Hospitality and a safe space

Lynne Smith, OSB Hospitality, Living in Community Leave a Comment

“One of the most challenging tasks of the Christian is to create the space where people can meet each other without fear, share the human pains and joys which transcend their differences and discover each other as belonging to the same human family.” –Henri Nouwen Al Heggen, retired Lutheran pastor and friend of Holy Wisdom Monastery, recently shared the above quote with me. I was struck by how much this kind of space is needed today. I think of what we do at Holy Wisdom as creating the space where people can meet and be present to themselves, others, nature and …

Guests bring a blessing

Lynne Smith, OSB Hospitality, Living in Community Leave a Comment

  The sisters at Holy Wisdom have received a lot of guests recently. We greet the groups who come to use our space for their meetings and retreats. We get to know personal retreatants over meals in the community dining room. When I first came to the monastery, as an introvert, I found it taxing to have new people with us at every meal. Now I look forward to meeting them. Saint Benedict says that a monastery is never without guests. Indeed, we wouldn’t really be a Benedictine monastery without guests. We are called to provide hospitality and serve others. …

Rooted in faith, transforming lives: people – land – spirit

Janet Neurauter 65th Anniversary, Care for the Earth, Hospitality, Living in Community, Prayer & Worship Leave a Comment

On March 11, 1953 sisters Monica Black, Annunciata Byrne and Martha Glaser of the Sisters of St. Benedict arrived by train from Sioux City, Iowa where their community had been located for 56 years. While the rest of the sisters stayed in Iowa, these three sisters moved north to Madison, Wisconsin, at the invitation of the Bishop, to build a monastery and open a girl’s high school. Much has changed in the 65 years since the sisters stepped off the train and into a new adventure which would transform lives and land. To celebrate the past, cherish the present and …

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 …

Snowshoeing at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Toby Grabs Hospitality Leave a Comment

Madison College group members enjoy the Holy Wisdom Monastery grounds by snowshoe.   Holy Wisdom Monastery is working with Redfeather Snowshoes to offer registered meeting or retreat guests at Holy Wisdom Monastery the ability to get outside and snowshoe on our 130 acres of land. This winter Holy Wisdom Monastery purchased 11 pairs of Redfeather Conquest snowshoes that will be free for meeting and retreat guests to use. Contact Amanda Conway at 608-836-1631, x100 or aconway@benedictinewomen.org if you are interested in bringing a group to Holy Wisdom Monastery this winter. Contact Monica Jefcoat at 608-836-1631, x158, or mjefcoat@benedictinewomen.org if you are interested in coming …

Guest evaluations help to provide a higher level of hospitality

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality Leave a Comment

Like restaurants, hotels and many other places which offer customer service, the guest services team at Holy Wisdom Monastery wants to hear your opinion about your personal retreat or group meeting, retreat or event. In order to procure that opinion, we provide a paper evaluation to personal retreatants and group leaders with our check-in materials. The evaluations garner input on hospitality, guest rooms, meeting rooms, meals and special areas such as the assembly room, oratory and library. We also want to know what guests enjoyed about their time at Holy Wisdom and what might have made this a better experience …

A good laugh and a long sleep

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Retreats Leave a Comment

Amanda Conway (left) and Jill Carlson, ready to offer Benedictine hospitality at our Retreat and Guest House Amanda Conway lives by the Irish proverb, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” The proverb fits well with her role as our new hospitality and event coordinator. We want overnight guests to get a long sleep and enjoy a good laugh with other guests and the sisters at meals. Amanda, a native of Monroe, Wisconsin, knew about Holy Wisdom from her work as a funeral director at Cress Funeral Home in Madison. “I knew the …

2014—the year of communities

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Homepage, Hospitality, Monastic Life, Oblates, Retreats, Sunday Assembly Leave a Comment

Members from the various communities at Holy Wisdom Monastery come together to celebrate Sister Joanne Kollasch’s 60 years of monastic profession. Sister Joanne sums up community living, “in community you receive so much more than you give.” (Photo by Kent Sweitzer)   As I reflect on the year 2014, I’m amazed at all that has emerged at Holy Wisdom Monastery in one short year. What rises to the top for me is the sense of community. Community living takes many forms here, from the monastic community to the Sunday Assembly worshipping community, to the oblate community, to the volunteer community, the …

The Gift of Hospitality

Joanne Kollasch, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

Prayer is at the heart of the monastery. At Holy Wisdom Monastery the sisters invite guests to pray with them at daily prayer. What makes a monastery? Essentially a praying community of women or men, a Rule of life and silence enough to welcome and make room for the guest…. At Holy Wisdom, the sisters live the Gospel way of life in the Benedictine tradition, and along with other ministries, welcome the stranger and friend. For Saint Benedict, sometimes called the founder of Western monasticism, and the 1,500 year tradition following him, the ideal remains to this day, “Receive any …

Remembering Our Loved Ones—Memorial Services at Holy Wisdom

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Hospitality, Memorial Service Leave a Comment

Remembering a loved one at Holy Wisdom Monastery. When someone passes away, one of the biggest decisions the family has to make is how those left behind can express their condolences and remember their loved one. A memorial service is one of the more meaningful ways to bring family and friends together to pay tribute to the deceased. Carolyn Moynihan Bradt, a Sunday Assembly member, held her husband Dr. Jack Bradt’s memorial service at Holy Wisdom on April 7, 2013. “The monastery was perfect for Jack and our family. He is buried at the Farley Center, Natural Path Sanctuary in …