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

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, the Importance of Imagination

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in speaking to the League of Women's Voters of Litchfield on Monday, June 9, recommended all to view the video of author J.K. Rowling's address to the 2008 Graduating Class of Harvard University. The title of her address was " The Benefits of Failure and the Importance of the Imagination."

We pass on his recommendation on to you. Click here to watch the video.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Living Gently on our Planet

The Ecology Action Alliance is a network of individuals who are committed to making the changes, large and small, in our lifestyles that will allow us to live in a compatible way with the resources of our planet. The Alliance provides the suggestions below so that each of us can live gently on our planet. We encourage you to contact the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network at PO Box 270147, West Hartford, CT 06127, for more information about the Ecology Action Alliance or email
  • Recycle all my paper, including junk mail and boxes.
  • Buy snacks and other foods in a degradable (paper) container whenever possible.
  • Avoid buying-using clothing that requires dry cleaning.

Sister Rosemarie Introduces the Labyrinth

Visitors of all ages came to Wisdom House on the afternoon of Sunday, June 8, to walk the labyrinth. Sister Rosemarie greeted visitors and gave them a brief introduction to the labyrinth, after which they made their way to the center. Some visitors share their experiences on this video, which includes Sister Rosemarie's introduction.

More labyrinth resources are here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Associates of the Daughters of Wisdom Reflect on Their Identity, Mission

The Associates of the Daughters of Wisdom met for a retreat at Wisdom House on May 2-4, 2008. They reflected on their identity and mission and discussed their hopes for the future. The Associates are women and men who are committed to witnessing Wisdom’s presence in the world while maintaining their own lifestyle, independence, and personal commitments.

For information contact

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Place of Hope in our Lives

On May 4, 25 people gathered at Wisdom House for a Hope Cafe. The gathering was an initiative of Sr. Jo-Ann’s community, the Dominican Sisters of Hope. The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm the place of Hope in our lives and in our world. Some questions which were used stimulate conversation were : Where do you find Hope? What are images of Hope for you? and Where do we need to bring Hope today? The informality and sharing of refreshments and experiences kept the conversation lively!

Photos: Sr. Louise Levesque, OP, program facilitator

Monday, June 2, 2008

'Women of Grace' at Wisdom House

The "Women of Grace" from Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook, New York, came to Wisdom House on May 22 for a labyrinth program, lunch, and time for personal prayer.