Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Happy Flowers" - Work by Norell Gudaitis

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.


"Happy Flowers" - Work by Norell Gudaitis

"I am in my 80's and I'm feeling 30! I am so very happy that I'm feeling so good! I'm moved by the spirit within, I have to paint on my lap so I'm connected; otherwise, I can't do it. I use objects from nature to paint with: pine needles, blades of grass , dandelion blooms, rosebuds and grapevines, depending on how the spirit moves me.

Painting soothes my soul and keeps me young. And, when someone tells me they feel something, that they feel the spirit or are moved by my painting, it's the nicest compliment."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Half-Hidden Lampstand" - Work by Warren Prindle

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.

"Half-Hidden Lampstand" - Work by Warren Prindle

Warren Prindle sees his work as a language akin to dreams, parables, and allegories. He uses the word "incarnational" to describe it.

"I find myself with a medieval outlook in a post-modern world. This creates a constant sense of disjunction with the way things are. As a painter of pictures, it is a good thing to recall the words of The Baal Shem Tov who said, 'The world is new to us every morning - this is God's gift.' I'm honored to be a part of this exhibit.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Remembering Mountain" - Work by Ruth Middleton

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.



"Remembering Mountain" - Work by Ruth Middleton

Ruth believes art succeeds best when empty of all intention. Her "signature" is merely an imprint of the letter O, found in a Venetian antiquaire and integrated in the design.

Through her long, productive life, she has maintained a flow of creative activity that includes several published books. In Vermont in the seventies, she concentrated on monumental outdoor sculpture in marble and granite, primitive in style. Now her pieces are small, fragmented "remnants" and she paints in a mixture of water, oil and acrylic colors, combined with torn Japanese paper on sheets of heavy graphic paper and unstretched fabric. Her work expresses the fragile, temporary , ever-changing aspects of contemporary life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jan Richardson: Thinking about Mary at Advent

As we move through Advent, writer, artist, minister, and director of a company called The Wellspring Studio, LLC, Jan Richardson reflects on Mary's faithfulness.

Advent blessings to you! As I move through this season, I've been thinking about Mary. Fierce reader that I am, I'm fond of the way that so many medieval artists depicted her in the moment of the Annunciation. When the archangel Gabriel swoops in with his outrageous invitation, as these artists would have it, he finds Mary with a book. Some artists portrayed her reading from the Hebrew Bible, specifically the passage in Isaiah that tells of a young woman who will bear a son named Immanuel. In a lovely bit of anachronism, other artists painted her with a medieval prayerbook--a Book of Hours--in her hands. The Bible doesn't tell us, of course, what Mary was doing when the messenger of God paid his visit. But I love the notion that Mary was already prayerfully steeping herself in the Word, long before Christ the Word ever became steeped in her. In depicting her this way, the medieval artists sought to convey the idea that although she couldn't have known what lay ahead, Mary had already been preparing herself, making a space in her life for the presence of God.

Whatever it was that Mary was doing when Gabriel showed up with God's wild invitation, her story challenges me in this season. Advent, after all, is a time of preparation and anticipation of the One who searches us out in this and every season. These weeks remind us that although we never know just what lies ahead, God is ever seeking a space within our lives. Within us. Mary's openness to the God of audacious invitations, along with her equally audacious "Yes," beckons me to ask, what am I doing to prepare a space for God in my own life and in my own self?

How about you? How spacious is your life these days? Whatever you're giving yourself to in this season, I pray that we may each leave ourselves open to the God of wild surprises, and that we may be bearers of Christ in this world. The medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart wrote, "We are all mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born." May Christ the Word take flesh anew in us in these days.

May Christ our Light bless your Advent path.

We encourage you to visit Jan's Advent blog for more reflections on the season.





Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Meditation Font" by Linda Hoffman

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.


"Meditation Font" by Linda Hoffman


A nationally recognized artist, Linda Hoffman creates indoor and outdoor sculpture, public installations, digital prints and has written two chapbooks of poetry and the Fine Art letterpress book, "Winter Air." She is the founding editor of "Wild Apples: A Journal of Nature and Inquiry."

Linda is a student of Zen Buddhism at Zen Mountain Monsastery in Mt. Tremper, NY. Her sculpture in this exhibit was influenced by her meditation practice. She lives in Harvard, Massachusetts and grows organic apples and raspberries at Old Frog Pond Farm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Climate Change: The Story of Cap and Trade

As we prepare for the Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, December 7-18, this ten minute video, The Story of Cap & Trade, might help us understand some of the discussion at the conference. If you've heard about "cap and trade" but aren't sure what it means and who will profit or lose from it, this fast paced video might have the information you need. Please share this with others. Thank you.

For further information, contact Annie Leonard.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Inge Morath: Marilyn Monroe on the set of 'The Misfits'


Marilyn Monroe on the set of 'The Misfits', Reno, Nevada, 1960" © The Inge Morath Foundation

"Photography is a strange phenomenon. In spite of the use of that technicalinstrument, the camera, no two photographers, even if they were at the same place at the same time, come back with the same pictures. The personal vision is usually there from the beginning - result of a special chemistry of background and feelings, traditions and their rejection of sensibility and voyeurism. You trust your eye and cannot help but bare your soul. One's vision finds, of necessity, the form suitable to express it."


Inge Morath died in 2002 at age 78. Her husband, Arthur Miller, said of her, "She made poetry out of people and their places for over half a century."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Casa Blanca" by Gus Moran and "Renaissance" by Florin Firimita

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.

Casa Blanca" by Gus Moran

Painting has always seemed an adventure to me. The face of the painting is always in motion. My way of working is like a puzzle, a joyous puzzle where things are moved around until the boundaries of expression are enlarged. Usually months go by before color and form come together and tell a story...It always seems that at the last minute a light goes on in my brain; then a few strokes with the brush are all it takes to finish what took months of work. Then I can walk away from it.


"Renaissance" by Florin Firimita

My work in this exhibit is part of my current "Reliquaries" series. It is an expression of my search for identity and a spiritual place. For me as an artist, memories, like relics, provide a spiritual link between life and death. My work, based on memories, real or imapgined, explores absence, longing, identity, and survival. I have been incorporating images of my family mixed with strangers whose images have been discarded at tag sales, people I don't know and am not related to. They all gain a new identity through my work.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Release" by Natasha Cohen and "Totems" by Susan Rood

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.

"Release" by Natasha Cohen

Mysterious and alluring objects are my points of departure into the adventure of making art. New mediums set me and the objects in a given direction, but one that invariably changes... Ultimately, my goal is to generate new forms that challenge, provoke, humor subvert and engage. My work explores processes of transformation. It does not express preconceived
notions but ideas in progress."


"Totems" by Susan Rood

My images come from within. I do not start with a preconceived vision. The figures I draw suggest stories that relate to my life. However, I hope that they have a universal quality as well. After I select a journal drawing for use for a print or painting, the spontaneous process of creation ends. The drawing my be reworked many times before it is carved into a linoleum block or used on a canvas. The process is almost antithetical to that which is used for the preliminary drawing. The final image implies the duality of artistic expression where the inner and the outer worlds can meet."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Local Farmer, Wisdom House, Feed Local Cattle


Local farmer Bill Butts plows the meadow at Wisdom House each fall and leaves behind unique works of art. The hay is used to feed local cattle. He's been giving this service to the community for over 20 years.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Standing Figure" by David Skora

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.



The sculpture "Standing Figure" is a welded baricated metal piece of abstracted forms loosely based on the human figure.This is a very formalist sculpture where I focus on the connection with the varied stacked objects tocreate the sense and attitude of a standing human form."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Arun Gandhi Speaks on the Theme of Nonviolence

In mid-October, members of the World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy met at Wisdom House. Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP, greets Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who spoke to the group on the theme of nonviolence. Mr. Gandhi is the founder and president of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute. The institute's website is www.gandhiforchildren.org.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Resources on Climate Change

As a follow-up to the Interfaith Institute at Wisdom House on "A Change of Climate," you might want access more information on

- Statements from World Religions on Climate Change,
- Climate Change Science, and
- Climate Change Ethics.

You'll find a wealth of resources here. Thank you for visiting it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

MLT Gallery: 'In Relationship with Time, IV'


'In Relationship with Time IV" by Michael Sundra


"I respond to things that are in relationship to time. In painting the object, the idea is only pretext. The act of painting is in direct relationship with time. The essence of which is really what is being explored. The painting usually finds its way, its completion - if you allow it."

A Change of Climate: Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis Discusses the New Cosmology



Participating in the 10th Casagrande Institute for Interafith Conversation at Wisdom House from October 30 to November 1, Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis talks about the new cosmology, a new way of looking at the universe if we are to understand our place in it and redress climate change.

Sister Miriam is co-founder of Genesis Farm, Blairstown, NJ. She holds an MA University of Notre Dame and is the former coordinator of Peace and Justice Education, Newark Archdiocese. She coordinates programs exploring the work of Thomas Berry and the New Cosmology.

Click here to read more about A Change of Climate and those who participated in the conversation. Click here for more about Genesis Farm. For Connecticut's Web site on climate change, click here.

We encourage to you to share the information in this blog post with everybody you know who cares about the quality of life on this planet. Please simply email this post to your friends.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Octo-Snow!


The unexpected snowfall of October 15-16 caught the landscape of Wisdom House by surprise. An early fall preview of winter!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MLT Gallery: 'Camel Posture' by Danielle Mailer


Camel Posture by Danielle Mailer


"Painting for me is not a choice, but a necessity. It is a time when I remember to breathe and when I feel pulled together. It is an opportunity to put out into the cosmos my small but insistent message of optimism. For me, painting has Always been celebratory, energetic, and intensely personal. Like the mortar in an intricated mosaic, the art holds tight the pieces of my life." (Taken from essay, 'Why I Paint,' in "Epiphany, a Literary Journal," Summer/Fall,
2008)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MLT Gallery Shows Third Retrospective to Celebrate Gallery's 15th Anniversary

The present exhibit in the MLT Gallery is the third of three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. The retrospectives have had the works of artists who had solo shows in the gallery during the past fifteen years. The gallery hours are: Mon.-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.

The 3rd Retrospective will be on exhibit in the MLT Gallery until December 31, 2009.


Rock Fire Canyon by Barbara Wilk

Most of Barbara Wilk's prints are derived from solar plates etched by the sun to form relief etchings.She used etching inks or water-based inks in layers to achieve a sense of depth...She loved the process of printmaking because it lent itself to much experimentation and many different ways of using and combining techniques. Barbara died on April 11, 2007.



Clouds II by Elizabeth MacDonald

"Mostly I use clay as my medium - always looking at the landscape for inspiration. But, often I find pleasure in using oil on canvas, discovering nuances that are different to achieve with ceramic tile."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wamogo High School Students Visit Wisdom's Gallery

Recently "Drawing, 2D Design, and 3D Design" students from Wamogo High School visited the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery at Wisdom House.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rich Answers: Sr. Jo-Ann with Sr. Mary Fahy, Director of Pastoral Care at The McAuley in West Hartford

Sister Mary Fahy, RSM, (L), director of Pastoral Care at The Mc Auley in West Hartford and author of two books, "The Tree That Survived the Winter" and "A Time for Leaving," prepares with Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP, (R), to be interviewed for the program "Rich Answers" on WRCH 100.5 FM. The program is sponsored by The Conference of Churches in Hartford. The interview will be aired on Sunday, October 11, at 6 a.m.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beatitudes Retreat: John R. Donahue, SJ, with Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

The beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount) found in the Gospel of Matthew describe the values to which a disciple of Jesus should aspire. This retreat weekend gave time to reflect on these universal values and how they can help one become a beacon of hope for others. Here John R. Donahue, SJ, who led the retreat, reflects on the beatitudes in our daily lives.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rich Answers: October Cropwalks

Eileen Schwartz , Assistant Regional Director of Church World Service speaks with Sister Rosemarie Greco, DW about the October Cropwalks which are designed to raise funds for food for people in need. Sister Rosemarie is Wisdom Correspondent for the Sunday morning program, "Rich Answers," which airs on WRCH 100.5 FM, 5:30 - 6:30 a.m.

To learn more about Cropwalks and to participate, contribute, or to "walk on the web", contact Crop Walk Online or Church World Service.

The radio program is produced by the Conference of Churches in Hartford.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forum on Religion and Environment Airs October 4

Sr. Rosemarie Greco checks her notes before interviewing Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener of West Hartford about the upcoming Forum on Religion and Environment, which will take place on Thursday, October 15, from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of Hartford. The forum is co-sponsored by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and Hartford Seminary.

Sr. Rosemarie is a Wisdom Correspondent for the Conference of Churches’ weekly radio program, “Rich Answers,” on WRCH 100.5 FM.

“Rich Answers” airs 5:30a.m. to 6:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. The Wisdom segment is on around 6 a.m. The program has a listening audience of 60,000 people.

This year’s Religion and the Environment forum will include a keynote address, “Coming Home: The Oikos of God and Climate Change” given by Michael Schut, Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer of the Episcopal Church.

The workshop sessions which will follow include: Community Gardening, Harvesting Local Energy, the New Cosmology, Communicating Climate Change, Energy Efficiency for Homes and Business, Toxic Substance Control and Spiritual Resources for Teaching and Preaching Creation.
Workshop presenters include Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Bettylou Sandy, Sharon and Richard Vocke, Rosemarie Greco, DW, Dough Cahill and Sarah Uhl.

For additional information visit www.irejn.org or call Yvette Law at 860-509-9555.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photos from Exploring Catholic Culture, Featuring John Dear, SJ

These are photos of the September 11-12 Exploring Catholic Culture program featuring Fr. John Dear, SJ who shared insights into Jesus and the Culture of Peace.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro: A Spirituality of Yom Kippur

Wisdom House is pleased to offer this reflection by Rabbi Rami Shapiro on Yom Kippur, commemorated on September 28, 2009. Rabbi Rami is Wisdom House’s Adjunct Faculty for Interfaith Wisdom Studies.

Yom Kippur, the Day of At-one-ment, is framed in an interesting metaphor. You are standing before the Gates of Righteousness. You are being judged. All your foibles are laid bare for you to see. You are humbled, perhaps ashamed, and you don’t know what to do. The Gates are open. Nothing stops you from entering. Yet you don’t move. You are frozen by your own sense of unworthiness. Then the Gates begin to close. Slowly and steadily until, as our liturgical day closes at sunset, we are reminded, “The Gates are closing. The Gates are closing. Enter! Enter now!”

Tradition tells us that we are to consider ourselves forgiven by God by the close of Yom Kippur, and that we can and have entered the Gates. But it isn’t that easy.

Yom Kippur is a fast day. We fast not to mortify the flesh (skipping breakfast and lunch is hardly a mortification), but to avoid the distractions of dining with others. This is a day for acute introspection, not schmoozing with family and friends over a meal.

Our liturgical day begins as sundown with Kol Nidre, All Vows. This is the most famous prayer of Yom Kippur, and originated during the period of forced conversions to Catholicism. More an affirmation than a prayer, Kol Nidre says that any vow we took under duress (i.e. the vow to be a good Catholic and abandon Judaism) is null and void. Over time the origin of the prayer is largely forgotten, and Kol Nidre is understood to absolve us of all hasty or thoughtless and unkept vows we may have made to ourselves and to God. The idea is to eliminate the need to focus on superfluous failures, that we might deal with the real errors we have committed.

The second most famous prayer of Yom Kippur is the Viddui, the confession. As a community we confess to twenty–two sins, listed alphabetically one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. We confess as a community for the community. While you may be guilty of none of these things, as a member of the community you bear responsibility for all of them.

And now the Gates are closing. If you have truly looked at the quality of your life and how you live it; if you have taken seriously the thirty days of selichot (forgiveness) preceding the High Holy Days and sought forgiveness from family, friends, neighbors, and others, the final moments of Yom Kippur are humbling. Given all I have done wrong how can I enter the Gates of Righteousness and be at one with God?

Yet it is only this subtle hubris that stands in your way. Only your sense that you are such a great sinner that even God cannot welcome you keeps you from passing through the Gates. There is no guard. There is nothing stopping your but you. It is never humility that keeps you from entering; only hubris. Yom Kippur is designed to break your heart over the suffering you have caused others. If your heart is broken you have compassion for both self and others, and that is the key to entering the Gates. To be broken before God is to be embraced by God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jesus and the Culture of Peace


“Jesus and the Culture of Peace” was the theme for the 2009 Exploring Catholic Culture program at Wisdom House. Jesuit priest John Dear is an international voice for peace, author or editor of 25 books on nonviolence and, in 2008, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this video, John Dear emphasizes that the nonviolent Jesus is core to Christianity and that living in nonviolent ways is essential to being peacemakers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Collaborative Center for Justice Airs Sunday, September 27

Sister of Mercy Mary Alice Synkewicz of the Collaborative Center for Justice in Hartford is interviewed by Sister Rosemarie Greco, DW, Wisdom Correspondent for the Conference of Churches' radio program, "Rich Answers."

The program is aired on WRCH, 100.5 FM, Sundays at 5:30-6:30 a.m. The program has a listening audience of 60,000 people. The Wisdom segment is usually aired at 6 am.

The Collaborative Center for Justice, located in Hartford, Connecticut, is a voice to enhance human dignity by responding to injustices experienced by people who are poor and alienated in society. The center does this through advocacy, education, networking and collaboration, guided by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Catholic social teaching.

In collaboration with St Joseph College, the Office of Urban Affairs of the Archdiocese of Hartford and sponsoring congregations of Women Religious, the center offers programs on Advocacy, Justice, Empowerment for Peace, Welfare reform, Faith and Politics, Human Trafficking, Immigration and Voting for the Common Good.

The supporting congregations of women religious are the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Daughters of Wisdom, and School Sisters of Notre Dame.

For further information about the Collaborative Center for Justice or to support these justice efforts, visit www.ccfj.org

This interview with Sister Mary Alice will be aired on Sunday, September 27.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Repairing the Wisdom House Shrine


At the entrance to Wisdom House is a shrine and reflection area in honor of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes. The shrine was built at Wisdom House around 1954 by Montfort Brother Alphonso Buonanomi.

Over the years, several stones at the base of the shrine became dislodged. The retaining wall is being repaired for safety, beauty and the continued welcome of all who come to this shrine at Wisdom House for prayer, solace and encouragement. The repair was completed on September 15, 2009, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Claiming Earth As Common Ground Airs Sunday, September 20

Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener of West Hartford, CT is interviewed by Sister Rosemarie Greco, DW, Wisdom Correspondent for the Conference of Churches on WRCH radio, 100.5 FM. The program, "Rich Answers" is aired each Sunday from 5:30-6:30am. The Wisdom segment usually airs close to 6 am. The program has a listening audience of 60,000 people.

Andrea's book, Claiming Earth as Common Ground, was discussed in this interview. Its focus is the ecological crisis through the lens of faith and it clearly outlines the shared values of our faith traditions that energize our commitments to care for the earth. The book is informative, inspirational and concludes with suggested action to be taken to support and improve the environment of the cosmos.

"Claiming Earth as Common Ground," ($16.99) is available through www.skylightpaths.com or programs@wisdomhouse.org.

This interview will be aired on Sunday, September 20.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rabbi Rami Shapiro: Rosh Hashanah

Wisdom House is pleased to offer this reflection by Rabbi Rami Shapiro on Rosh Hashanah, commemorated on September 18,2009. Rabbi Rami is Wisdom House’s Adjunct Faculty for Interfaith Wisdom Studies.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish “New Year” (Rosh/head, ha-shanah/the year) actually falls on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, as ordained in the Torah (Leviticus 23:24).

Rabbinic tradition honors Rosh haShanah as the birthday of creation, and as such it is also the birthday of mortality. Not surprisingly then Rosh haShanah’s most distinctive piece of liturgy, Unetanah Tokef (“We proclaim”) focuses on the question “Who shall live and who shall die?” and proceeds with a litany of the ways people can and will die over the coming twelve months: fire, water, famine, etc.

Unetanah Tokef ends with these words: “But repentance, prayer, and charity, can stem the stern decree.” Most people praying the Unetanah Tokef imagine that on Rosh haShanah God writes your name into either the Book of Life or the Book of Death, and to get your name in the former you must apologize to God, beg God’s forgiveness, and offer God cash bribes. Ah, the horrors of folk religion.

The prayer itself is a litany of ways to die. It purpose isn’t to scare you, but to get your attention: “Hey! This could be your last year on earth. How do you want to live it? Enslaved to old habit? Obsessed with trivialities? Self-absorbed and clinging? Or is this a time to turn, reflect, and let go?”

You are going to die. If not this year, maybe next year, or the year after that. So death isn’t your problem. Your problem is how to live until you die. Unetanah Tokef challenges us to live with teshuvah, tefillah, and tzedakah. Teshuvah, weakly translated as “repentance” literally means “turning,” and is the act of turning from evil and doing good, turning from self to others, turning from fear to love, turning from self to God. Tefillah is prayer, and in Hebrew the act of praying (hitpallel) is reflexive: true prayer is seeing who you really are as the image and likeness of God and then acting accordingly. Acting accordingly means practicing tzedakah. Tzedakah, from tzedek, justice, is the act of uplifting the poor and enfranchising the disenfranchised. The highest form of tzedakah is seeing that people are gainfully employed and self–supporting. Tzedakah means earning your money honestly in a manner than does no harm, and using your money wisely in a manner that does great good.

So on this birthday of humanity, take a moment and remember your mortality, examine your life, and where necessary turn toward a deeper act of generosity.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

15th Anniversary Retrospective Show No. 3 Sept. 12 to December 31


Please click on the image above to enlarge it and find out more about the third Retrospective Art Show in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery. The show will run from Sept. 12 to December 31.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America

American Catholic nuns have been in the news recently regarding a Vatican investigation into the quality of their lives. Parallel to this story is a not-as-well-publicized look at their lives which spans their presence in America since the Civil War. This story is presented in a traveling exhibit, “Women and Spirit.” It captures the contributions of some American nuns in health care, education, and social justice.

An article about these sisters, written by Suzy Farren, appears in the September-October 2009 issue of Health Progress. For the full article, click here.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wisdom House, Rich Answers, Together on the Air

Rev. Shelly Best Copeland (left), director of The Conference of Churches, and Sr. Rosemarie Greco (right) about to tape an interview for the weekly program, "Rich Answers," sponsored by The Conference of Churches. The program is on every Sunday morning from 5:30 am - 6:30 am on WRCH 100.5 FM.

Sr. Rosemarie Greco (left) and Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti (right) about to tape a new program for The Conference of Churches.


With Ivor Hugh at the controls, the program "Rich Answers," reaches an extensive listening audience each week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In the Gallery: 'Lily Pads, Shaw Island,' by Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.

Sister Jo-Ann says: "Photography was not the art I first identified with when I was a teenager. It was the word. It was writing and the power of the word. It was the wonder at what 26 letters, when rearranged over and over again, could do to bring one into another realm deeper than where one started that fascinated me.

"And, yet,somehow it's been photography that has done the same thing as I look and look again at objects, people, shapes, angles, and shadows. They lure me into engagement. They all "speak their own word" and I come back to the original me!

"I remember so well the first flower that asked me to take its picture. It was the flower of a dogwood tree. After that, I was hooked, and never looked back or doubted again.

"I continue to look and listen."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In the Gallery: 'Purple Iron' by Mathew H.M.Lee, M.D.

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.

At the Kathryn Walter Stein Chronic Pain Laboratory, NYU/Rusk Institute, Dr. Mathew Lee and his associates are investigating chronic pain and its assessment utilizing thermographic imaging.They work with both animate and inanimate subjects.

Dr. Lee says: "Pain patterns manifested on skin surface areas are measure and each temperature degree in an area is assigned a color. Prolonged chronic pain frequently causes capillary vasoconstriction leading to a decrease in circulation in the painful area and therefore cooling it.

"This methodology enhances the clinical management of chronic pain which has become a public health problem medically and economically."

Monday, August 10, 2009

In the Gallery: 'Trip to China' by Marjory Reid

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.



Marjory Reid says: "I am currently working on large paintings and small collages each dealing with the sensation of color(s) that recalls a perticular experience or place. The collage in this exhibit is representative of this simple idea.

"The execution of the work is, however, more complex from many examples of poured paint on gessoed paper, favorite configurations are selected and then assembled into a meaningfully ordered work. Symbolically, this process of problem solving can be viewed as bringing order out of chaos. It is in response to the current world and society's devastating struggles."

Monday, August 3, 2009

In the Gallery: Angela Manno

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.


Artist Angela Manno says: "The beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me, wherever I am on the globe painting.

"'Chapel in the Field," Provence is from a collection of over sixty plein air pastels I created in Provence over a period of ten years. I returned there until I had painted in all four seasons the magical progression of colors as they unfurl over the vineyards, orchards, and lavender fields."

Deacons Meet at Wisdom House



The 2010 class of Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of Hartford gathered at Wisdom House for a retreat day in July.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Genesis Farm: Connecting the Elements We Share with the World

Sisters Rosemarie Greco, DW and Jo-Ann Iannotti, O,P recently visited Sr. Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP (center), the founder and director of Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey. Genesis Farm is a learning center for Earth studies. It focuses on the connections between the health of our global commons of air, water, land, and nature, and the health of our local communities and bioregions. Sr. Miriam Therese will be one of the presenters at Wisdom House's 2009 Casagrande Institute for Interfaith Conversation, October 30 - November 1. This year's topic will be, "A Change of Climate." Click here to access the program brochure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Master Drummer John Marshall at Wisdom House


Master drummer John Marshall conducted a summer drumming workshop at Wisdom House on July 18. More than 40 persons attended. Here are some pictures of the workshop in session.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Above/Below II" by Patricia Carrigan

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.
The predominant focus of Patricia's studio work is on heritage and how we pass on our memories and stories from generation to generation. Most recently she has begun a new series based upon the landscape of North May which is rich in ancient ruins, folklore and breath-taking landscape.
She said," While visiting one of the ancient Holy Wells in Ireland, I realized that it requires some blind faith, a bit of belief that there is something larger than us, something connected to a greater and deeper place.These springs are believed to hold pure waters constantly rising and surging to the surface, a sacred source to be drawn upon for its potential healing.These waters renew and nourish those who come to drink and collect it. The power within the land runs deeply and is vast and endless."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Boundless Love: Janet McKenzie

From the website Tikkun Daily Blog comes this article by Sarah Paulsen:

Painter Janet McKenzie saw Christ, and all humankind, made in the image of God. She saw a black woman standing strong and proud as the child of God. Following this vision, she fashioned her Jesus of the People, and all of her paintings, as visual prayers for equality and gender equity. Visit our art gallery to see her works.

For hundreds of years, most western artists have depicted the figure of Jesus Christ as a white man. Janet McKenzie dared to see something different from the norm.

Tapping into a tradition established by artists in Ethiopia and South America, who have been painting Jesus as a dark-skinned man for centuries, McKenzie caused a splash in the United States with her depiction of Christ as a black woman. In 1999 the painting won the National Catholic Reporter’s global competition and further reshaped the western image of Jesus.

“My paintings come into existence from my heart and soul, and they are not calculated, nor do I think about other peoples’ potential responses,” McKenzie said. “All that matters to me is that I am creating the most honest work I can at the highest level of my ability. I do not regret creating any of my paintings regardless of the controversies surrounding them.”

Though her paintings have received much praise and respect, they have also been surrounded by controversy. When revealed on The Today Show with Matt Lauer, Jesus of the People sparked uproar from people who said McKenzie should be ashamed of herself. This initial response, though, also created a positive counter effect, reminding people to stand up for fundamental fairness. In time, McKenzie started receiving feedback that the woman in the painting looked like someone’s mother, aunt, friend, neighbor. This female Jesus actually became an image of the people. “We are all created equally and beautifully in God’s likeness, and if this is not the very essence of Jesus Christ I don’t know what is,” McKenzie said.

At age twenty-three, McKenzie lost the two most important women in her life, her mother and her grandmother, and her father suffered a fatal heart attack just a few months later. After experiencing these tragedies, McKenzie said she felt unable to express herself through words. She commented that her paintings, now, provide a voice for herself and women like her who are unable to speak for themselves, whatever the reason may be. And, indeed, her many paintings have spoken for respect and equality for women.

All of McKenzie’s paintings come from a place of hope and celebrate racial and gender differences. Ultimately she said she strives to remind people of deeper human connections that go beyond the physical. For that reason, she often closes the eyes of the figures in her paintings to symbolize the ongoing, private journeys every person undertakes alongside his or her public life. View more of McKenzie’s paintings on her own website.

Additionally, commentaries on many of her paintings can be found in her first book, Holiness and the Feminine Spirit: The Art of Janet McKenzie due out in the fall of 2009. The collection includes comments by prominent women theologians and writers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drumming Workshop with John Marshall

This coming Saturday, July 18, master drummer John Marshall will be conducting a Summer Drumming workshop at Wisdom House from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. To access the registration form go to our website www.wisdomhouse.org.

For those who never have taken a workshop with John, click here, and go to videos #9, #27, and #28 to taste the experience! For those who have taken John's workshops, you'll love reliving them!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Untitled" by Harvey Offenhartz


Abstract works have a life of their own-they tell you what they need and want as they go along,And they are never finished with you. But, you must politely walk away from time to time-and they seem to never pick upWhere they left off... At some unknown stopping place, I choose to call them finished.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Voyage" by Robert Alberetti

Working from memory encourages me to remember significant visualappearances, objects, textures and other sensory experiences. In "Vogage," Ienvisioned experiences I found in my past travels.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In the Gallery: "Together" by Nancy Earle, SMIC

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.


"Together" by Nancy Earle, SMIC

Through the use of figures, as well as patterns, associations and symbols, Nancy maps out stories around events in life as well as, reflections on nature. Images such as the moon, sun, water, mountains, pots, vessels, crosses and trees convey archetypes. These symbolic images help to dissolve barriers between cultures and spiritualities. Nancy weaves these images into more personal themes in order to create other ways of looking at the familiar so that experiences in life such as healing ,celebration, suffering, death, and birth retain their deeper meaning.

Monday, June 29, 2009

In the Swim of Things

Local youth enjoy swimming lessons offered by Litchfield Parks and Recreation Department and given in the pool at Wisdom House.

For further information call Litchfield Parks and Recreation Department at 860-567-7569 or email Director Brent Hawkins, hawk@townoflitchfield.org.

July 22: Feast Day of Mary Madalene, Apostle to the Apostles

Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, is honored as a Saint in the Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Lutheran and Anglican communities. Her feast is celebrated on July 22.

Mary Magdalene in the past, was erroneously thought to be a prostitute who was redeemed by Jesus. This was a teaching of Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, but there is no Biblical foundation for this notion. In fact, Mary Magdalene was a leader in early Christianity and is noted in the Bible to have been the first witness to the Resurrection and the first one to whom Jesus appeared after his Resurrection (John 20).

An inspiring image of Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala), shown here has been created by artist Janet McKenzie of Vermont.

The tri-fold card shows Mary Magdalene with the women, Mary with Jesus, and Mary with apostles John and Peter. These cards are available through Wisdom House for $5.00 each. For copies, email us at programs@wisdomhouse.org or mail to Wisdom House - Cards, 229 E. Litchfield Rd, Litchfield, CT 06759.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In the Gallery: Hugh O'Donnell

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.
Artist Hugh O'Donnell says: "I made this painting of a Young Tree last year as the wind moved through it like a breath. The tree shook brightness off into the air so that I could not tell the difference between leaves and light. Painting this tree in the landscape has been the most direct and least abstract painting from life that I have ever done and I enjoyed the simplicity of creating it.
"Trees and other miracles of nature are my subject matter, and always they make me want to bring emphasis to something I can say about the sensation of seeing and feeling them. Usually when painting such natural elements they undergo a much greater degree of abstraction as I look into the heart of them to find out what makes them "go." I then work towards an abstraction of an aspect of that quality that emphasizes the struggle for light and space going on in the natural world and within our bodies, aiming to create an image that triggers a physical sensation of it in me. I edit or abstract out other aspects. This abstract process is fundamental to my way of painting."

Mementos of the Medieval Recorder Concert


On June 18, the faculty of the Susan Iadone Recorder Workshop gave a concert of Medieval Recorder Music in the Chapel to honor Wisdom House's 60th Anniversary.

Sister Rose Patricia Reilly, OP, and Sister Maurice Doody, OP, at Wisdom House

Sister Rose Patricia Reilly, OP (left) and Sister Maurice Doody, OP (right) were at Wisdom House the weekend of June 12-14. Sr. Maurice is the founder of the Office of New Directions, Bronx, NY. Sr. Rose is co-director of the office.

Sr. Maurice is a noted lecturer on spirituality and wellness. Her retreats
reflect her own "living of the program." She has been giving Women's AA/ALANON retreats at Wisdom House for the past 13 years.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quality Summer Reading: A Friendship Like No Other

Summertime finds many of us moving outdoors to enjoy the sun, water, mountains, and clean air. In the spiritual life, it is a time to experience the friendship of God in the midst of nature and creation.

William Barry, SJ, reflects on the nearness of God in his book, A Friendship Like No Other. Why not consider this for summer reading?

Fr. Barry will be offering a retreat by this same title at Wisdom House in January 2010 (click here and scroll down to January) His book ($15 plus $3 shipping) is available through Wisdom House. (programs@wisdomhouse.org ).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The U.S. food supply is controlled now by a handful of corporations that put profit ahead of food safety, the livelihood of farmers, the safety of workers and the environment, according to a new documentary, Food, Inc. The film investigates the unintended consequences and hidden costs of our current system of producing food.

This new exposé of our food-producing system is especially significant because it draws together the system’s many diverse elements in entertaining and informative ways and will be widely distributed in local theaters throughout the summer. Its producers hope the documentary will rattle the industry and shake up complacent consumers.

We have chickens with huge breasts, the perfect slab of ribs, insecticide-resistant, genetically engineered soybeans, even tomatoes that never spoil, yet we also have new strains of harmful bacteria that cause illnesses for an estimated 73,000 annually and spur meat and vegetable recalls that make headlines on a regular basis. (Click here to read the full story and to find the official movie site.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

In the Gallery: "Night Blooming Cereus I" by Judith Petrovich

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.

"Night Blooming Cereus I" by Judith Petrovich

The Night Blooming Cereus is an elusive flower with a single night's life span. After sunset on a midsummer's evening, the tendrils surrounding the bud will start to unfurl.

By midnight, the extravagant flower is fully displayed, emitting a seductive fragrance to entice the evening pollinators. Once you've had the good fortune to witness this event, it is something you yearn for yearly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

David Skorka: Part of Two-man Show at The New Arts Gallery


David Skora of New Hartford, CT will be part of a two-man show at The New Arts Gallery which opens this Saturday, June 20. David is a member of Wisdom House's Gallery Exhibition Committee and is on the faculty of Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT. Visit The New Arts Gallery here for more information.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In the Gallery: "Afterglow" by Janet Sorokin

Presently, in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery are works which comprise the second of our three retrospectives to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the gallery. Each of the artists have had a solo show in the gallery since it opened in April, 1994. In the upcoming weeks, we will feature on our blog one of the pieces in the show and a brief reflection by the artist who created it.

Gallery hours are Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm. The present show will run until August 22, 2009.

"Afterglow" by Janet Sorokin

After many years of doing large oil and acrylic paintings, I have recently begun creating collages made with torn papers which have been painted with acrylics, enhanced by using sand and other interesting materials to add texture.

I then translate these abstract images into limited editions of archival prints where fine rag paper and permanent inks are used in transforming the colors and shapes of my collages into a whole new medium.