Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fr. James Martin: 'Laughter and the Saints'

Fr. James Martin, SJ, Culture Editor of€ America magazine, presented a day retreat titled, "Laughter and the Saints: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life" at Wisdom House on September 18. Over 70 people attended this retreat day and had an opportunity to take a fresh look at the importance of the role of humor in our relationship with God and our own spiritual growth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rich Answers: On Abolishing the Death Penalty

Rosemarie Greco, DW of Wisdom House interviews Ben Jones, Executive Director of CT Network to Abolish the Death Penalty (CNADP) for "Rich Answers," a weekly program sponsored by the Conference of Churches which airs on Sunday morning between 5:30-6:30 am on WRCH-FM, 100.5 FM.

The mission of CNADP, since 1986, is to work to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut. According to their mission statement, "CNADP opposes the death penalty since it is poor public policy. The death penalty does not deter crime; it is not efficient; it kills mentally ill persons; it is economically and racially biased; it kills innocent people and does not provide closure for families. It is revenge and not justice." To learn more, visit their website

Rosemarie Greco,DW and Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP are Wisdom Correspondents for the Conference of Churches in Hartford.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Homily: Christians Hope in Jesus and the Power of His Resurrection

Homily reflections for the Scripture readings for the Roman Catholic Mass will occasionally be posted. These are unedited versions submitted to the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, for their publication. (Printed here with their permission).

Friday, September 17, 2010

1. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

2. Luke 8:1-3

Focus: Christians Hope in Jesus and the Power of his Resurrection.

Jesus the healer is the hope of so many people. For centuries, Christians have prayed to Jesus for strength to endure illnesses, loss, and infirmities, and we have hoped for miracles from Jesus. Their strong devotion and faith brings them to Jesus as their only hope for release from difficulties. Such hope is found in today's Gospel where we find Jesus traveling, meeting people, preaching good news of God's care for them. Among his travelers are some women who had been healed by the touch of Jesus. They gave living witness to the power of Jesus. Hope in Jesus makes unbelievable things possible.

Ultimately, the hope of Christians rests in our belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Saint Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is very emphatic that our belief in the resurrection of the dead and the resurrection of Christ is the core of Christianity. It is also a mystery of our faith, seeming to defy rational explanation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#997ff) attempts to give understanding to this mystery but we will not fully understand the fullness of resurrection. Our faith gives us insight and our experiences confirm our belief.

Jesus often used elements of natural creation to teach others. If we look at creation all around us, we can observe the cycle of life and death and rebirth. Even the stars explode and give forth new life. Life, death and rebirth is an amazing mystery. To state precisely how all this happens, specifically how resurrection happens, "exceeds our imagination and understanding". It is faith that gives us access to this mystery (Catechism #1000). It is also our faith that is strengthened when we say during the Mass, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" or, in other words, "Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world."

We place our hope in Jesus Christ. The power of our faith and hope in him cannot be underestimated. For St. Paul, belief in Christ's resurrection is so essential that, without it, he believes his preaching is empty and so is our faith. In the resurrection of Jesus, we see the power of God and the Holy Spirit at work in the body of Jesus. Our baptism into Jesus Christ makes us confident that this same God and Spirit will be at work in us. This is our faith and our hope.

--Rosemarie Greco, DW

(Photo: Andrew F. Ford)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Women and Spirit' on Ellis Island Starting Sept. 24

The story of Catholic sisters in America is presented in an exhibit, "Women and Spirit" on Ellis Island, NY. This exhibit features the work, ministries and innovative works of Catholic sisters in America. You can view some of the exhibit here. The exhibit opens on September 24 and closes on January 22, 2011.

A bus ride to the exhibit is being organized by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Wilton, Connecticut, for Saturday, October 23. They can be reached at You may also phone Nancy Holland, coordinator for the bus, at 203-761-9732 for information and to reserve a space. See flyer below (click on images to enlarge.). Also, please note that the RSVP deadline for this trip is September 24.

"Women religious have made an incalculable contribution to this nation. Running schools, hospitals, orphanages from America's earliest days, these women helped foster a culture of social service that has permeated our society," said Cokie Roberts, News analyst and author.\\

Click here to view videos about this exhibit.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti's Poems and Photos on View in her Show, 'Continuous Present' at the University of Connecticut, Torrington Campus

Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti, a photographer and poet, will discuss the sources of her creativity and the photographs and poems on view in her show, "Continuous Present," in the Whitson Gallery at the University of Connecticut's Torrington campus on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

A reception will follow the discussion. The event is free and open to students and the public. "Continuous Present" will be on exhibit at the campus's Brick Wall Space Gallery from Thursday, Sept. 16, through Friday, Nov. 19.

For more of this story, click here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wisdom House Staff: Gerard Hall, Chef

From Chef Gerard Hall:
I have been asked to write about why I like working at Wisdom House. Well, given that I am the chef here and loathe talking about myself, I've decided to write a metaphorical analogy about stew. As an aside, I consider myself a parochial townie with a natural curiosity about what's out there, and I'm perfectly happy to figure it out from right here. So anyway, the story goes that some 30 odd years ago a father sent his son to the grocery store to purchase the fixings for a traditional Irish stew. As the young man left the house, the father admonished his son to find the same ingredients his grandpa used to make stew. The young man asked his father why get the same ingredients? The father was almost beside himself and said, "Well don't you love your grandpa's stew?"

"Yes," replied the son.

"Well then, why shop for anything else?" asked the father.

Paradoxically, the young man left for the store without an ingredient list, but with all the ingredients necessary. Thirty odd years later, he finished shopping and ended up at a retreat house working for someone who
said, "Make it like your Grandpa's."

I do love this place and you all add spice to my stew. God bless.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Awakening a new Reverence for Life

Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. (The Earth Charter)