Who are Benedictine Women of Madison?
We’re a community of women from various Christian faith communities who weave prayer, hospitality, justice and care for the earth into a shared way of life. We are North America’s pioneering ecumenical Benedictine community of women. Our life together gives witness to our common goal of Christian unity. At the heart of our community life is the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict. Our lives reflect a balance of common prayer, work, study and leisure.
What does it mean that your community is ecumenical?
It means that we welcome single women of any Christian faith community. Our community’s vision is to live, work, pray and celebrate life together, with the Gospel and Rule of Benedict as our guide. So “ecumenical” means all Christians are one family.
What work does your community do?
- we seek God together in community
- we provide an ecumenical witness to the Christian churches
- we invite people to pray with us
- we nurture affiliated communities (oblates, Sunday Assembly, Community of Benedict)
- we offer year-round spiritual growth retreats
- we offer silence and solitude for personal (individual) retreats
- we offer spiritual guidance through one-on-one companionship on the spiritual journey
- we work for peace and justice locally, nationally and internationally
- we partner with religious communities of women in Africa
- we extend hospitality to refugees
- we practice earthcare through long-term environmental restoration work and careful use of our resources
- we provide welcoming and respectful space where individuals and groups can come and deepen their relationship with God, themselves and others
How does your community support itself?
We generate financial resources through our work of hospitality, by providing personal retreats and spiritual retreats throughout the year, and by providing space for meetings and retreats for groups who share our values. We also receive support from our donors, as well as grants, endowments and awards.
What is the Rule of Benedict?
It’s a guide for living in community. Benedict of Nursia, an Italian monk and founder of Benedictine monasticism, wrote the Rule in the 6th century. This ancient model speaks to 21st century Christians who seek to live the Gospel in contemporary society.
Do you have questions for us about the community? If so, contact Lynne Smith, OSB , director of membership and monastic formation at 608-831-9305.