John (14:16): “And I will ask Abba God, who will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever.” The images and power of …

Green Twigs of Hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

Our Midday Prayer at Holy Wisdom Monastery always includes a Gospel reading and a non-scripture reading.  Currently we are reading from Hope in the Midst of Darkness, a publication of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.   A reading this week, written by Marcia Allen, CSJ from Concordia, KS, is entitled God’s Horizon. It begins with these quotes: “Everything is possible for one who believes, still more for one who hopes, even more for one who loves.”          – Brother Lawrence “Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is …

Joe Wiesenfarth's Homily from May 29, 2011

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Joe Wiesenfarth delivered the following homily at Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery on May 29, 2011.  This homily was based on the lectionary readings of Acts 17:22-31, Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:15-21. Joseph Wiesenfarth is Professor Emeritus of English at the UW-Madison, where he taught from 1970 to 2000.  He began attending liturgies at the former St. Benedict Center about 1975 and giving occasional homilies there and at Holy Wisdom Monastery since 1984. We don’t have to go beyond the first line of today’s first reading before we encounter a problem.  That’s because the word Areopagus designates both a …

Rev. Ken Smits' Homily in Celebration of Mary David Walgenbach's 50 Years of Monastic Profession

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The following homily was shared by Ken Smith, OFM, in celebration of Mary David Walgenbach’s 50th Jubilee celebration on May 26, 2011 at Holy Wisdom Monastery. For those who may not know me, I am a Capuchin-Franciscan friar, I was a staff member at Holy Wisdom Monastery from 1994 to 2008. I was the regular Sunday presider and frequent homilist for 12 years. Well, last Saturday passed calmly and the end of the world did not come. I knew it was the wrong date as soon as it was announced, because they picked a date before Mary David’s jubilee, an …