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‘Becoming Ecumenical: Bringing Christians Together,’ The Holy Wisdom Podcast

Brooke Moriarty Community of Benedict, Living in Community, Monastic Life, Podcast 1 Comment

Ecumenism is defined as “the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world’s Christian Churches.” Led by this strive for unity, Holy Wisdom Monastery has long been welcoming people of a variety of denominations and religions. Therefore, it made sense to sit down for a deeper look with the women who have led us here. Thus, this first episode of The Holy Wisdom Podcast features Sister Mary David Walgenbach and Sister Joanne Kollasch. They begin by sharing their early memories of meeting people from other denominations. Then, they regale some of the early stories that led to the monastery …

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 …

Script lettering: O Antiphons

O Antiphons

Ann Moyer Homepage, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship 2 Comments

In the monastic Liturgy of the Hours (morning, midday and evening prayers of the community), antiphons are sung as an introduction and a response to readings of the psalms, the heart of our liturgy, and before and after the Benedictus at the end of morning prayer and the Magnificat at the end of evening prayer. During the last days of Advent we change to special antiphons, the O Antiphons, to accompany the Magnificat, Mary’s song of joy and humility. Sung each evening at the end of evening prayer, they provide an additional layer of hope and expectation. The origin of the O Antiphons …

Becoming a sister - Sisters Joanne, Rosy, Mary David and Lynne and larger community at Rosy's first monastic profession

It takes a village to raise a vocation to monastic life

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Homilies, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

Homily for the First Monastic Profession of Rosy Kandathil September 20, 2015 Texts: Sirach 51:12-20 Acts 4: 32-37 Mark 9:30-37 Stories can move people to live differently. Stories do this because our own experiences easily resonate with them. Our reflections on Scripture stories are an investment of time and energy in coming to know who we are, where we are going and who we are going with. This is part of the discovery process that Thomas Merton speaks of: finding yourself within God’s conception of yourself. Rosy chose today’s readings as an expression of her coming to know God in …

Sharing rich experiences in Chicago

Lynne Smith, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Living in Community, Monastic Life 1 Comment

“Are you going to share with us what you learned in Chicago?” I’ve been hearing this often since returning from attending the Institute of Religious Formation at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. It’s hard to sum up nine months of learnings! Much of what I learned I’ll be using and sharing as I go about my work at the monastery. The following provides some highlights of my experience. Religious formation addresses the intellectual, psychological, emotional, spiritual and relational development of women and men as they enter life in a religious community. Living in a religious community requires self-knowledge and inter-personal …

Buddhists and Christian monastics share much in common

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

Pictured above: Mary David Walgenbach and Joanne Kollasch (back row, 4th and 5th from the right) joined members from a variety of Buddhist and Christian monastic traditions for Gethsemani Encounter IV at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky in May. Photo by Rev. Heng Sure.  Bells ringing in a Benedictine monastery throughout the day are an unmistakable call. They mark the time for the community and guests to gather for common prayer, the Liturgy of Hours. Saint Benedict in his Rule titles this prayer “The Work of God,” and devotes several chapters to it. For the monks and guests at Gethsemani Abbey in …

What happens when women come to explore?

Ann Moyer Benedictine Bridge, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

What happens when five women—unknown to each other and to the monastery—spend less than 48 hours together with the community during an Exploring Benedictine Sojourners Retreat? New doors open…new insights are gained…new friendships develop…new paths unfold. We are grateful to Denise, Jill, Linda, Liz and Paz who took the risk to come for a weekend to learn more about our Benedictine Sojourner program. These women were open, sincere, faithful and filled with a variety of gifts, interests and backgrounds. We shared our story and they shared their stories. As one woman put it, “Telling my story was a way of …

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 …