Volunteer Spotlight: Sara Whalen

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Sara Whalen (right), with the help of her husband John, makes applesauce for the Holiday Fair from the apples she picked at a volunteer Community Workday. Sara Whalen can literally see the fruits of her labor in the apples that she picked in the monastery orchard during the volunteer Community Workday on September 21, 2013. A few days later, Sara and her husband John volunteered in the monastery kitchen turning the apples into applesauce to sell at the Holiday Fair and Angel Tea on November 10, 2013 from 12:00-3:00 pm. Sara has helped with the fair since she and John joined Sunday Assembly two and …

Volunteer Spotlight: Peg Davey

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Peg Davey (right) helps chef Barbara Wright prepare veggies for freezing. Peg volunteers in the kitchen when large groups are at Holy Wisdom.   Since January, 2013, Peg Davey has been helping monastery chef Barbara Wright when there are large groups and special events. “I’ve particularly enjoyed being a part of some very special events at Holy Wisdom. Several examples are the breakfast for over 200 in February when Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus” spoke at the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice annual gathering, a wonderful buffet dinner accompanying a concert by the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society and …

Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Belongie

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Michael Belongie helps keep the monastery grounds looking groomed and well-tended. A long weekly drive hasn’t deterred Michael Belongie from volunteering at Holy Wisdom for the past 10 years. “The 96-mile round trip from Beaver Dam has proven more eye-opening and satisfying than 10 round-the-world trips I might have undertaken,” Michael related. Taking on tasks as varied as helping with controlled prairie burns, removing weeds from the gardens in front of the monastery and Retreat and Guest House, washing windows, taking out the trash and floor care keeps Michael busy when he’s here on Wednesdays. Prior to retiring from his …

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 …

Volunteer Spotlight: Margaret Sommers

Car McGinley Benedictine Bridge, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Most Wednesday afternoons you can find Margaret Sommers in the lower level monastery workroom printing, folding and collating 200 copies of the Sunday Assembly worship bulletin and inserts. Holy Wisdom Monastery is blessed to have a dedicated group of volunteers. Many of the volunteers help outside on the 95 acres of prairie. Margaret Sommers, on the other hand, almost always volunteers inside doing a variety of tasks related to Sunday Assembly worship. Margaret came to Holy Wisdom sometime in the early 1980s for Sunday morning worship. In the late 1990s she learned from Mark Johnson who was director of worship and music at …

Spring on Wisdom Prairie

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Care for the Earth, Volunteers Leave a Comment

The bluebirds have returned for the season! Robins, the harbinger of spring have also arrived. The jonquils and daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding and the sisters have started working in the vegetable garden. Spring has arrived at Holy Wisdom Monastery and on what is now known as Wisdom Prairie. “In the spring, we orient ourselves toward God’s creation – the sunlight, warmth and rain – after being inside all winter. A new season bursts forth,” said Paul Boutwell, groundskeeper and restoration ecologist. Sandhill cranes strolling up to the Mendota Prairie overlook. In addition to the welcome sight of …

Volunteer Spotlight: David Fisher

Jill Carlson Benedictine Bridge, Volunteers Leave a Comment

David Fisher enjoys removing invasive plants at Holy Wisdom Monastery to keep the native landscape thriving. Photo by Kent Sweitzer. David Fisher has been instrumental in removing woody invasive species in the prairie for the past two years. His largest project includes removal of a 20 foot high x 40 foot long hedge comprised of honeysuckle and buckthorn, two woody invasive species which take over if left to grow. David has made this his mission and volunteered in weather extremes ranging from 5 to 100 degrees. “He works no matter what the weather is in removing invasive species,” Sister Mary David Walgenbach …

Nature Notes – Autumn 2012

Greg Armstrong Main, Nature Notes, Volunteers Leave a Comment

  After coming through one of the worst droughts since the dust bowl years of the 1930s, we have finally gotten some rain. Clearly it is still inadequate to compensate for the precipitation deficit, but plants and I’m sure many animals are benefiting from the rare moisture. One of the interesting things that you might note from looking at the prairies at Holy Wisdom Monastery is that most of the plants have survived and look much better than the corn and soybeans in the fields of Dane County. Prairie plants have “learned” through evolution that drought conditions happen now and …

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 …

Take A Stake in the Lakes Days

Mike Sweitzer-Beckman Care for the Earth, Natural Resources, Volunteers Leave a Comment

Holy Wisdom Monastery is pleased to participate in Take a Stake in the Lakes Days, an event of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, in partnership with Clean Lakes Alliance. We are hosting a group of employees from Lands’ End on June 1, 2012 in our 100 acres of restored prairie so that we can continue to do our part to reduce run-off into the Lake Mendota watershed. One of the things that the Lands’ End group will be helping with is removing invasive species (such as garlic mustard and honeysuckle) from our naturally restored prairie. Restoring land, that used …