Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as those of old have sung.

It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.

To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

~ 15th century German carol, Es ist ein Ros'

We wish you blessings and peace for the New Year.

Wisdom House

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

"In the beginning was the


And, the Word became


And dwelt among us."


          His light was the light

                that the darkness   

                    could not



May greater light be yours!

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

Sr. Rosemarie and the Staff of Wisdom House
Wisdom House

Friday, December 19, 2014


Advent waiting gives way to more and more light!

Wisdom House

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

O Wisdom, O Sapientia

O Wisdom/O Sapientia is the first of the seven
“Great” or “O” Antiphons
chanted in the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours
between December 17-23
since the 6th Century
Wisdom House

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saving Civility

"The more accepting we are of reality, the more easily we will be able to adjust to life's circumstances and not be diminished by them."

~ "Saving Civility", Sara Hacala, Skylight Paths,  p.122.
Wisdom House

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Being Light

Being light means being totally unself-conscious.

Wisdom House

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

In celebration of our call to feed the hungry and the soul,

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Your Friends at Wisdom House

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Friday, November 14, 2014


After giving us its last splash of autumn color, another of our older maples had to be cut down because of ill health.

Now, in another form, it will give itself for fire wood to a local family.

Wisdom House

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Distance Between Language & Light... by Lori Robeau

The current exhibit "The Distance Between Language & Light" by Lori Robeau runs at the Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery until December 13, 2014.

Click on one of the links below to view a video of Exhibit Opening. You may need to scroll down the page.

Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10 am – 4 pm.
Gallery will not be open Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Wisdom House

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 Wisdom Award

The 2014 Wisdom Award recipients were Richard and Elizabeth Dauphinais and JoAnn M. Ryan.
Dick and Liz Dauphinais were honored as "Advocates for Those in Need" and Ms. Ryan was honored as "Promoter of Communal Growth."
They received their awards at a dinner in their honor at Wisdom House. It was the 16th Anniversary of the Wisdom Award at Wisdom House. Friends and family of the recipients joined them in the celebration. The award is given annually by the Daughters of Wisdom through Wisdom House. The recipients are honored because through their lives of service to the community, they reflect Divine Wisdom.

Wisdom House

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chimney Repair

We previously acknowledged the masonry repairs at Wisdom House, which were supported by a grant from Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation.

The project was completed by New England Masonry Co., Naugatuck, CT. We thought we'd share some pictures of the work-in-progress. We're ready for another New England winter!

Wisdom House

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cooking the Holiday Turkey

On Wednesday, October 15, another group gathered for a cooking demonstration class, this time on how to cook the holiday turkey with less stress. The session was led by Wisdom House Head Chef Margaret Jacobs. In her 30 years of culinary experience, she, herself, has cooked over 4000 turkeys with all the trimmings. The demonstration was followed by a festive meal including turkey, gravy, and two kinds of stuffing. Wine for the program was provided by Haight Brown Vineyard of Litchfield ( and the turkeys were donated by Miller Foods, Inc. of Avon, CT (
Wisdom House

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Time to Laugh

Moments of laughter, periods of silence. Standing and stretching, moving with abandon. Laughing out loud.

These were all a part of the Laughter Yoga program held at Wisdom House on Saturday, September 18. Under the encouragement and direction of yoga teacher Gabriele Davis, all who took part in the program came away refreshed for the days ahead!

Wisdom House

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grant Received

Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW, administrator of Wisdom House, accepts a grant for $1500 from Thomaston Savings Bank to help pay for masonry work on the 60' chimney and sections of Wisdom House's original brick building (c. 1950).

The Thomaston Savings Bank Foundation supports innumerable not-for-profit ministries and services in the northwest Connecticut region.
Wisdom House

Friday, October 3, 2014

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 October 3, 2014. 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.
~Wisdom House

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Peaceful drone work!

On September 18, Al Petrunti of The New Day Group ( took an aerial video of Wisdom House using drone technology.  The photos give you a look at this exciting event.

When the video has been edited and prepared for viewing, we will make the link available. Photos were taken by Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP.
Wisdom House

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Greenwich Teens Retreat to Wisdom House

Recently seniors from Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT, enjoyed their "Live the Fourth - Emmaus Retreat" at Wisdom House, focusing on their own journey of faith.

Different prayer styles were explored including walking the labyrinth and an evening meditation under the moon and stars. A highlight of the retreat was an Emmaus walk with a partner on the grounds of Wisdom House.

Wisdom House

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cracking the Mystery of the Omelet

Twenty women filled the dining room in the Farm House at Wisdom House to see a demonstration of the creation of the perfect omelet by Wisdom House's head chef Margaret Jacobs.

Besides tasting the culinary creation, some volunteered to create one of their own. The meal was topped off with almond cream cheese muffins, roasted potatoes, and accompanied by wine donated by Sunset Meadow Vineyard in Goshen.


The next cooking program will take place on Wednesday evening, October 15. A New Revolution in cooking the Holiday Turkey will be the main feature on the menu. Come learn and taste the trimmings as well. Wine that evening will be provided by Haight Brown Vineyard in Litchfield.
For more information and to register:
call Wisdom House at 860-567-3163

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Pipers' Gathering

On August 23, The Pipers' Gathering at Wisdom House offered a public concert featuring world-class musicians on Uilleann Pipes, Scottish Small Pipes, and Northumbrian Small Pipes. These were supported by others presenting an electric evening of music. There was hardly a still foot in the audience as well as on the stage!

Wisdom House

Monday, September 15, 2014

15th Annual Casagrande Interfaith Institute

Friday, October 31,  6 p.m.
Welcome and Christian Presentation
Meals Served: Dinner
Saturday, November 1,  8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Jewish, Anthropological, and Hindu Presentations
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sunday, November 2,  8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Muslim Presentation
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch

Registration Information:

or email:
or call 860-567-3163

Full weekend with overnight accommodations: from $200
Full weekend, commuter, all meals: $170

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Celebrating East Litchfield

On Tuesday evening, August 5th, at the East Litchfield Fire Company, the East Litchfield community hosted the unveiling of Jesse Richard's artwork depicting the depot area of East Litchfield Village in 1880.

Jesse Richard, artist and former proprietor of Walnut Hill Greenhouse, spent last winter creating this amazing image.

Daniel Keefe, the historian of East Litchfield, donated East Litchfield chestnut wood that came out of his 1780 home for the frame and William Thibodeau donated his time to craft the frame.
Jesse talked about the history of the area and each building in the image. The artwork will permanently hang in the firehouse.

East Litchfield Village 1880 by Jesse Richard

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Emerging Poet

In early August, another college student from Central Connecticut State University, David G. Rich, came to Wisdom House to work on his poetry. He was able to come for a weekend because of the generous funds from the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund of The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

HFPG has given Wisdom House funds to provide this opportunity to students at area colleges. One of the poems David was working on that weekend is printed below:

Even against a clouded sky-
Shadows still reign forth.
Evening light long since vapor-
The night has come a new.

On a cladded stoop a writer ponders-
Unfamiliar sights.

But comfort in his words he holds-
For they can shine in black.

~ David G. Rich

Wisdom House

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Future Teacher

Hallie Yasuda, a student at CCSU majoring in education, also writes poetry and enjoys sketching. While taking part in the Wisdom House Writers Fellowship grant through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, she spent a weekend at Wisdom House this summer to take time to write as well as sketch. She is looking forward to student teaching this fall.

Wisdom House

Monday, August 25, 2014

National Catholic Educational Association Meets

Twenty-five members of the National Catholic Educational Association, all directors of religious education in parishes on the East Coast, met at Wisdom House for a four day retreat to be renewed in their ministry of religious education. The retreat was facilitated by Mickie Abatemarco, the Associate Executive Director of the Religious Education Department. Visit
Wisdom House

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where does the energy, the power, come from that allows this to be?

Photo credit: Andrew Ford

The nature of divine Mystery far surpasses our understanding.

(From "Awe-Filled Wonder: The Interface of Science and Spirituality," Barbara Fiand, SND de N)

Wisdom House


Monday, August 18, 2014

Daughters of Wisdom in Litchfield – Since 1949 – Part IV

In the 65 year history of this center, the present Wisdom House evolved from a “closed society” of semi-cloistered nuns into an “open society” welcoming people of all faith traditions who seek Wisdom.          

 “In this woodland
    In these peaceful retreats
       In the shadow of these forests,

          What benefit we find,
               What silence….”         

                                       (Louis DeMontfort’s Hymn #15)
To learn more about Wisdom House, visit:

You are always welcome!

~ Rosemarie Greco, DW

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daughters of Wisdom in Litchfield – Since 1949 – Part III

Environmental sustainability and energy conservation are evident in the various renovations in the buildings. For example, constructing bedrooms from dormitories and improving the water supply from our wells.  The installation of 80 solar panels on the barn and caring for the 70 acres of land, meadows and forests are further indications of this commitment.  The Northwest Connecticut Conservation District gave an award to Wisdom House in 2012 for these initiatives.
Since 1990, approximately 6,000 people yearly have come to Wisdom House and experienced the services and hospitality that the center offers.  Ample scholarships enable people of low income to participate in renewal retreats.  Wisdom House also serves the local civic community as a shelter in times of emergency and disaster.   These outreaches are a justice commitment of Wisdom House in living the congregation’s orientation and sharing our resources with those in need.

Wisdom House

Monday, August 11, 2014

Daughters of Wisdom in Litchfield – Since 1949 – Part II

In 1967, the Province informed the Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut that the ministry of formation was evolving into a ministry of retreats and spiritual renewal for religious as well as for laity.  While this expanded the original inspiration of the center, it also expanded the possibilities for furthering the charism of Wisdom and the inspiration of our Founders by liberating these for new life in the arena of the world. 
The first interfaith retreat was a Buddhist meditation retreat.  The “tent” was widening as the center was evolving. Over the years, the name changed from Mary Immaculate Novitiate to Montfort House of Renewal and, in 1981, the center was renamed Wisdom House.
In 1990 another surge in the retreat center’s evolutionary process began with the collaboration of Sisters Rosemarie Greco, DW and Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP.  Wisdom House benefitted from this intercongregational model along with the lay staff. This included increased interfaith retreats and programs in spirituality, education, and the arts and the opening of the Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery in 1994. 

Attention to global issues influenced the inclusion of environmental sustainability awareness and conferences on those topics affecting the poor and the cosmos at large.  Icons of 20th century American martyr Sister Mary Antoinette, DW and of co-founder Marie Louise Trichet were commissioned and are now enshrined in the chapel at Wisdom House.

Wisdom House

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wisdom House at 65

2014 marks the 65th Anniversary of the Daughters of Wisdom coming to Litchfield, CT. Rosemarie Greco, DW, wrote a reflection about these years which was published in the international newsletter of the Daughters of Wisdom.

We will be highlighting this reflection in four parts in upcoming blogs on At Wisdom’s Table. Part 1 starts below:
Wisdom House at 65

“We realize that we are always evolving…”
Everything evolves: people, places, things and even our mission and ministries.  One ministry that evolved in the past 65 years is Wisdom House Retreat Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA.  This ministry of the Province of the United States of America evolved from the Canadian novitiate. In 1949, Mary Immaculate Novitiate was founded in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA, to welcome women discerning a vocation to religious life with the Daughters of Wisdom. Beginning with five postulants in a New England Farm House, the novitiate expanded in a few years into a larger, monastic style center.

With the growth in membership, the novitiate evolved to include a Juniorate and Seat of Wisdom College to better prepare sisters for ministry.  The great ecclesial revolution of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s brought about a continued evolution. With the decrease of new members to the formation community, a crisis loomed: What to do with the growing vacancies in the formation buildings and how to move forward in fidelity to the charism?

Part 2 will be featured in the August 11 blog.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tree Removal

The wear and tear of time and interior decay made it necessary to remove some trees on our property recently.

Some were long-time parts of the profile of our landscape. New trees will be planted in their place.

Wisdom House

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rabbi Rami Returns

Using his book "Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent" and texts from the world's religions, Rabbi Rami Shapiro led a weekend retreat July 11 -13 that explored the great existential questions: "Who am I ?", "Where did I come from?", "Where am I going?", "How should I live?", and "Why?"


Wisdom House

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Student Recipient of Writing Grant

In June, Michael Lacy, a student at Central Connecticut State University, came to Wisdom House via a Writers Fellowship to work on his writings.  The fellowship is made possible through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, which asked Wisdom House to administer this fellowship since 2010.

Wisdom House

Monday, July 21, 2014

Demos Comes to Wisdom House

Recently, members of the Demos organization met at Wisdom House to do strategic planning.

Demos means "the people." It is the root word of democracy. Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. It believes that in America, the true source of our greatness is the diversity of its people. 
Wisdom House

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Retreat for a Week, Consider for a Lifetime

Expand your beliefs on life… and death... at a Guided Retreat: “The Gift of Life: Death and Dying, Life and Living” on August 8th (dinner) through August, 15 (breakfast) at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield. 

In addition to daily group meetings, this week-long retreat also will include a viewing of the DVD The Gift of Life: Death and Dying, Life and Living, an interview with Fr. Thomas Keating and Fr. Carl Arico. There will be a daily practice of Centering Prayer. An atmosphere of silence will permeate each day.

Presenting the retreat will be Gail Fitzpatrick Hopler and Mary Anne Best. Gail Fitzpatrick Hopler is the President of Contemplative Outreach. She is an editor and contributor of The Gift of Life series. She has authored numerous articles on the contemplative life and is an international speaker for Contemplative Outreach. Mary Ann Best serves as Director of Finance and Development for Contemplative Outreach. She is also an editor and contributor of The Gift of Life series and a Centering Prayer leader.

For fees and more information,
call Wisdom House at (860) 567-3163
click Wisdom House Retreat Portal

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Medieval Reflection

Found in the Beguinage of the Vineyard – Bruges, Belgium – this reflection can also be taken to heart in the 21st Century.
Wisdom House

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thomas Moore at Wisdom House

Using material from his most recent book, "A Religion of One's Own," New York Times best-selling author Thomas Moore gave a weekend retreat at Wisdom House.
In the course of the retreat, he encouraged guests to come in contact with their deepest beliefs, make their life from what is given to them, and use examples from art, literature, music, and science to create a more contemplative soulful life.
Wisdom House

Wednesday, June 25, 2014




Gently you came as unseen rain.

                        not unfelt,

Not without the taste

           of  refreshment,

Just unseen.


           No intensity of looking

                    ever guarantees

                         finding you.


          Only yearning,

                  sometimes tears,

                        never letting go.


Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP
Wisdom House