Holy Wisdom Monastery is Travel Green Wisconsin Certified

Toby Grabs Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Hospitality, Meetings Leave a Comment

Holy Wisdom Monastery is recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism On February 28, 2017 a representative of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism presented Holy Wisdom Monastery with a recognition certificate from the Travel Green Wisconsin program. Sisters Mary David Walgenbach, Joanne Kollasch and Lynne Smith accepted the award for Holy Wisdom Monastery with many coworkers in attendance. The program recognizes and promotes organizations dedicated to sustainable practices. In a press release Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett commented, “Wisconsin has a longstanding tradition of conservation and Travel Green Wisconsin is an opportunity for businesses to further distinguish themselves for their sustainable …

Pat Hilts' loom set up for weaving Easter III banner for Holy Wisdom Monastery

Gifts woven through time

Janet Neurauter Benedictine Bridge, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

When Pat Hilts responded to a posting on a bulletin board in the Home Economics Building on the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) campus in 1976, she had no idea that she was about to enhance the lives of many people for years to come. “The posting was from a place called St. Benedict Center and they were looking for someone to do some weavings for the monastery,” says Pat. “I had been spinning wool and weaving since 1968 so I decided to answer the ad.” Pat met with Sisters Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch and Frank Kasmarcik, a consultant …

Front door and windows of Holy Wisdom Monastery seen through yellow spring flowers blooming in the surrounding prairie

Unraveling and coming home

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Oblates Leave a Comment

by Brad S. Lutz, oblate class of 2000 In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy performs a simple magic spell: she clicks the heels of her magic slippers and repeats, “There’s no place like home….” Walking through the doors of Holy Wisdom Monastery does not require magic but it is an enchanting homecoming. The familiar sounds of bells and psalms, the warm embrace of the monastery’s communities gladden my heart—it’s like I’ve never been away and nothing has changed. Truth is, however, I live a long way from this amazing place and it is increasingly expensive to travel. Truth is, connections …

Children & adults gathered together, sitting on the floor

Even the smallest members practice a form of contemplative prayer

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

by Colleen Hartung, Sunday Assembly member Holy Wisdom Monastery is known as a place formed by the Benedictine values of contemplative prayer and silence. Yet, almost every Sunday, the monastery’s hospitality room—located just off the Sunday Assembly gathering space—is alive with the sounds of children playing and praying. As a response to their baptismal promise to be an example of God’s presence in the lives of its youngest members and their commitment to hospitably welcome all who come to the table, Sunday Assembly participants are engaged in a lively ministry to families and children. On the first and third Sundays of …

Lectio and listening

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

by Ellen Joyce, Oblate class of 2014 I was the kind of kid who always had a book in her hand, even (or perhaps especially) when I was supposed to be cleaning my room or setting the table. Later, I was drawn to the study of medieval manuscripts and more generally the history of books, and now I even teach college classes on those topics, emphasizing along the way the great pleasures that reading has to offer. So it has been a surprise to me to find that lectio divina (divine reading) seems like a lovely idea in principle, and something I was eager …

The Moment is Fleeting—Sandy Wojtal-Weber

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

“All of us have an innate ability to be present in the moment—before our thinking mind gets involved,” says fine arts photographer and clinical social worker Sandy Wojtal-Weber as she explains the process of taking the photos featured in the upcoming art exhibit at Holy Wisdom Monastery. The photos displayed are of first perceptions—beauty found in ordinary things. Sandy started her adult life in a religious community for four years, teaching in a parish, but left the community and went back to school in social work. She worked in inner city Chicago for eight years, while earning a graduate degree in …

aerial view of solar panels at Holy Wisdom - photo by H & H Solar

Update on sustainable building operation at Holy Wisdom

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, LEED Certified Building Leave a Comment

by Mark Hanson, director of sustainable services, Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc Update, February 24, 2016:  Last November, the Holy Wisdom community decided to begin a new phase of living sustainably. Specifically, we decided to begin using the monastery and retreat and guest house as a living laboratory during the winter of 2015/2016. That included adjusting some temperatures lower during the winter months in different spaces and measuring the impact on energy use and cost. We said that we would monitor the results and report the findings as the monthly bills came in. We have been monitoring the results and …

Joyce Wodka

New opportunities in Sunday Assembly

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

by Joyce Wodka, Sunday Assembly Council chair One of the duties of the Sunday Assembly Council is to oversee and participate in the work of the committees that carry out the mission, vision and aims of Sunday Assembly.  At the winter general meeting that was open to all participants of Sunday Assembly, the Council shared information on some of the great programs that are happening at the monastery.  Through these informational meetings, the Council was not only able to present information and recruit volunteers to help in some of the new ministries, but to also brainstorm with some of the …

Nancy Breitsprecher

Changes and chances

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Oblates 2 Comments

by Nancy Breitsprecher, Oblate class of 2002 Despite the pressure to live in the “now,” my gratitude is to Holy Wisdom Monastery and the oblate program that have led me along through my later years. Back in the 1980s I visited Saint Benedict Center—attending a few retreats, browsing the library as a new preacher.Becoming an oblate is to take a particular path through the “changes and chances of this mortal life,” as noted in many older books of common prayer. In 2001 my husband Paul and I came to a retreat and learned about Holy Wisdom Oblates. I was 70 at …