Homily by Kathleen Norris on June 19, 2011

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

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 …

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!

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

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

Drew Howick Meetings Leave a Comment

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

Holy Wisdom Monastery Homilies Leave a Comment

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 …