Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Story of Stuff: Chemicals in Cosmetics

Wisdom House shares its concern for health and wellnes with this video about toxins in cosmetics from "The Story of Stuff."

From The Story of Stuff Web site:

This morning, just hours after we released our new film, The Story of Cosmetics, three members of the U.S. Congress introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, which would close the gaping holes in federal regulation of personal care products.

The current law - if you can call 1938 'current' - allows the cosmetics industry to make its own decisions about what's safe. The FDA can't require companies to assess cosmetics ingredients for safety, can't require that all the chemicals in cosmetics are disclosed to consumers, and can't even require product recalls.

That's nearly as screwy as putting lead in lipstick!

We joined forces with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to release The Story of Cosmetics for two main reasons:
First, our 50-plus year experiment with 'better living through chemistry' is one of the most distressing features of the way we make our Stuff. We load everything from shampoo to cell phones with toxic chemicals-ingredients that we know or suspect are linked to cancer, reproductive harm, learning disabilities, and asthma.

Few consumer products tell the story of 'toxics in, toxics out' quite like cosmetics: the average person smears between 6 and 12 personal care products on his or her body every day. Its like a giant science experiment-we're using all of these mystery chemicals and just waiting to see what happens.

Which leads to the second reason we felt this story had to be told: for way too long the onus has been put on you and me to figure out what's safe and what's not.

Sure, we can choose to buy the safer products made by responsible companies, but the really important decisions don't happen when we take a product off the shelf. What counts is when companies and government agencies decide what should be allowed on the shelves in the first place.

Can't we all agree that a little more government action would be helpful when it comes to our safety and the safety of our children?

The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 would phase out the most dangerous chemicals, set up a system to assess cosmetic ingredients for safety, require companies to be transparent about what's in their products, and provide adequate resources for the FDA to do its job. It will also help small businesses in the cosmetics industry meet the new regulations and spur the development of greener chemicals.

Please click here to continue reading this story and to find out what you can do to make a difference.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rich Answers: Sister Evelyn Lamoureux, DW, on Human Trafficking

Sister Evelyn Lamoureux, DW (Right) is interviewed for WRCH-FM (100.5 FM) radio by Sister Rosemarie Greco,DW (Left). Evelyn is a member of a tri-state committee which advocates for people who are being trafficked. Human trafficking is a crime as well as a form of slavery. Women and children are the main victims.

The interview airs on Sunday morning, July 25 at approximately 5:50 AM. on the radio program, "Rich Answers," which is sponsored by the Conference of Churches.

For further information about Human Trafficking, visit . This website promotes awareness regarding human trafficking, exchanges best practices in advocacy for and empowerment of survivors of human trafficking and recommends actions to counter human trafficking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Remember Saint Louis Grignon de Montfort

On July 20,1948, Louis Grignon de Montfort (1673-1716) was proclaimed a saint (canonized) in Rome for the Catholic Community. Saint Louis was a missionary, mystic, singer, poet, sculptor, writer, founder of three religious congregations: the Daughters of Wisdom (and ), the Company of Mary and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel.

Wisdom House Retreat Center continues the legacy of Louis de Montfort to seek wisdom in its emphasis on spirituality, education and the arts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Hills Were Alive

Music filled the air in the Litchfield Hills in June with over 100 people attending two special concerts at Wisdom House.

On Saturday, June 5, Susan Hellauer, one of the founding members of the renowned group, Anonymous 4, directed a schola of 15 participants in a performance of the original music of 12th Century German Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. On exhibit in Wisdom House Chapel were reprints of Hildegard's mystical art work.
On Saturday, June 24, the Susan Iadone Recorder Workshop faculty on recorders, violas, and voice performed pieces spanning four centuries of music. The informal and entertaining evening brought forth well-known and lesser-known repertoire.

Each evening was followed by a reception and stimulating conversation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rich Answers: Deborah Rogala, The Resettlement Project in Hartford

Deborah Rogala (right), program director of The Resettlement Project in Hartford, was interviewed by Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP (center). They are joined by Sister Betty Secord,RSM (left) who ministers in the program.

The interview airs on Sunday morning July 18 at approximately 5:50 am on WRCH 100.5 FM. The program, titled "Rich Answers," is sponsored by the Conference of Churches.

The Resettlement Program is part of Community Partners In Action, Inc. The program's mission is to provide long-term case management services to women released from prison to help them build a new life for themselves and their families.

For further information about the program, visit

Wisdom House Staff: Sister Rosemary Connelly, DW, Housekeeping Coordinator

Sister Rosemary Connelly, DW, has served as the Housekeeping Coordinator since 2006. Rosemary and her team believe that cleanliness is an important aspect of respect for guests at Wisdom House. She says, "I enjoy being part of this ministry of the Daughters of Wisdom by helping to provide a peaceful, clean environment. This helps our guests find peace and serenity."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rabbi Rami Shapiro Discusses Lovingkindness with Sr. Rosemarie Greco

We are all born in the image of God. Living out the likeness of God is a choice. In this retreat, we will explore Biblical attributes of Lovingkindness and teachings from various faith traditions as the framework for cultivating a life of goodness. In this brief video, Rabbi Rami Shapiro reflects on the transformative power of lovingkindness.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Upcoming Retreat: 'Awe Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science and Spirituality'

"Awe Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science & Spirituality" is the theme for a retreat presented by Sister Barbara Fiand on August 14-21 at Wisdom House. Barbara says: "Ours is an age when many of the disciplines are converging and arriving at similar conclusions about the universe and our place in it. The call for transformation is beckoning us. I am convinced that spirituality needs to be at the forefront here. Ours is a sacred moment and God is in our midst waiting for our "Yes " to work through us toward the deeper liberation of all." For more information about this retreat, visit here.

For more information about Barbara Fiand, SND deN, visit here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happiness – What Makes it Possible?

In the book, Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature, Kathleen Dean Moore says this:

I would suggest that the elements of happiness might include

1) a certain baseline standard of security

2) significant contact with the natural world, its sights and sounds and comfort

3) meaningful work

4) family or some other set of people who love you and whom you deeply love

5) stimulating ideas

6) celebratory arts – and

7) the time to pause and notice these and rejoice in them.

We wish you happiness, always.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pamela Greenberg: 'The Complete Psalms'

PAMELA GREENBERG (Poet and writer, The Complete Psalms): I began the translation at a very dark time in my life. I came to religion as an adult really as an act of desperation. I felt I needed to believe in something, and I struggled with depression. I had an intuition that in the psalms I would find something of the relationship to God that I was looking for....Click here for the complete interview and video on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

'I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms'

View a gallery of selected details from an anthology of 36 psalms, “I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms,” by Hebrew manuscript artist Debra Band (Jewish Publication Society, 2007). In her introduction to the illuminations she writes: “Just as psalms occupy a central role in Jewish liturgy and many home and life-cycle rituals, so are they valued in the other Abrahamic religions. Islam holds the Psalms of David, known in that tradition as Zabur, among its sacred texts, although it does not incorporate them into liturgy. Psalms have formed the core of Christian prayer since its inception. Jesus, as a Jewish rabbi, quoted Psalms liberally in his teachings, and the earliest Church Fathers founded Christian prayer on Psalms. Click here for the full story and the images.