Looking Back: “The Last Word,” Arthur Dent, and the Rule (2000)

Brooke Moriarty Benedictine Bridge, Community of Benedict, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict 1 Comment

Sister Bridget got the last word in many issues of Benedictine Bridge. For some, her writings were a favorite as she mingled Benedictine insight with straightforward thinking. It may even be a surprise to find this writing from the Ordinary Times 2000 issue of our newsletter bringing together Douglas Addams’ character, Arthur Dent, and the founder of western monasticism, St. Benedict. Let me say this about that: 1,500 years is a long time. Put another way, one thousand five hundred years is a mindbogglingly long period of time. Remember Arthur Dent? He was the guy wearing a bathrobe who hitchhiked …

Looking Back: ‘Ecumenical Monastic Life Offers Journey into a New Culture’ (2003) by Erica Thiessen

Brooke Moriarty Benedictine Bridge, Community of Benedict, Interfaith Relations, Living in Community, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict 1 Comment

In 2003, Erica Thiessen was a novice of Benedictine Women of Madison. In Issue 12 of Benedictine Bridge from Ordinary Time 2003, she wrote this article reflecting on the value of Benedictine life in relation to her own experiences as a Mennonite. I have been journeying into different lands from almost before I was born. My parents were both Russian Mennonite immigrants to Canada. As a family, we traveled to Ghana and Trinidad where my father taught school. In ways, I became a pilgrim, and for much of my adult life, I have lived and worked around the world. Always …

Looking Back: ‘New Monastic for a New Millennium’ (2000) by Lynne Smith

Brooke Moriarty Benedictine Bridge, Looking Back, Monastic Life, Rule of Benedict Leave a Comment

It’s difficult to think of Holy Wisdom Monastery without including the sisters. However, back in 2000, Sister Lynne Smith was just stepping into the life with the Sisters of St. Benedict of Madison. 20 years later, only two days after the anniversary when she committed herself officially to this life, we can return to her thoughts from the beginning. The following post is a direct transcription of the article, New Monastic for a New Millennium by Sister Lynne Smith, as written in our newsletter, Benedictine Bridge, Ordinary Times 2000 issue. I am one example of a new monastic for the …

Co-directors for new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal arrive!

Pamela Johnson Benedictine Bridge, ECCSR Leave a Comment

On January 10, 2019 the co-directors for the new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal (ECCSR) arrived at Holy Wisdom Monastery and began their work! The ECCSR is the newest expression of the monastery’s ecumenical ministry weaving prayer, hospitality, justice, and care for the earth into a shared way of life. The co-directors arrival culminates the work of more than 16 volunteers, many of them oblates, who served on the Lilly Foundation Inc. grant writing team and the search team to find the co-directors. The new co-directors are Reverend Jerry Buss and Reverend Nancy Enderle. Jerry Buss is an ordained Evangelical …

My Benedictine Rule: A Haibun of Reflections

Holy Wisdom Monastery Benedictine Bridge, Oblates 1 Comment

by David McKee Preface Concerning the word “haibun”… The writing and study of haiku is one of the pillars of my life. So, I have chosen to express my Rule in the form of a haibun:  a Japanese literary form which consists of prose interspersed with haiku. The relationship of the haiku to the prose is often mysterious. They make sense to me, and I hope they make some sense to you. Though I am giving what follows the title of “Rule,” it is essentially a series of reflections on the spiritual dimensions of my life and how they are interwoven …

65th anniversary reflections

Tom Zanzig 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

On Palm Sunday seven years ago, my dear friend, Pamela Johnson and I walked into this sacred space for the first time, took a seat, and experienced Eucharist in a way we never had before. You might call it our “first communion” with this very special community of communities. At the end of the liturgy, Pamela spoke for both of us when, with tears welling in her eyes, she said, “So this is what the church of the future looks like. And I think I just found my spiritual home.” For me, this feels more deeply like home every time …

65 years of welcoming the stranger

Lynne Smith, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

Tonight we gather to celebrate 65 years of Benedictine life and ministry in the Madison area. I want to add my thanks to all of you who have come and all the volunteers and coworkers who have made this evening possible. Indeed all of you make this Benedictine life and witness possible here. Though it may appear that we are celebrating the past, I suggest that this is actually a celebration and welcoming of the future. Benedictine scripture scholar, Demetrius Dumm, OSB, now deceased, said: “In scripture, the entertaining of guests and the entertaining of strangers is the entertaining of …

In praise of celebration

Joanne Kollasch, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

How will we celebrate the sisters 65th anniversary in Madison? Janet in our mission advancement office was posing the question. I confess some reluctance to entertain the question, as a litany of ups and downs in this place flashed through my mind: an open pasture as the setting for our monastery—really? opening a school/closing a school in 1966 not many people were ready for an “ecumenical” retreat and conference center. Bill Wineke, religion writer for the State Journal wrote: “nuns take leap of faith into the dark”—could have written a “leap over the cliff” (Guess some folks believe we did) …

Thank you for 65 years of remarkable work and witness

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB 65th Anniversary, Benedictine Bridge Leave a Comment

Welcome and thank you for being here. You and all who have gone before us are gems and miners of this place beginning in 1953 when three of our sisters from Sioux City, Iowa, walked to the top of the hill overlooking Lake Mendota and the City of Madison, said a prayer, buried a medal of St. Benedict and whispered to one another, this is the place. Sixty-five years later, we are celebrating the remarkable work and witness of women and men, like you, who prayed with us, spoke and acted with holy boldness on our behalf and collaborated with …

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 …