Monday, December 28, 2015


"If.... people would stick to or turn to a craft, it would save their soul. I have this 'square' idea that art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness."

      Anni Albers, 1968
      - Textile designer, printmaker, weaver

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Gift

Jesus was God’s gift of love to the world.
If you would appreciate His character,
Observe that of His mother.
Jesus is Mary’s child,

And thus in Him there is
no harshness or haughtiness
or anything but love.

We wish you love this Christmas season.

Sisters Rosemarie Greco, DW Jo-Ann Iannotti,OP
and the Wisdom House community 

Text: from The Love of Eternal Wisdom: A Revisioning of Saint Louis de Monfort’s Contemplation on Divine Wisdom, #118, Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Cover image: The Madonna of Einsedeln, Switzerland. Photo credit: Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Priceless Gift

"I am gift." All that I am is something that's given, and given freely. Being doesn't cost anything. There's no price tag, no strings attached.

~ Thomas Merton

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

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

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gaudete Sunday

This 3rd Sunday of Advent brings the Christmas feast closer. The waiting is shortened. The rejoicing (Gaudete) slowly begins!

Wisdom House

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Mind, the Body, and Self-Compassion

Seeing our lives as a unit and living wholistically was the theme of a recent retreat at Wisdom House. With the Farm House as the setting, this group of women experienced a weekend of personal spiritual renewal. The weekend was facilitated by Judith Erhman Shapiro.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Hanukkah!

The joyous festival of Hanukkah begins on 25 Kislev of the Jewish calendar. It celebrates two miracles – a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple.

We celebrate Hanukkah – also called the Festival of Lights – for eight days. The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle that’s used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night. Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game.

Hanukkah will be celebrated from December 6 – 14, 2015 
(Jewish year 5776)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Here and Now

Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.
~Ann Patchett

(Installation detail - Lori Robeau)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

For the bounty of the earth,

    For the bounty of our lives,

         We are grateful.

    Happy Thanksgiving !

Your Friends at

            Wisdom House.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Woman of Spirit Award

Recently, the Women's Guild of Sts. John and Paul Parish in Larchmont, NY and the Women's Guild from St. Augustine's Parish in Larchmont gave this year's Woman of Spirit Award at a luncheon at the Larchmont Yacht Club.

Sparkill Dominican Sr. Muriel Cooney, OP (left) was honored for her ministry at St. Augustine's Parish, and  Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP (right) accepted the award for her community, the Dominican Sisters of Hope, for their service at Sts. John and Paul Parish over the years. Sr. Jo-Ann served in Sts. John and Paul from 1969-1974.
Wisdom House

Saturday, November 14, 2015

In the Stillness of the Quiet

In the stillness of the quiet,
if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.

 ~Howard Thurman

Monday, November 9, 2015

"The Mind, The Body, and Self-Compassion"

On November 13-15, 2015, come join Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, dance movement therapist and wellness educator, for a weekend of guided meditation, spiritual reading, meditative movement and other methods of centering to develop self-compassion.

For more information visit

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Brunch In a Muffin Tin

This month's cooking demonstration by Wisdom House Chef Margaret Jacobs made the feat of creating brunch in a muffin tin into a feast!

Wisdom House

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How Long Does It Really Take?

How do we do live in the present moment? Be efficient and focus your efforts on one thing at a time.

When you don't know how long a task will take, you may either over or underestimate the amount of time needed.

Keep in mind that small tasks may take less time than you think. Here is a list of everyday tasks and how long they take to complete  if you focus your energy on that one task:

Answer the average e-mail - 1 minute

Change a roll of toilet paper - 6 seconds
~ Fill a car gas tank - 5 minutes
~ Take one vitamin pill - 15 seconds 
~ Empty dishwasher - 5 minutes
~ Take out the garbage - 1 minute 
~ Make the bed - 1 minute
~ Make a 2-quart container of instant iced tea - 30 seconds
~ Put a milk carton back in the refrigerator - 7 seconds
~ Refill a liquid soap dispenser - 30 seconds
~ Replace the lid on a peanut butter jar - 4
~ Pick up a shirt off the floor, place on hanger and hang in closet - 9 seconds
~ Sign, address, add return address and stamp a birthday card for mailing - 1 minute, 40 seconds

~ Water one plant - 25 seconds

I hope these tips will help you live in the moment and get lots of things done!

Susan Lovallo, Founder of Clutter Solutions

Monday, November 2, 2015

Columbia University Students

Students from Columbia University’s United Nations Studies Program spent an enrichment weekend at Wisdom House in September.

Photo: Courtesy of J.P. Lindenmayer
Wisdom House

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celebrate 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,

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Get Organized

Get Organized to Save Fuel and Cash!

What can you do to minimize that cash drain? Get organized! That’s right. You can reduce the number of gallons of gas you burn if you follow these simple tips.
1.      Organize your errands.
Make a list of your errands, then organize them into a travel plan. Write down all your errands and then think what stops are near each other so you can create a gas-saving route for yourself.  

2.      Keep a shopping list handy.
Create a running shopping list on your fridge, in your office, and in your storage area where you store bulk items like paper towels or reams of paper. Writing a list to shop with will prevent you from forgetting items.

3.      Don’t duplicate your purchases.
If you keep similar items together, you will reduce the chances of misplacing or losing items and repurchasing them unnecessarily.  

4.      Stay home and organize.
Tackle the area of your home you tend to ignore, and get it organized. You will be doing something highly productive without driving anywhere!   

5.      Establish a family organizing time.
Get your whole family involved and have organizing mornings or nights. Together, organize a room that everyone uses, like the family room or kitchen.   Make it fun–turn on the music or plan a reward for completion like watching a moving afterwards or playing your favorite board game.

6.      Enjoy your nest!
Stay home just to enjoy your own beautiful surroundings. Yes, there are many places to go, but when it comes to family and leisure time, your home is a wonderful sanctuary.  An organized dwelling provides calmness, security, and peace of mind with plenty of space for fun activities or simply relaxing.

by Susan Lovallo
Clutter Solutions

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hors d'Oeuvres in a Hurry

Unexpected guests can be welcomed with an array of  tasty hors d'oeuvres quickly prepared from ingredients which are right at hand in one's refrigerator.   

That's what participants were shown when Chef Margaret Jacobs held another cooking demonstration program at Wisdom House on September 14.

In her next demonstration class on November 4 from 6:00-7:30pm, participants will learn how they can prepare a delicious brunch in the "humble muffin tin!"
Visit for more details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Self-Care Saturday

The group of women attending the Self-Care Saturday program had many opportunities to laugh, unwind, walk Wisdom House's labyrinth, enjoy each other's company, and get tips for leading a more balanced life. Yoga instructor and facilitator of the day, Gabriele Davis of Litchfield, led the group in the life-enhancing activities.

Wisdom House

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Unbearable Wholeness of Being

Ilia Delio, OSF, presented a challenging retreat day on God, evolution, and the power of love on September 26th. The audience of more than 140 people were presented horizon-expanding information about the interconnectedness of all creation - how we are related to each other and to the Creator of all.

To view a brief video presenting an overview of her topic, click on the Video section of our homepage at

Photos: Linda Oristano
Wisdom House

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Living in the Divine Milieu

With great enthusiasm, Ursula King, Ph.D., presented a program at Wisdom House that focused on the life and teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a 20th Century Jesuit priest, scientist, and mystic. It was titled, "Living in the Divine Milieu."

Coming to us from Bristol, England, she presented Chardin's desire to make known the presence of God in all creation. His work as a paleontologist brought him in touch with God's special presence among us in the very earth on which we live and on which we walk.  A video of Dr. King speaking about the program can be accessed from our homepage under "Videos."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

E.L.V.I.S. Comes to Wisdom House

The East Litchfield Village Improvement Society met at Wisdom House recently to learn more about the history of this section of Litchfield.

The presentation was given by Rachel Carley, local Architectural Historian. She presented a talk with images from the architectural survey of the northeast quadrant, which recounted the rich history of Litchfield that she recently completed for the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust.

One of the completed survey forms is posted on the Trust's website:

Rachel is the author of many books, including "Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town."
Wisdom House

Saturday, October 3, 2015

17th Annual Wisdom Award

At a reception and dinner on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Wisdom House held its 17th annual Wisdom Award celebration. This year's recipients were Susan and Timothy Cook, who were honored for Serving with Compassion and William G. Harding for being an Energizer of Community.

Wisdom House

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scenes from an Opening

Salvatore Gulino's artist talk about his present exhibit in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery took place on Sunday, September 27.

Here are scenes from the gathering for the artist talk and reception that followed.
The Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery at Wisdom House is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

MLT Gallery Opens Salvatore Gulino Exhibit

The Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center will open an exhibit titled "May 4, 1970 (after Goya and Picasso)" by Salvatore Gulino on Sunday, from 3-5 pm.

The exhibit consists of only one painting. The artist has borrowed images from two masters, Francisco de Goya and Pablo Picasso, to depict the deep personal impact the historical event of the 1970 Kent State shootings had upon the artist. The piece became the impetus that unleashed what would become his future signature style of painting, which is referred to as appropriation art or the art of re-contextualization.

The public is invited to the artist talk held at 3:30 pm and followed by a reception.
Wisdom House

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Wisdom House

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rosh Hashanah - Head Changing Day

Rabbi Rami Shapiro writes:

Rosh Hashanah is “Head (rosh) Changing (shenah) Day.” It begins at sundown on September 13, 2015. You can’t have a new year with an old head. So if you want a new year, you are going to need to get a new head.

A new head is a story-free head. Your stories define you. If your stories are positive and loving, then you are optimistic and loving. If your stories are negative and fearful, then you are angry and afraid. Regardless of their emotional charge, however, stories are not reality.

A new head is story-free. A new head engages reality with compassionate curiosity, going into what is without the baggage of what was or what is supposed to be.

If you want a new head, identify the stories you carry with you. Ask yourself: “Am I absolutely certain this story is true?” “How does telling this story make me feel?”

If you are telling stories you don’t know to be true, stop telling them. If telling your stories makes you anything other than just, kind, and humble, stop telling them.

In fact, stop telling stories altogether.

Who are you without your story? You don’t know, and not knowing is the key to having a new head.


Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning poet and essayist, whose liturgical writings are used in prayer services throughout North America.

Rabbi Rami is a frequent program presenter at Wisdom House. His next retreat will be July 15- 17, 2016. For further details, visit

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Seymour School Administrators

The administrators of the Seymour, CT schools met at Wisdom House this August doing motivation, trust, and team building experiences as they prepared to begin the 2015-2016 academic year.

Those present included the Superintendent, Associate Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and all Principals and Assistant Principals. 
Wisdom House

Thursday, September 3, 2015


We can never work as nature does.
       Hopefully, we can learn from her
                how to work with the changes
 life brings our way. 

Wisdom House

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Preparing for the Year Ahead

Chase Collegiate School Leadership met recently at Wisdom House to prepare for the school year ahead. Their retreat involved the team reviewing the past year's accomplishments and areas to grow, as well as setting team goals for 2015-2016.  The team focused on innovative programs and design thinking on the campus and Chase brand.

The Chase Mission statement is: 'We educate tomorrow's leaders and inspire in each student a life-long passion for learning, personal achievement, and contribution to the community.'

Find out more at

Wisdom House

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Meet Dick and Jani

Author Julia Lee Barclay-Morton of New York City recently had the opportunity to be at Wisdom House to put the finishing touches on her work in progress, "The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani."

Julia notes, "This is a book about my grandmothers, both born during WWI before women could vote. They were women of modest means but with outsized dreams. They cut two very different paths through the 20th Century. The book is a study in contrasts between the soul-crushing cost of Dick's conformity versus the price of Jani's flamboyant rebellion." 

You can follow Julia and the developments around Dick and Jani by going to her blog:

Wisdom House

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pamela Dayton on Her Wisdom House Experience

Singer and actor Pamela Dayton of New York City spent time at Wisdom House this summer to work on a one woman show she is developing. 

This was Pamela’s second time here doing an Artist retreat.

“Thanks so much for letting this 'city kid' escape to this little bit of paradise. It is like 'Creativity Camp' where my soul opens up and creativity comes flowing out!”

She continues, “Listening to the birds, enjoying the flowers, walking the labyrinth, and enjoying the great food and company made the whole experience renewing.”

Wisdom House

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Artist Residency

Lisa Blanchette, an art educator from Bow, New Hampshire, took time this summer to come to Wisdom House to experiment on some new techniques in her work.

She writes, "Wisdom House's pristine environment was conducive to creative work. The food and staff are amazing. I was grateful to have the space I needed and the opportunity to interact with other guests also here for an artist retreat time."

Wisdom House

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Escaping Pain by Seeking Pleasure

"We continually try to get away from pain by seeking pleasure, and in doing so, we just keep going around and around. I'm so hot I open all the windows, and then I'm so cold I put on a sweater. Then it itches, so I put cream on my arms, and then that's sticky, so I go take a bath, and on and on. 

We are always trying to get out of the boiling pot into some kind of coolness, always trying to escape and therefore never really fully settling down and appreciating.

That's called 'samsara.' In other words, we're always working in that framework of trying to get comfortable through political beliefs and philosophies and religions and everything, trying to gain pleasure in all that occurs."

Pema Chodron, "The Wisdom of No Escape," p. 75

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Student Writer

Michael Ciervo of  Hartford, CT recently took advantage of the Wisdom House Writers Fellowship to spend a weekend at Wisdom House working on some short stories and poetry he has in progress. Mike is a student at Central Connecticut State University. 

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund makes it possible for Wisdom House to offer this opportunity to college students who could not normally be able to pay for this writers residency experience. CCSU is one of several colleges which recommend students to us for this experience.

Wisdom House

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Summer is about tasting the freshness.

Wisdom House

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Trellises

Two new trellises mark the entrances to the Peace Garden at Wisdom House.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Buffet Table Tops

New Corian table tops were installed in the dining rooms at Wisdom House. They were created by Michael Mirabilio and installed by him and Patrick Garahan. These beautiful table tops enhance the dining experience at Wisdom's table.  Come and see for yourself!
Several generous donors made this improvement possible. We are grateful.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Sr. Rosemarie Greco and Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti were part of the design team for the 2016 QUEST Lent/Easter reflection booklet put out by the Small Christian Community Office of the Archdiocese of Hartford. For information about this ministry, visit

They have been members of a number of design teams over the past 10 years.

Wisdom House

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Plunge into matter.
Plunge into God.
By all means of all created things.
Without exception, the divine
penetrates us and molds us.
   ~  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lunch at Wisdom's Table

Tasty and nutritious mid-day offerings from our Head Chef Margaret Jacobs.

Wisdom House

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Spring Meeting

Recently the Litchfield County Women's Network met for dinner at Wisdom House. Besides their business meeting, the group took a tour of Wisdom House which included an experience of walking the labyrinth and visiting the present exhibit in the Marie Louise Trichet Art Gallery.

Wisdom House

Thursday, June 18, 2015

To Whom I May Concern

Wisdom House hosted the program "To Whom I May Concern" on Saturday, June 13. This was an interactive program with persons who are at various stages of awareness of having Alzheimer's related illnesses. The presenters shared their stories with humor and honesty. The audience conversation with the presenters brought insights into the challenges they face each day.

Wisdom House

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Awakening to the New

"We are indeed in a great moment of awakening. There is a newness about our time and we need to be sensitized to the awesome transformation that is being required of us."

~Thomas Berry, CP

Wisdom House


Monday, June 8, 2015

Feast of Our Lady of Wisdom - June 8

Mary is the Mother of Incarnate Wisdom;
From her body His came forth.

Mary does not reject the physical world but
Sees it as Her Son and Embraces it with unwavering love.

~"The Love of Eternal Wisdom: A Revisioning of Saint Louis de Montfort's Contemplation on Divine Wisdom", #231,  Rabbi Rami Shapiro.

Wisdom House