Holy Week and beyond at Holy Wisdom Monastery
 
 Benedictine Bridge
  connecting with the communities at Holy Wisdom Monastery
weaving prayer, hospitality, justice and care for the earth into a shared way of life


Sisters & Sojourners Sunday Assembly  |  Oblates  |  Guests & Retreatants 
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March 2016
 
 
Easter Vigil by Sandy Wojtal Weber BB
Easter Vigil 2015: Sister Lynne Smith blesses the Easter Candle as Sunday Assembly members gather around
the fire on the monastery patio during the beginning of the Easter Vigil.  
(photo by Sandy Wojtal-Weber)

Prayer and worship during Holy Week
by Lynn Lemberger, director of worship & music
 
Join us for prayer and worship during Holy Week, March 20-27, 2016. All are welcome.

Prayer during Holy Week
The daily prayer of the monastic community is open to the public. Prayer takes place in the monastery oratory at a number of times during Holy Week. See the daily prayer schedule in our Calendar section at the end of this newsletter.

Holy Week worship services
Holy Week services take place in the monastery assembly room. 
  • March 20, 2016 — Palm Sunday, 9:00 am - Blessing of Palms & Procession begins our Sunday Assembly Eucharist. We assemble in the gathering area. ​

  • March 24, 2016 — Holy Thursday, Social & hors d’oeuvres at 6:00 pm, service begins at 7:00 pm. We gather to share the Word, serve each other in the washing of feet and share in the Eucharist. Our collection will assist Vera Court food pantry and the food pantry of Saint Vincent DePaul Society. The liturgy concludes with time for silent prayer. 

  • March 25, 2016 — Good Friday, Service at 3:00 pm - All gather in silence. The liturgy features four passages from the Passion of John each followed by a short reflection. With simple chant, the cross is brought into the midst of the community. Through the veneration of the cross and prayers of intercession, we respond to the Passion of Jesus.  

  • March 26, 2016 — Easter Vigil, 7:30 pm Service, social & hors d’oeuvres follows – We gather to hear the stories of salvation history. The liturgy continues with the lighting of the new fire and the Easter candle. The Exsultet is sung followed by the Liturgy of the Word, culminating in the great “Alleluia” and the Easter Gospel. The Easter water is blessed, then all join in the profession of faith, and this year we will celebrate the baptism of Denise West who has been a Benedictine Sojourner at monastery for the past six months. The Liturgy of the Eucharist follows. 

  • March 27, 2016 — Easter Sunday - 9:00 am Eucharist, coffee and conversation follows - The day of resurrection continues the joy of the Vigil. We proclaim the Risen Christ in scripture, song, baptismal renewal and Eucharist.   
For more information about any of our Holy Week prayer and worship services, contact Lynn Lemberger at llemberger@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x138.
 
A call to justice: Benedictine perspectives on listening, right relationships and public witness

Joanne with oblatesThe Oblate retreat, February 19-21, 2016, brought together 66 Oblates of Holy Wisdom, women and men from near and far, to learn from the sisters about the ways justice is expressed in Benedictine life through listening, right relationships and public witness.

The following reflections come from a presentation given by Joanne Kollasch, OSB, on February 19, 2016. 
 
Today if you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.
—Prologue, Rule of Benedict
 
There are many ways to hear God’s voice if we are silent and listening, if we are able to “welcome one another with the courtesy of love.” (Rule of Benedict, 53:1) What follows are some thoughts on listening as a key response of Benedictine Christian spirituality in the struggle for justice. For Benedict, loving justly is integrated in the Christian life, so we will “Listen carefully to one who loves us.” (Rule of Benedict, Prologue)  

Read Sister Joanne's entire presentation at: A call to justice.
 

Oblates
Changes and chances

by Nancy Breitsprecher, Oblate class of 2002

 
Nancy Breitsprecher, Oblate
 
Nancy Breitsprecher
Oblate class of 2002
Becoming an oblate is to take a particular path through the “changes and chances of this mortal life,” as noted in many older books of common prayer.

Despite the pressure to live in the “now,” my gratitude is to Holy Wisdom Monastery and the oblate program that have led me along through my later years. Back in the 1980s I visited Saint Benedict Center—attending a few retreats, browsing the library as a new preacher.

In 2001 my husband Paul and I came to a retreat and learned about Holy Wisdom Oblates. I was 70 at the time and Paul, 76—feeling already elderly and retired, we were not sure about joining the program. Sister Joanne was very encouraging, and so in 2002 Paul and I made our first commitment to the program.  

Read the rest of Nancy's story at: Changes and chances

 
Sisters & Sojourners 
Living in community
by Ann Moyer, director of membership


 
Paz and Denise holding gift crosses

Sojourners Paz Vital (left) and Denise West (right) display gifts they received from a friend, symbolic of the diverse gifts they are sharing with our community. 

Our Benedictine Sojourners continue to chronicle their journeys as they experience living in community at Holy Wisdom: Denise will return to New York City on March 29, 2016. The sisters are grateful for Denise's faithful participation in the prayer, work, study and community life at the monastery these past six months. We send her off to continue her journey with blessings and much love.

Learn more about becoming
a Benedictine Sojourner


As you read these blog posts, do you think, "I'd like to find out more about becoming a Benedictine Sojourner?" Our upcoming Exploring Benedictine Community Retreat, April 8-10, 2016, is an excellent opportunity to learn more. Submit your inquiry form online or contact Ann Moyer directly at amoyer@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x197. The deadline for registration is March 29, 2016.

 
Friends & Supporters
Janet and Mary David
Mary David Walgenbach, prioress (right), shares information about Holy Wisdom with Janet Neurauter, director of mission advancement.

Welcoming Janet Neurauter
by Mary David Walgenbach, prioress 

 
We are pleased to introduce Janet Neurauter, our new director of mission advancement. She is a wonderful addition to our coworkers, bringing a warm and engaging spirit and rich experiences to her work among us.  Janet has served previously as director of the Itasca Community College Foundation in Grand Rapids, MN, worked with the Nicolet College Foundation in Rhinelander and served in social work positions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Edmonton, Alberta.  
 
Janet shares her first impressions of Holy Wisdom, saying, “The beauty of the area and the mission of Holy Wisdom resonated with me—hospitality, prayer, care for the earth are all things that are close to my heart. The warmth I feel from people here has been exceptional.” Her first priority is to meet members of our communities, and friends and supporters who are drawn to Holy Wisdom. “I look forward to hearing the stories of the impact Holy Wisdom has had on your lives and learning how I can be of greatest service. Please stop by and see me.” Janet’s office is located in the monastery building and she can be reached at jneurauter@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x124.
Art exhibits at the monastery
by Janet Neurauter, director of mission advancement

 
reflections
Photo by Sandy Wojtal-Weber from her upcoming exhibit at Holy Wisdom, The Moment is Fleeting
Visitors, guests, and Sunday Assembly members have long enjoyed the art exhibits in the gathering area of Holy Wisdom Monastery.  We are currently preparing for the opening of photographer Sandy Wojtal-Weber’s exhibition, The Moment is Fleeting, on May 6, 2016 . Even as we prepare for this spring exhibit, submissions for the fall 2016 exhibit are being accepted.
 
Artists are invited to submit work that is in keeping with the monastic environment and reflects the Benedictine values of beauty, balance, simplicity, contemplation and reverence for creation. Further information can be found on our website at: benedictinewomen.org/blog/art-gallery-submissions. Submissions are due on April 30, 2016.  The opening reception for the fall exhibit is scheduled for October 7, 2016.  For more information, contact Janet Neurauter at jneurauter@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x124.



 

Sunday Assembly
New opportunities in Sunday Assembly
by Joyce Wodka, Sunday Assembly Council chair

 
Joyce-Wodka
Joyce Wodka, Sunday Assembly Council chair
One of the duties of the Sunday Assembly Council is to oversee and participate in the work of the committees that carry out the mission, vision and aims of Sunday Assembly.  At the winter general meeting that was open to all participants of Sunday Assembly, the Council shared information on some of the great programs that are happening at the monastery.  Through these informational meetings, the Council was not only able to present information and recruit volunteers to help in some of the new ministries, but to also brainstorm with some of the new and long standing members about their ideas and interests. 

Read more at: New opportunities

 
Volunteers & Coworkers
Russell Habeck
Russell Habeck, our new facilities manager

Staff transitions
by LaRae Gavic, director of operations

 
Last month we said goodbye to Eric Solberg, former facilities manager, who left Holy Wisdom for a new job. We are delighted that a short and fruitful search brings Russell Habeck into our midst as a new coworker. Russell, who has a lifetime of experience working as a facilities manager, began his new position March 1, 2016.  Welcome Russell!

 

Update on sustainable building operation at Holy Wisdom
by Mark Hanson, director of sustainable services, Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc

 
monastery-in-winter 2
Rooftop solar panels, though not visible here, continue to provide electricity
for the monastery throughout the winter
Update, February 24, 2016
Last November, the Holy Wisdom community decided to begin a new phase of living sustainably. Specifically, we decided to begin using the monastery and retreat and guest house as a living laboratory during the winter of 2015/2016. That included adjusting some temperatures lower during the winter months in different spaces and measuring the impact on energy use and cost. We said that we would monitor the results and report the findings as the monthly bills came in.
 
We have been monitoring the results and have some exciting preliminary results to share both on the impact of the temperature adjustments and on the impact of the solar energy system expansion.

Read the entire report at: Update on sustainable building operation

 

Friends of Wisdom Prairie 2016 kick-off event
by Doreen Adamany, president, Friends of Wisdom Prairie
 

Hildegard icon crAs noted last month, the Friends of Wisdom Prairie kick-off event for 2016 will be a luncheon at Holy Wisdom Monastery on Tuesday, April 19, from 11:45 am to 1:30p m, featuring guest speaker Jane Schulenburg, professor of history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Schulenburg's talk will focus on Hildegard of Bingen and Herrad of Hohenbourg.

"Both have left us major written and artistic works that provide fascinating and wide-ranging insights into monastic life, education, concepts of science and medicine, prophecy, theology, and a reverence for nature and the land," Schulenburg says. 
 
The reservation deadline for the luncheon is April 5, 2016.  Go to benedictinewomen.org/event/luncheon-lecture for more information and a link to the online registration form.

(Icon of Hildegard of Bingen, pictured here, by Peter Pearson)
 

New on our website
Follow the links to see what's new on our website.
 
March phenology (the awakening season) by Sylvia Marek
New books in the library—March 2016 by Nancy Sandleback
 
Homily for February 28, 2016 by Joseph Wiesenfarth
 
Scripture commentaries by Arthur H. Cash:

Calendar
 

Sunday Worship, 9:00 am
Monastery Assembly Room

Daily Prayer
Monastery Oratory
Centering Prayer, Tuesday-Saturday, 7:35 am
Morning Prayer, Sunday-Saturday, 8:00 am
Midday Prayer, Monday-Friday, 11:45 am
Evening Prayer, Sunday-Saturday, 4:30 pm (not on Holy Thursday or Good Friday)
Centering Prayer, Tuesday-Saturday, 4:55 pm (not on Holy Thursday or Good Friday)
 

Special Holy Week Prayer Schedule
Centering Prayer, 7:35 am, Tuesday through Saturday
Morning Prayer, 8:00 am, everyday
Midday Prayer, 11:45 am Monday through Saturday
Evening Prayer, 4:30 pm, Sunday through Wednesday
Centering Prayer, 4:55 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday only

 

Follow the links below to register for upcoming events at Holy Wisdom Monastery

For the complete calendar visit benedictinewomen.org/events

March 17
Eco-friendly Monastery Building Tour, 10:00-11:30 am
Learn about geothermal heating and cooling, renewable resources, daylighting, photo voltaic cells, rain gardens, pervious concrete, green roofs, solar tubes and more! No registration necessary, $5 suggested donation at the door.

March 18
Taizé Prayer, 7:30-9:00 pm
Prayer in the style of Taizé is a ministry of Sunday Assembly and is organized monthly during the academic year. A rich contrast of silence and singing characterizes the prayer. No registration necessary, just come.

March 20
Palm Sunday, 9:00 am

March 20
Children’s Liturgy of the Word, 9:00-10:00 am
Offered twice a month during Sunday Assembly. Students are dismissed from worship after the opening hymn and introduction to leave with the teachers, to hear and learn about the scripture readings at their level. All ages are welcome to participate–little ones with a parent, and older students as readers and helpers with the teachers. For more information contact Colleen Hartung at 608-825-2032 or kchartung@aol.com.
 
March 20
Sunday Assembly Council, 10:30-11:45 am
Members of the council meet in the board room after worship on the third Sunday of the month. All are welcome to attend.
 
March 23
Wisdom Prairie Workday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Join the party! Volunteer with the Friends of Wisdom Prairie and help improve the ecological health of the land. Snacks provided.


March 24
Holy Thursday
Social & hors d’oeuvres at 6:00 pm, Service begins at 7:00 pm.

March 25
Good Friday, 3:00 pm

March 26
Easter Vigil
7:30 pm Service, Social & hors d’oeuvres follows.

March 27
Easter Sunday, 9:00 am Eucharist 

March 27
Sunday Assembly Childcare Ministry
We are happy to announce that we will be offering a childcare ministry twice a month during the Sunday Assembly liturgy. Two adult care takers and teenage helpers will provide care for infants and toddlers in the hospitality room.
 
April 3                         
Sunday Assembly Childcare Ministry
We are happy to announce that we will be offering a childcare ministry twice a month during the Sunday Assembly liturgy. Two adult care takers and teenage helpers will provide care for infants and toddlers in the hospitality room.
 
April 3                         
Anointing of the Sick, 10:15-11:00 am, in the oratory
We gather in the oratory to pray for and with those seeking God’s healing grace.
 
April 3                         
Social Justice Group, 10:30-11:30 am in the board room
We welcome Nancy Price of the Madison chapter of RepresentUS to speak after worship.
 
April 8-10                    
Exploring Benedictine Community Retreat
Christian women, ages 21 to 50, who are interested in experiencing life in our ecumenical monastic community as a Benedictine Sojourner, are invited to this retreat. Participants experience the rhythm of prayer and work at Holy Wisdom Monastery. Register by March 29, 2016.
 
April 10           
Children’s Liturgy of the Word, 9:00-10:00 am
Offered twice a month during Sunday Assembly. Students are dismissed from worship after the opening hymn and introduction to leave with the teachers, to hear and learn about the scripture readings at their level. All ages are welcome to participate–little ones with a parent, and older students as readers and helpers with the teachers. For more information contact Colleen Hartung at 608-825-2032 or kchartung@aol.com.
 
April 10                                   
Sunday Assembly Dialogue Group, 10:30-11:30 am
Continuing discussion of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si, On the Care of Our Common Home.
 
April 12           
Luke House
On the second Tuesday of each month members of Holy Wisdom Monastery participate in preparing, serving and sharing a meal at Luke House.
 
April 13                       
Wisdom Prairie Workday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Join the party! Volunteer with the Friends of Wisdom Prairie and help improve the ecological health of the land. Snacks provided.
 
April 17                       
Sunday Assembly Childcare Ministry
We are happy to announce that we will be offering a childcare ministry twice a month during the Sunday Assembly Liturgy. Two adult care takers and teenage helpers will provide care for infants and toddlers in the hospitality room.
 
April 17                       
Sunday Assembly Spring Meeting, 10:00-11:30 am
The Sunday Assembly Council schedules general meetings with the members of Sunday Assembly three times in the year.
 
April 19                       
Friends of Wisdom Prairie Luncheon Lecture, 11:45 am-1:30 pm
Join the Friends of Wisdom Prairie at a luncheon lecture on Women and Monastic Life in Twelfth-Century Germany: Hildegard of Bingen and Herrad of Hohenbourg by professor and medievalist Jane Tibbitts Schulenburg. Register by April 5, 2016.
 
April 22-24                  
Oblate Retreat
Oblate commitment ceremony and retreat led by Marcia Ziska OSB from Mt. St. Scholastica, Kansas. The theme is “Cherish Christ Above All,” borrowed from a book title by Demetrius Dumm, OSB. In this retreat an awareness of Christ dwelling within us and forgiveness as the final form of love will be explored. In addition, how prayer assists in the growth of becoming loving human beings will be addressed. Reflection and quiet time will include scripture, poetry and questions. Register for housing by March 25, 2016 and register for the retreat by April 1, 2016. Online registration now available for oblates and candidates only.
 
April 24           
Earth Day Sunday
We emphasize our value of care for the earth with special prayer and music at this annual liturgy.
 
April 24           
Hospitality & Carpool Sunday, 9:00-11:45 am
Hospitality Sunday is the last Sunday of the month. All are encouraged to bring food to share. It is also a time for the Sunday Assembly community to meet and get to know other members and visitors. Carpool Sunday: gift your neighbors and Mother Earth by sharing a ride.
 
April 24           
Children’s Liturgy of the Word, 9:00-10:00 am
Offered twice a month during Sunday Assembly. Students are dismissed from worship after the opening hymn and introduction to leave with the teachers, to hear and learn about the scripture readings at their level. All ages are welcome to participate–little ones with a parent, and older students as readers and helpers with the teachers. For more information contact Colleen Hartung at 608-825-2032 or kchartung@aol.com.
 
April 24           
Blessing of New Sunday Assembly Members
Those who have joined Sunday Assembly in the past six months are invited to be present for a special blessing and hospitality after worship.
 
April 24                       
Eco-friendly Monastery Building Tour, 1:00-2:30 pm
Learn about geothermal heating and cooling, renewable resources, daylighting, photo voltaic cells, rain gardens, pervious concrete, green roofs, solar tubes and more! No registration necessary, $5 suggested donation at the door.
 
April 26                       
Contemplative Movie Night: A Rising Tide of Silence, 7:00-9:00 pm  
This is a Spiritual Deepening Council Associate program.  In a reflective portrait of one of today’s most influential spiritual leaders, Father Thomas Keating, this film traces his spiritual journey from an affluent New York City childhood, to an austere Trappist monastic life. Historical footage, interviews, and conversations with Father Thomas, are interwoven throughout the film. To find out more and register go to http://www.contemplativepresence.org/new-products/contemplative-movie-night-i
 
April 27                       
Wisdom Prairie Workday, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Join the party! Volunteer with the Friends of Wisdom Prairie and help improve the ecological health of the land. Snacks provided.
 
April 29                       
Taizé Prayer, 7:30-9:00 pm
Prayer in the style of Taizé is a ministry of Sunday Assembly and is organized monthly during the academic year. A rich contrast of silence and singing characterizes the prayer. No registration necessary, just come.

 
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Holy Wisdom Monastery
4200 County Road M, Middleton, WI 53562 
Phone: 608-836-1631
Website: www.benedictinewomen.org 
Email: info@benedictinewomen.org




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Holy Wisdom Monastery
4200 County Road M
Middleton, Wisconsin 53562
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