Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Susan B. Anthony Project Discusses Ending Family Violence


The Susan B. Anthony Project recently sponsored a day workshop for professionals from agencies and systems that work with families throughout the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. The theme of the training was: "What Can Communities Do to End Family Violence?"

The presenter for the training day was Lundy Bancroft, trainer and author or four books addressing domestic/family violence, the batterer, and parents and children.

Staff from the Susan B. Anthony Project are pictured with the speaker. Back row: Nini Gridley, Rural Grant Coordinator, Barbara Spiegel, Executive Director of the Susan B. Anthony Project Front row: Michelle Spuck, Assistant Coordinator, Lundy Bancroft, guest speaker, Berenice Santos, bi-lingual community educator

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Annual Retreat of the Diaconate of the Church of Christ at Wisdom House


The Annual Retreat of the Diaconate of the Church of Christ, Congregational(UCC), Norfolk, CT took place at Wisdom House in late November.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wisdom House Chef Makes Art out of Breakfast

Wisdom House guests were pleasantly surprised by the apple "sculpture" on the breakfast fruit tray. This was the creative work of Wisdom House chef, Gerard Hall.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Students from Sacred Heart's Campus Ministry at Wisdom House




Students from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield relax between sessions of their Campus Ministry retreat at Wisdom House, November 14-16.

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Making Peace with Money' at Wisdom House

Participants in the November 2008 workshop, "Making Peace with Money" are pictured here with facilitator, Susan Lovallo (standing on right). The workshop offered techniques for organizing and planning so that money and finances can be used in a healthy way.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Environmental Leadership Program Members Train at Wisdom House





Participants in the Environmental Leadership Program enjoy some refreshments and animated conversation as they arrive at Wisdom House for their November 2008 training session. The mission of the organization is to inspire visionary, action oriented and diverse leadership to work for a just and sustainable future.

Garden Tapestries: The Photography of Judith Petrovich

Maple Leaf- From: "The Garden Frost Series"
Photography: Judith Petrovich
Silver Gelatin Print 11 X 14

Show runs: October 18, 2008 - December 29, 2008
Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm

Born in Illinois, Ms. Petrovich holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois. She studied at the International Center for Photography from 1978-81. She was photo journalist for The Litchfield County Times newspaper from 1988-2002. Presently, she is a free-lance photographer. Her works have been shown locally in the Washington Art Association, New Arts Gallery 10th Anniversary Show, the Paris-New York-Kent Gallery, and the Minor Memorial Library Gallery.

The works in the show are part of her “Garden Frost Series.” Of this series, Ms. Petrovich says, “If the essence of photography is ‘being there’, this series of images are representative of those early morning moments before the first rays of light melt the delicate edging of frost crystals on my Connecticut garden.”


Photos from the opening reception: Saturday, October 18, 1 - 3 pm.

Sr. Rosemarie Greco Participates in Humane Society Documentary

Sister Rosemarie Greco, Administrator of Wisdom House, was interviewed as part of a documentary of the Humane Society titled, "Eating Mercifully." Please take a look! The film explores the intersection of animal welfare and religion. Visit www.hsus.org or click on the video below.

Not included in the documentary were the following statements of the Catholic Church concerning care of animals.

In 1915, Pope Benedict XV encouraged priests in Italy to join the Association for Protection of Animals to protect animals from cruelty and roughness and lead people to see animals as a beauty of creation from God.

The Catholic Catechism (#2418) says that it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.

Pope John Paul II, in 1990, said "animals possess a soul and people must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.... Animals are the fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect; they are as near to God as people are."

Pope Benedict XVI said (2002) " industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens living so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds; this degrading of living creatures to commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible."

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, in their teaching on the Natural Environment said (2002) that individual actions may seem insignificant but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact. Public pressure becomes so powerful when it reflects the moral vision that respects the rights of others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spiritual Directors International at Wisdom House


Spiritual Directors International sponsored a retreat day at Wisdom House in
late October. Participants came from as close as Connecticut and as far away
as Alaska and New Zealand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Members of Islamic Chaplaincy of Hartford Seminary at Wisdom House


Members of the Islamic Chaplaincy of Hartford Seminary met in the Farm House
at Wisdom House in October for a retreat weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Marie Louise Trichet Gallery to Celebrate 15th Anniversary in 2009


The Marie Louise Trichet Gallery Exhibition Committee, David Skora, Alan
Colavecchio, and Harvey Offenhartz begin to organize the selections for the
upcoming retrospectives.

The Marie Louise Trichet Gallery at Wisdom House in Litchfield will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2009. The gallery opened in April,1994 and features the works of local, national,
and international artists.

To celebrate its 15th Anniversary, it will be hold three retrospectives featuring the recent works of artists who have had solo shows in the gallery since its opening.

As part of the first retrospective, which will open on January 24, 2009, Julia Cameron, author of "The Artist's Way" will give a brief presentation titled, "Creative Myths and Monsters" at 1:30 pm. The presentation is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception and the opening of the first retrospective.

This first retrospective will be on exhibit until April 18, 2009. For further information, call Wisdom House at 860-567-3163, email jai@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Litchfield Visual Arts, Inc., Launches 'Litchfield Arts Guide'



“A new reason to visit Historic Litchfield, CT” “Follow the trail to world class art.”

On Sunday October 12, 2008 Litchfield Visual Arts, Inc. released the premier edition of the Litchfield Art Guide. A launch party was held at the Litchfield Saltwater Grille Restaurant to introduce both Litchfield Visual Arts and the Litchfield Art Guide to the public. The Art Guide features information on galleries, artists, artisans and restaurants throughout the town of Litchfield. Included in the Art Guide is a map to the seven gallery locations.

Over 60 attended the event including guide advertisers, members of the Board of Selectmen, Economic Development Commissioners, State Representative Craig Miner and State Senator Andrew Roraback. After the launch party a town-wide studio and gallery tour took place, which was open to the public.

The Marie Louise Trichet Gallery at Wisdom House was one of the “stops” on the tour. Amelia de Neergaard’s show, “Natural Connections” on exhibit in the gallery.

The directors of Litchfield Visual Arts, Inc. are Carolyn Fugere, President, who currently manages the Litchfield office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Pamela Stockamore, Vice President, Artist Matthew Sweet, Treasurer, Investment Executive with the First National Bank of Litchfield, Brett Clugston, Secretary, owner of the Litchfield Saltwater Grille Restaurant, Helen Bunnell, of Litchfield’s Bunnell Farm, Tony Caretta, owner of New Arts Gallery, Albert Coffill, Artist and Educator and Lee Losee, Warden of the Borough of Litchfield, Michele Murelli, Artist and Art Educator, Leo Paul, Litchfield’s First Selectman.

The Litchfield Art Guide is now available at various locations throughout Litchfield, or its pages can be viewed a www.lvart.org

Mission Statement: Litchfield Visual Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed to promote the visual arts (galleries, artists and artisans) within the greater Litchfield area. The mission of the organization is to enhance economic development within greater Litchfield through the promotion of the visual arts and to create public awareness of the visual arts establishing greater Litchfield as an art oriented destination.

Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti with other artists.
and Sister Rosemarie Greco with Martha Bernstein at the launch party of
Litchfield Visual Arts, Inc.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Taft Students Make Gift of Service to Wisdom House


On October 20, students from The Taft School in Watertown, CT, came to give community service at Wisdom House by weeding the area around our outdoor labyrinth. The students participating this year were Story Viebranz from New Jersey, Alex Everett from Massachusetts, Austen Dixon from South Carolina, and Jasmine Santana from New York. Julie Reiff, the Director of Communications, at Taft accompanied the students.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Prayer for the National Elections" by Joan Chittister, OSB

Our country is preparing for an election that will determine the direction of the nation and the future of the global village. All citizens have a responsibility to vote, but it is imperative that we vote with wisdom. So we pray...

Prayer for Leadership
Give us, O God, leaders whose hearts are large enough to match the breadth of our own souls and give us souls strong enough to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

Give us the hearts to choose the leader who will work with other leaders to bring safety to the whole world.

Give us leaders who lead this nation to virtue without seeking to impose our kind of virtue on the virtue of others.

Give us a government that provides for the advancement of this country without taking resources from others to achieve it.

Give us insight enough ourselves to choose as leaders those who can tell strength from power, growth from greed, leadership from dominance, and real greatness from the trappings of grandiosity.

We trust you, Great God, to open our hearts to learn from those to whom you speak in different tongues and to respect the life and words of those to whom you entrusted the good of other parts of this globe.

We beg you, Great God, give us the vision as a people to know where global leadership truly lies, to pursue it diligently, to require it to protect human rights for everyone everywhere.

We ask these things, Great God, with minds open to your word and hearts that trust in your eternal care. Amen." - Joan Chittister, OSB

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MOMS - Ministry of Mothers Sharing - at Wisdom House


Eleven women from St. Joseph's Parish in Brookfield, CT came to Wisdom House on October 24 for a morning program about the labyrinth. They walked our 7 circuit labyrinth, had an opportunity to tour our grounds and facility, and share lunch together. They belong to a group in their parish called, "MOMS"- Ministry of Mothers Sharing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

'Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity' with Fr. Tom Ryan


Father Tom Ryan, CSP is joined by some of the participants who took his October 17-19 retreat weekend, "Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity." The retreat opened new pathways for individuals to develop and express their creative energies.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wisdom House Receives Grant from Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation

Wisdom House was one of 143 not-for-profit organizations to receive grants from Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation. A total of $255,165 was awarded on October 7, 2008 to local charitable causes. Wisdom House received $1500 toward kitchen and dish room repairs.

David J. Carlson, President of the Foundation wrote, "I believe we have witnessed today the kindness and charity of many of the individuals that make a distinct difference in our local townships."

Photo: A grant of $1500 is given to Sister Rosemarie Greco by bank managers Iona Blouin and Roger Perault.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Senior Class of Convent of the Sacred Heart Retreat to Wisdom House

The Senior class from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT held their senior retreat at Wisdom House in early October.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Author Mary Fahy, RSM, at Wisdom House



Mary Fahy, RSM, author of "A Time For Leaving" with some participants in her September 27 workshop, "The Grace of Letting Go." Her two books,"The Tree That Survived the Winter," and "A Time for Leaving" can be purchased through Wisdom House. Contact programs@wisdomhouse.org.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Women and Girls' Fund Announces Grant Recipients

The Women and Girls' Fund of the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut held their annual meeting at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on September 30, 2008. The meeting was chaired by Rep. Roberta Willis who announced the recipients of the the grants for the year. The McCall Foundation and the Susan B. Anthony Project both received $3,000 for innovative programs for women and girls.

New members were welcome to the meeting. New members are always welcome to join the Fund. For further information contact Sandy Pier, Staff Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Northwest CT: info@cfnect.org .

Sister Rosemarie Greco represents the Daughters of Wisdom on the Executive Committee for the Women's and Girls' Fund. " The initiatives of this fund are consistent with the goals of the Daughters of Wisdom to improve the lives of women and girls in society. This Fund enables us to join with area women and make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our local area of Northwest Connecticut."

Podcast: A Parade of Saints

In the podcast "A Parade of Saints" by Sister Jo-Ann, Saint Therese of Lisieux is mentioned. The Catholic Church celebrates her life and virtues during this month of October. In the book, My Life With The Saints, Jesuit John Martin recalls his first meeting with Saint Therese through the movie, Therese, directed by Alain Cavalier. Therese lived humbly as a Carmelite nun , patiently endured suffering and died at age 24.

Therese describes herself as "little" but Pope John Paul I called her a "steel bar" because she refused to let church law deter her from entering a monastery at an early age. Pope John Paul II declared Therese a doctor of the church, a teacher of the faith.

Therese had a desire to become a priest and missionary to Vietnam. The inability to do this made her express her love and concern for people through "the activities of her heart." Therese's own "dark night" of her soul is a place where many of us find a companion on the road of our contemporary lives.

The book, My Life With the Saints is available ($16) at Wisdom House (programs@wisdomhouse.org / 860-567-3163.)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sienna Series


Picasso

(From a self-portrait)

Dancing across

a canvas of

Eyes,

Looking back

at a world of

doubt;

He comes alive

and challenges

Those content to

be named

Among the

dead!

--Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Artist

With a stare
Blanking
Paper, canvas, or screen;
Unfocused,
Removed,
Seemingly more there
than here;
Listening to what is
out of the range
of
the ear,
Preluding creation.
It is time
to
begin!

Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Summer Scenics at Wisdom House

Images of John Marshall Drumming at the Labyrinth with Friends

Peace by Faith at Wisdom House in August: Seicho-No-Ie


Teens prepare an ecologically-minded skit titled: "How we can save the planet."

At the close of August, Wisdom House hosted the Seicho-No-Ie retreat, an interfaith, international Peace by Faith Movement, based on the truth that all religions emanate from one universal God. The founder, Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi (1893-1985) incorporated teachings from Christianity, Buddhism and Shintoism in Seicho-No-Ie's Truth of Life philosophy. "Seicho-No-Ie" is Japanese meaning "The home of Infinite Life, Wisdom and Abundance."

Over 100 adults and young adult members came from Brazil, Peru, Portugal, Japan and parts of the USA. In the philosophy and actions of this organization, there is a strong commitment to the environment, ecology and climate change. In fact, when they asked not to have any pork or beef served, it was for the same reasons that Wisdom House does not usually serve these meats, namely, that an excessive amount of grain and water are needed to feed these animals who then become food for us. The grain could serve greater numbers of people experiencing food shortage.
Both Wisdom House and Seicho-No-Ie value the learnings from interfaith and intercultural conversation as well as the connections between faith and ecology.

For further information about Seicho-No-Ie, visit www.snitruth.org .

Rosemarie Greco, DW

Below: Youth of all ages enjoy Wisdom House's pool.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stone Soup and Bread: Perfect Pairings from Creation to Completion

On September 10 and 11, Wisdom House sponsored a unique program titled, "Stone Soup and Bread: Perfect Pairings from Creation to Completion." The programs were attended by more than 30 persons who met in the Farm House at Wisdom House for an evening of culinary delights which enlightened their minds and spirits! The program was presented by Michael Ackerman, chef and owner of The Pantry restaurant in Washington, CT and Mother Catarina Boyer, OSB, educator and baker who is a member of the community of Our Lady of the Rock Priory, Shaw Island, Washington.

The purpose of the program was to engage the participants in understanding how all of creation comes to completion in a unique way in the food we eat. The taste of the grapes which make wine are affected by the land from which they are grown. The vegetables and fruits we eat have their unique tastes because of the soil in which they are cultivated, etc. Their lives come to completion on our dining room tables, kitchen tables and, most especially, in our very selves!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Women on a Journey of Faith



Women from St. John's Lutheran Church in Meriden, CT came to Wisdom House September 19-21 for their annual women's retreat. The theme of the retreat weekend was "Women On A Journey of Faith." As one of the activities of the retreat, they designed individual walking sticks for "the journey."

Photos from Judy Stoltenberg

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chant Camp Slide Show

Chant Camp participants from left to right: Lunne Williamson,
Anne Plogsterth, Bonnie Odiorne, Susan
Hellauer,
Jim Papp, Marge Telfer, and Katie Chilton.


Click here to enjoy a slide show of the rehearsal of the medieval plain chanting during the Chant Camp at the Wisdom House in Litchfield Saturday night. Susan Hellauer of ChantVillage.com led the program. 24 hours of chanting culminated in a Vespers/Compline service.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Music To My Ears and Heart

What could be better? While sitting in my office today, medieval sacred tones wafted from the Sophia Room, which is directly across the hall from my office, into the hallway. A small group was chanting, "Salve Regina Mater Misericordiae." They were taking part in a "Chant Camp" weekend led by Susan Hellauer, singer, teacher and founding member of the renowned vocal ensemble, Anonymous 4.

As these sounds massaged my ears with memories of the daily chanting we used to do in our Dominican communities, my eyes were reading today’s online issue of the New York Times. To be more specific, I was reading a wonderful article about the Metropolitan Opera’s special performance on Thursday afternoon of Verdi’s "Requiem." It was performed in memory of Italian opera great, Luciano Pavarotti. He died of pancreatic cancer September 6, 2007.

The article told of the 3,000 seats which filled very quickly after 8,600 opera lovers submitted entry forms for this once in a life time free performance to honor "the Maestro." James Levine conducted the 80 minute score.

Reading of Pavarotti’s love for the Verdi Requiem and the opera greats who performed with the Met’s chorus was enough to make one’s heart sigh for not having been there in person.

For a brief time I was caught between two worlds – the one outside my office door and the one on my computer screen. ‘Tis a 21st Century phenomenon!

Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

'Making Sense of God: A Woman's Perspective' is Refreshing, Affirming

Catholic women on their journey to holiness through their daily lives in a complex world, will find the book, "Making Sense of God: A Woman's Perspective" by Elizabeth A. Dreyer refreshing and affirming. The book is for women who are rich and poor, married, single,of all colors and cultures, gay and straight, biological mothers and those who are mothers in other senses.

Please visit the website www.calledtoholiness.org for more information on the book and the book series, Called To Holiness, as well as for a link to free e-cards.

Elizabeth A Dreyer is a frequent retreat presenter at Wisdom House and we highly recommend her books and presentations. We're happy to say that Elizabeth will be offering a day retreat at Wisdom House on Saturday, March 28, 2009, based on her new book. Dr. Dreyer's website is here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Imagine Incarnation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2008


CONTACT:

JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP

860-567-3163


Imagine Incarnation
As preparation for the season of Christmas, Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will present “Imagine Incarnation” on Saturday December 13th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Leo J. O’Donovan, SJ, will use images of great art to help participants imagine the human as well as the divine becoming human. Special attention first will be given to the major figures of Advent and then to the fullness of Christmas. Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ as one mystery. Suggested texts and time for prayer will be given.

Father O’Donovan is president emeritus of Georgetown University. He has been Visiting Professor of Theology at Fordham University, BMW Distinguished Visitor at The American Academy in Berlin and Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The fee is $35 including lunch.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Advent Vespers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2008


CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP

860-567-3163


Advent Vespers


Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will celebrate the time-honored prayer of Advent Vespers on Tuesday, December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 5 to 5:45 pm.

Readings, psalms, and prayers will focus on waiting for the Light. Psalm tones, hymns, and chants will be an integral part of each ecumenical service.

Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP and Marguerite Mullee will lead the service. Sr. Iannotti is a poet, photographer, educator, and Art and Spirituality Cooordinator at Wisdom House. Ms. Mullee is a conductor and singer. She is director of music at St. Joseph Church in Brookfield, CT, artistic director of Naugatuck Community Choir, and music director at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in North Guilford, CT.

A donation will be accepted.

Vespers will be held in the Barn at Wisdom House. For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Women’s AA and AL-ANON Retreat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

Women’s AA and AL-ANON Retreat
Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will sponsor a Women’s AA and AL-ANON Retreat for prayer, reflection, and sharing within a supportive community. It will begin with dinner at 6:00 pm Friday, November 21st and will end at 1 pm Sunday, November 23rd. Full weekend attendance is required.

The weekend retreat will be conducted by Sister Maurice Doody, OP, founder and director of the Office of New Directions, and a noted lecturer on spirituality and wellness. Her retreats reflect her own “living of the program.”

The fee, including meals, is $155 for a shared room, $195 for a private room, $225 for a private room with bath, and $195 for a shared room with bath. For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Casagrande Interfaith Institute: Meeting Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2008


CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP

860-567-3163


Meeting Death
The 9th Casagrande Interfaith Institute at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will begin on Friday, October 31st at 6 pm (dinner) and will extend to Sunday, November 2nd at 1 pm.

Native American, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim conversations will center on the topic, “Meeting Death.” Presenters will include Terri Manyfeathers Delahanty, Rev. Carolyn Fleming-Sawyerr, Rabbi Stephen Steinberg, Aida Mansoor, Brian Vaugh and Rev. Jo Clare Wilson.

The fee schedule and registration form are included in a separate brochure available by calling 860.567.3163 or visiting www.wisdomhouse.org

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Making Peace with Money

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

Making Peace with Money
A workshop entitled “Making Peace with Money” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Saturday, November 8th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The workshop will center on money management skills, how to achieve short and long-term goals, how to get out of credit card debt and have a peaceful relationship with money.
The presenter will be Susan Lovallo, professional organizer, CPA and founder of Clutter Solutions. She helps individuals organize and simplify their time, living spaces and finances.

The fee is $35 including lunch.

For further information and to register, call Wisdom House at 860-567-3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Week of Action to Fight Poverty with Faith

Network and the Interfaith Working Group on Domestic Human Needs (DHN) are working with The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Catholic Charities USA, which are co-chairs of a national project to elevate the issue of poverty in the 2008 elections. The centerpiece of the initiative is to take place September 10-16, 2008.

The goal is to persuade candidates to commit to cut poverty in half by 2010.

See: Fighting Poverty with Faith for:
1. ideas for things you might do, organize, or join in your community
2. resources you can use (reflections, tool kit, talking points, etc.)
3. activities around the country, as they are planned
4. posting an activity (prayer vigil, letter campaign…) in your area.
Act now: Keep up the momentum of the Convention for the Common Good, act on the Platform for the Common Good by engaging in this week of action to raise awareness of the ills of poverty.

A few ideas:
1. develop a bulletin announcement for your church,
2. write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the plight of families in your area who have the least economic power, asking readers to engage candidates in the work of eliminating poverty,
3. contact media to join you and others as you process, with signs, to the office of your elected official – telling them to commit to the elimination of poverty.
4. plan a prayer vigil focused on the meaning of scripture passages such as Matt. 5: 1-12, or Matt.25: 31-46.
5. Watch for, and join, nation-wide conference calls for discussion of poverty issues and what can be done. A nation-wide conference call, planned for September 9, at 1:00 pm Eastern time, will kick off the events. More information is at http://www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com/
6. Watch for, and join – or plan and advertise - local area activities

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2008


CONTACT:

JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP

860-567-3163


Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center presents “Soul Fire: Accessing Your Creativity” from 7 pm Friday, October 17th to 1 pm Sunday, October 19th.

Participants will recognize that there is a fire in the human soul that causes a heat and an energy —a creative energy. They will employ reflection, journaling, and a variety of exercises to help identify their creative yearnings and open new pathways for the development and expression of their soul fire.

The program will be led by Thomas Ryan, CSP. Father Ryan directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, D.C.. He is author of DVD Yoga Prayer and 12 books, most recently Interreligious Prayer: A Christian Guide and Soul Fire. His website is www.tomryancsp.org.

The fee, including meals, is $150 for a shared room, $190 for a private room, and $110 for commuters.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

From Dreams to Art: Creating Theatre and Performance Art

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163


From Dreams to Art: Creating Theatre and Performance Art
A workshop entitled “From Dreams to Art: Creating Theatre and Performance Art” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Saturday, October 4th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Participants will join a collaborative experience of acting and saying “Yes” to the creative process. They will use guided imagery, journaling, and basic theatrical structure to create stories of their experiences. All will be part of a staged reading at the end of the workshop.

Leading the workshop will be Cady McClain, actress, singer, songwriter, painter and poet. She is a two-time Emmy Award winner for her acting on All My Children and As the World Turns. She recently appeared in two independent films and released her debut CD, BlueGlitterFish. Her website is www.cadymcclain.com.

The fee is $35 including lunch. Participants are asked to bring a journal or writing pad for their use.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.

(Previous press releases are here.)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Grace of Letting Go

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

The Grace of Letting Go
A program entitled “The Grace of Letting Go,” will take place at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Saturday, September 27th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The presenter will be Mary Fahy, RSM, author, spiritual director and pastoral care director at The McAuley in West Hartford, CT. Her book, will serve as a backdrop for participants to reflect on their own stories and the beauty and growth experienced by letting go, a difficult act that calls forth a supreme act of trust. Sr. Fahy also is author of “The Tree That Survived the Winter.”

The fee is $45 including lunch and book.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.

A workshop entitled “From Dreams to Art: Creating Theatre and Performance Art” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Saturday, October 4th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Participants will join a collaborative experience of acting and saying “Yes” to the creative process. They will use guided imagery, journaling, and basic theatrical structure to create stories of their experiences. All will be part of a staged reading at the end of the workshop.

Leading the workshop will be Cady McClain, actress, singer, songwriter, painter and poet. She is a two-time Emmy Award winner for her acting on All My Children and As the World Turns. She recently appeared in two independent films and released her debut CD, BlueGlitterFish. Her website is www.cadymcclain.com.

The fee is $35 including lunch.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.



(Previous press releases are here.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chant Camp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

Chant Camp at Wisdom House September 19
A “Chant Camp” will be held at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center from 6 pm Friday, September 19th to 1 pm Sunday,
September 21st.

The weekend of chant singing will be structured around a number of carefully chosen plainchant topics. The program is for both professional and experienced amateur singers. Selections will be taken from medieval sources as well as from modern transcriptions. Choral singing experience is strongly suggested. A maximum of 20 participants will be taken.

The program will be led by Susan Hellauer, founding member of the renowned vocal ensemble Anonymous 4. She holds advanced degrees in music history and musicology from Columbia University and Queens College.

For further information and to register email Susan Iadone at gambagoddess1@verizon.net or call 212-663-5336.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.


(Previous press releases are here.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

“Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation”
Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will sponsor “Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation” from 7 pm Friday, September 19th to 1 pm Sunday, September 21st.

The weekend program will be conducted by Victoria Christgau, a certified Kingian nonviolence trainer. Participants will learn ways of reversing violence through conflict reconciliation management, mediation and arbitration based on Martin Luther King’s philosophy, his Six Principles of Nonviolence and salient points of his campaigns.

Ms. Christgau is founder/director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, a Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute. She will be joined by Fre Atlast and other Kingian Nonviolence trainers certified from the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island. See www.ctnonviolence.org.

The fee, including meals, is $200 for a shared room, $215 for a shared room with bath, $240 for a private room with hall bath, $270 for a private room with bath, and $160 for commuters.

For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.

(Previous press releases are here.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

“Stone Soup and Bread: Perfect Pairings from Creation to Completion”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2008

CONTACT:
JO-ANN IANNOTTI, OP
860-567-3163

“Stone Soup and Bread: Perfect Pairings
from Creation to Completion”

LITCHFIELD — Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center opens the fall season with “Stone Soup and Bread: Perfect Pairings from Creation to Completion” on Wednesday, September 10th, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Guests will be treated in the Farm House to a delicious evening of soup, bread, wine and cheese. They will explore the mystery of agape, awakening all the senses as a foretaste of the Divine. The chef will be Michael Ackerman, owner of The Pantry in Washington Depot, CT.

The fee is $35 and is limited to 15 guests. For further information and to register call Wisdom House at 860.567.3163, email programs@wisdomhouse.org, or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center is an interfaith center presenting programs in spirituality, education, and the arts. It offers hospitality for group meetings and specializes in service to the not-for-profit community. The center is a ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Living Gently: Taking a Political Stand

Ecology Action Alliance reminds us that our political system is an important tool we must use to protect the environment. They suggest:

Joining an environmental group,
Lobbying political representatives to make the environment a priority issue; and
Petitioning civic groups (school, business, congregations) to conserve, recycle, and consume responsibly.

Photo Credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, August 11, 2008

Living Gently: Tell Shopkeepers You Care

Ecology Action Alliance suggests letting shopkeepers know we care about the environment and expect them to do the same. The Alliance suggests making the following commitments:

I will support businesses that promote environmental awareness.

I will ask my grocer to carry local/organic produce.

I will ask my grocer to carry alternatives to Styrofoam products.

Photo Credit: Stock Exchange

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Drumming with John Marshall at the Labyrinth


These are images from the first session of "Drumming with John Marshall at the Labyrinth" on July 26.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Living Gently on a Daily Basis

Ecology Action Alliance suggests taking these steps to live gently on a daily basis:
I will share magazine subscriptions with friends or a library.
I will bring my own cloth or paper bags for shopping trips.
I will reduce/eliminate toxic cleaning supplies and replace them with non-poisonous cleaning supplies at home and work.

Photo: Stock Exchange

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Living Gently: for You and the Environment

Ecology Action Alliance suggests these steps to live in a way that is healthy for you and for the environment:

Enjoy moments outside each day,
Learn about the vegetation and wildlife in your area,
Study and be a resource in your community for one aspect of the environmental agenda (solid waste, conservation, the charitable network, ecology legislation, whole foods, alternative heating....)

Photo: Stock Exchange

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Natural Connections: Works of Amelia deNeergaard


For the title and price of each of the above works in Amelia deNeergaard's exhibit Natural Connections, click on an image. Her works will be on display in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery at Wisdom House until October 11. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Living Gently: Keeping Things Simple

Ecology Action Alliance suggests these steps to eat more healthfully--for yourself and for the environment:

Use simple measures (massage, tea, rest) when dealing with common ailments.

Buy/request organic food at food stores and restaurants.

Eat the most wholesome and unadulterated diet possible.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Living Gently: Reducing Garbage

Ecology Action Alliance suggests our taking these measures to help reduce the amount of garbage we produce:

Encourage parents to use reusable supplies for diapering and washing their babies.

Use children's artwork as stationery when writing to relatives.

Ask friends to consider natural products and materials when choosing gifts.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You're Invited: "Natural Connections: Works of Amelia De Neergaard"

Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery
Wisdom House
www.wisdomhouse.org

Natural Connections:
Works of Amelia De Neergaard

Artist Reception
Saturday, July 26, 2008
1 to 3 pm

On exhibit from
July 26 - October 11

Gallery Hours:
Monday - Saturday
10 am - 4 pm

About the exhibit, Amelia says, "Though drawn to the chaotic weaving of branches and vines, in these works I attempt to 'order' nature and impose structure and definition where randomness and irregularity rule." Influenced by the woods around her, she says she enjoys using discarded organic materials - dead twigs and old rope - and contrasting them with synthetic materials or configurations.

Amelia attended Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, and received a BFA in Painting and Sculpture from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. She has exhibited her work widely in New York and New England. Presently, she is Children's Librarian at the Cornwall Library in Cornwall, CT.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Living Gently: Using Appliances as Little as Possible

Ecology Action Alliance suggests our taking the following measures to keep our electricity usage to a minimum:
  • I will buy/utilize hand-powered appliances and tools whenever possible.
  • I will make a sustained effort to turn off appliances and lights that are not in use.
  • I will contract for a home energy audit by my utility company.
  • I will use natural light and ventilation (windows!) whenever possible.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Living Gently: Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

Continuing our series on living gently to care for our planet, we provide you these suggestions on reuse that come from the Ecology Action Alliance:
  • Establish a bartering relationship with a neighbor (childcare for knitting lessons?).

  • Repair and reuse major appliances whenever possible.

  • Donate or find a use for items you no longer wish to use whenever possible (Volunteer Action Line of the United Way is a good source for recipients).

  • Patronize the used goods market whenever possible.

    Photo: Stock Exchange

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Please View our Press Releases

We publish our press releases so our regular visitors and newcomers alike can consider attending upcoming events at Wisdom House Each release is linked to our Website for your convenience. Click here to visit this page.

Living Gently: Conserving Fuel and Reducing Pollution

Need to cut down on your weekly mileage? Here are some ideas from the Ecology Action Alliance that will help you conserve fuel and reduce the amount of pollution you generate.

Set a radius (two blocks/two miles?) and make a commitment to walk everywhere you need to go within that radius.

Choose one day each week to refrain from driving.

Buy/repair/use a bicycle.

Make a serious and sustained effort to carpool and combine driving errands.

I will patronize my neighborhood merchants.

Photo: Stock Exchange

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Join us for Music and Art on July 26

Please join us July 26 for a time of music and art at Wisdom House. From 9:30 a.m. until noon, enjoy a drumming at our seven-circuit outdoor labyrinth led by master drummer John Marshall. This pastoral setting will make it easy to be united with nature and each other. Bring a cushion, blanket, or folding chair and a drum if you have one. (Click here for a recent interview with John in Seasons magazine and here to view his website.)

Then, from 1 to 3 p.m., share in the opening reception of "Natural Connections: Works of Amelia deNeergaard" in the Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery at Wisdom House. This show will run until October 11. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Click here for a New York Times review of Amelia's work and here for a Connecticut Arts Scene review.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Living Gently: Gardening

Last week, this blog suggested ways to minimize the amount of garbage in landfills by considering the packaging of products as well as the products themselves when we shop. The ideas were provided by the Ecology Action Alliance, which offers these gardening tips among its suggestions on how to care for the earth in our daily lives:
  • Start or expand a garden.
  • Reduce or eliminate toxic pesticides in your garden.
  • Stop using toxic sprays on the lawn.
  • Join a gardening club.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Living Gently: More Suggestions to Reduce our Carbon Footprint

The Ecology Action Alliance suggests taking the following steps to help reduce our carbon footprint:

Become an urban livestock keeper (bees, eggs, poultry),

Order and use catalogues specializing in cotton clothing and natural materials, and

Buy/use recycled paper whenever possible.

Photo Credit: Stock Exchange

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Exploring Catholic Culture: 'Vatican II: Achieving the Unexpected'



The three video-segments above present the Rev. John R. Donahue, S.J., as he discusses "Vatican II: Achieving the Unexpected" to participants in "Exploring Catholic Culture: Interpreting Scripture" at Wisdom House on June 20 and 21, 2008.

Rev. Donahue discussed the intricate four-year process and the dispositions of the men whose work ultimately produced the document "The Word of God" (Dei Verbum, DV) in 1965. Under consideration over this time was the source of divine revelation. Was it Scripture? Tradition? Both? Both equally?

The Second Vatican Council determined that "the prime revelation is what God did in history in the Old Testament and the history of Jesus in the New Testament," Fr. Donahue said. The Scriptures are the earliest witness to that revelation.

"There is an upward scale as the Scriptures bring us to Christ and Christ brings us to God," he explained. "The texts are testimony that lead us to God."

Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the source of revelation, not Scripture or Tradition, Nevertheless, the two are closely connected because Scripture is handed down through Tradition. Reading from the DV, Rev. Donahue said Scripture and Tradition flow from the same divine wellspring and come together in a single current flowing toward the same end. Through Tradition we deepen our understanding of the meaning of Scripture in our time.

Over the weekend, Rev. Donahue discussed the impact of lay men and women on biblical studies, critical methods such as feminist criticism and liberation theology. He also led a close reading of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 and presented ways to nurture our own spiritual journeys through the Bible.

Rev. Donahue is a Scripture scholar and author as well as Research Professor in the Department of Theology at Loyola College of Maryland. He has published more than 100 scholarly articles and reviews and lectured widely at scripture workshops in the US, Canada, South Africa, and in Manila.

Most recently, he has contributed an introductory essay to Christ in the Gospels of the Liturgical Year, a commemorative edition of Fr. Raymond E. Brown's six-volume series on preaching the Scriptures. The publication marks the tenth anniversary of Brown's death. (The book will be available through Liturgical Press.)

"Exploring Catholic Culture" is a collaborative endeavor of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center. Together, we are committed to handing on the faith in a manner that promotes the ideals of the Catholic tradition and encourages an integrated Catholic identity.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sisters Participate in Documentary on Animal Treatment and Religion

The Humane Society of the US (HSUS) is sponsoring the creation of a documentary film on animal treatment and religion.

Sisters Rosemarie Greco,DW and Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP of Wisdom House were invited to be part of this documentary film. In preparing for the interview, significant statements by Popes and Bishops Conferences were discovered. For example, In 1915 Pope Benedict XV called for protection of animals in Italy, to "keep them from every suspicion of roughness, cruelty or barbarism…." Pope John Paul II in 1990 reminded Catholics that "animals possess a soul: and people must love and feel solidarity with these creatures. Present Pope Benedict XVI said that "industrial use of creatures…degrades living creatures to a commodity that contradicts the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible."

The documentary expects to be premiered in Washington, DC in mid September 2008. The documentary is being produced by Two Cats TV (photo of crew, right). The website for HSUS is www.hsus.org.

Photos: Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Podcast: 'Summer: Time to Play'

Sr. Rosemarie has published a new podcast entitled "Summer: Time to Play." You're invited to listen to this meditation by clicking on the arrow button on the podcast in the sidebar "Wisdom House Radio."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Ways to Live Gently...

Last week, this blog introduced the Ecology Action Alliance and included some of its suggestions on how to care for the earth in our daily lives. Here are some more ideas:
  • Choose food and other products in the most ecological packaging available (paper, cotton, and glass rather than plastic);
  • Do not buy or use Styrofoam products or
  • Use aerosol cans.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We Mourn Journalist Tim Russert

We at Wisdom House mourn the death of Tim Russert, an outstanding journalist and man who was enthusiastic for truth and the Word. His life was a unique witness to the best of the Roman Catholic faith tradition. At this time of loss, may his family and friends be consoled by the God who was the source of his strength. (Click here for more.)

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images