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 (www.haightvineyards.com) and the turkeys were donated by Miller Foods, Inc. of Avon, CT (www.millerfoodsonline.com).
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 (www.newdayhd.tv) 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