Welcoming Volunteers in Community

Lynne Smith, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Monastic Life, Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Four of the five Volunteers in Community work in the vegetable garden. Much of the produce from this garden ends up being served to guests at Holy Wisdom Monastery. This month the sisters welcome five women as Volunteers in Community between June 10 and July 6, 2013. Noreen and Mary will be with us the entire month. Noreen comes from Princeton, New Jersey where she works in the area of media and marketing. She has participated in domestic and international missionary trips for her church. Noreen grew up on a farm in Michigan and has gardening experience to bring to her participation …

Benedictine Life in the 21st Century

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Living in Community, Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts, Volunteer Opportunities, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Young adult volunteers at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Wisconsin connect with God through nature and community by Elizabeth A. Elliott Originally published May 8, 2012 at www.BustedHalo.com, reprinted with permission Connection. It is something everyone desires and in today’s world it seems to happen 24/7 through the Internet and social media. But there are people who yearn for a different, deeper connection — with God, with nature, and with each other. Sara Jo Emmerich, a 30-year-old who lives in Washington, D.C., found that connection at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin. It was there, as part of the Volunteer in …

Volunteers in Community

Lynne Smith, OSB Benedictine Bridge, Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

In 2006, Sister Mary David Walgenbach and former coworker, Jerrianne Bland began the summer Volunteer in Community program at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Since then thirty-five women from the United States, Canada and New Zealand have participated in the program. The women live at the monastery and experience prayer, meals and community life with the sisters. They work on the monastery grounds and participate in spirituality discussions and leisure activities. Spiritual guidance is an option. The Benedictine rhythm of prayer, work, study and leisure defines the experience. Prayer is central to Benedictine life. The regularity of prayer calls us back to …

Centering in the movement

Sara Jo Emmerich, 2009 and 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant – Spiraling In and Out Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

(Originally posted: August 6, 2011) Here it is–my last day at Holy Wisdom Monastery and with the Benedictine Women of Madison. This morning we had our last morning walk between Oak House (where us volunteers are housed) to the monastery, admiring the black eye susans and the cup flowers along the way. Everything, from our last centering prayer and our last morning prayer times, to floating the rubber duckies in the baptismal font, seemed a little surreal since it felt as if we would be doing the same thing once again tomorrow. The last few days have been filled with spreading …

Unless a seed dies…

Sara Jo Emmerich, 2009 and 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant – Spiraling In and Out Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

(Originally posted: August 3, 2011) So here I am–hot, sweaty, slightly dehydrated, with dirt under my nails and an odd rash appearing on my arm. And I’m loving it!  While the days have been a lot hotter than expected, we have done a lot of restoration work in the prairie, weeded, pruned, and picked in the garden and surrounding orchards, and lobbed off a fair amount of prairie wood brush. This afternoon a naturalist who started the monastery’s restoration project came to give us a tour. We picked various seeds both for replanting and also for sharing with other restoration projects around the area.  While …

Back to Being a Prairie Fairy

Sara Jo Emmerich, 2009 and 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant – Spiraling In and Out Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

(Originally posted: July 31, 2011) For the next week I have returned to Holy Wisdom Monastery to participate in their Volunteer in Community (VIC) program. I was a part of their program for seven weeks in 2009 as part of my seminary field education requirement, and now I’m back for a short week as a means to recoup from my last year of seminary, a year of stressful (though amazing) internships and jobs, and three and a half years of the “what ifs” of graduate student life. And I’m really grateful to be back. While one of my internships and one …

Beekeeping and Blessings

Sarah Noceda, 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant - A Confirmed City Girl looks for God in a Monastery Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

There are things I will miss about Holy Wisdom when I leave here. I will miss the cardinals that sing the Liturgy of the Hours back and forth to each other in the pines as I rinse lettuce in the upper garden. I will miss pulling out the horsetails from the roof garden and hearing Paul talk about his love of the Prairie. I will miss the pioneer camaraderie that has developed among the women I stay with, the shared jokes and laughter. I will miss the order and the rhythm of my days here — the mystic feeling of the …

Resilience

Sarah Noceda, 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant - A Confirmed City Girl looks for God in a Monastery Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

“Resilience” is the topic of the class we take at Holy Wisdom 3 days a week. The class, with the participation of Sister Lynne, is led by a woman who has made a special study of this topic in her life. The class is held after we have spent a couple of hours usually doing outdoor work in the hot sun. It is a welcome respite, with its cool air conditioning and a pitcher of water in the center of table flanked by whatever baked good our teacher is proffering that class time. Our teacher, Donna, is an excellent baker, …

Invasives

Sarah Noceda, 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant - A Confirmed City Girl looks for God in a Monastery Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts Leave a Comment

It’s odd how there are things you can go through your whole life not thinking about. Like “invasive plant species.” I can honestly say I do not recall there ever being a time in my life I have ever truly thought about that term. Here, at Holy Wisdom, it has become a regular part of my vocabulary. Sometimes we shorten it to just ”invasives.” An invasive plant is, to put it subjectively, “a plant growing where it doesn’t belong”. There are no “good plants” or “bad plants” here at Holy Wisdom. All plants are looked at as performing some sort …

Being good

Sarah Noceda, 2011 Volunteer in Community Participant - A Confirmed City Girl looks for God in a Monastery Volunteer in Community Participant Blog Posts 1 Comment

People think it’s easy to be a good person. They seem to think it’s the simplest thing in the world to live a good life and be nice to people. Well, it’s not. If it were that easy everyone would be able to do it all the time and we would achieve world peace, an end to hunger and violence, and most of the world’s problems would end. It’s pretty darn difficult, in fact. Even when you try and try, sometimes without meaning to, you can really screw things up. It’s hard to get a good grip on the world …