Photovoltaic Electrical Generation – in English!

Neal Smith Care for the Earth, LEED Certified Building 0 Comments

The new monastery building will be “green.” It will utilize “photovoltaic electrical generation.” So, in simple English, “How does that work?” There are usually two different types of basic “solar panels.” The panels you see for heating water or air are much easier to understand than the ones used for electrical generation. The former are panels through which either water or air is pumped, heated and used for some purpose. This application generally is used for heating domestic hot water or swimming pool water or air circulated within a structure. Generating electricity is a more complex use of solar power. The new building at Holy Wisdom …

Geothermal Heating and Cooling – in English!

Neal Smith Care for the Earth, LEED Certified Building 0 Comments

The new monastery building will be “green.” It will utilize “geothermal heating & cooling.” So, in simple English, “How does that work?” By definition, geothermal is “heat from the earth” and in the case of the new monastery building it is also “cooling from the earth.” Three hundred feet below the site of the new building there is a constant temperature year round of about 51 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is warmer than the colder winter day air temperature and colder than the summer day air temperature. Simply stated, logic says we should be able to use the earth’s heat in the winter and cooling in …

"Green" or "Sustainable"?

Neal Smith Care for the Earth, LEED Certified Building 0 Comments

“Green” is a hot topic today! And “green” is what the new monastery building will be. But, what is “green”? Who decides if something is “green”? So what if it’s “green”? These and other questions will be the topic of a series of articles in the electronic Benedictine Bridge throughout 2009. The color green evokes diverse images. Green is the color of plants, grass, leaves and other healthy living things. Likewise green is the color for “Ordinary Time” in the liturgical year. We’ve also heard of people green with envy. And some of us swore off green the day we left the army. Oh, yes, there …

Community of Benedict interview with Sister Joanne Kollasch, OSB

Holy Wisdom Monastery Community of Benedict 0 Comments

The Community of Benedict at Holy Wisdom Monastery brings together women and men from different faith traditions. Formed in response to people asking Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch how they might belong to a community, the Community of Benedict began in 1981 as the first ecumenical community at the monastery. Others followed, including a change for the Sisters’ community itself in 2006. How did the Community of Benedict start? Sister Joanne: In 1966, the Sisters opened Saint Benedict Center, a retreat and conference facilityfor the promotion of Christian unity. This initiative was prompted by the ecumenical spirit of Vatican Council II in the …