Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happiest of New Years

An ancient source gives us
contemporary advice for any year. 
We like to call them:  
Mantras for the New Year

In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.

~ Tao Te Ching ~
(Translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Child Is Born to Us

        The spirit of The Lord shall rest upon him
                                A spirit of wisdom and understanding
                      A spirit of counsel and of strength

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 is celebrated from December 24, 2016 – January 1, 2017.

Monday, December 12, 2016

CT Campus Compact Retreats to Wisdom House

After their three day retreat at Wisdom House, members of CT Campus Compact tweeted about their experience and included a photo of their VISTA cohort.


Our VISTA cohort wrapped up our three day retreat on Thursday with lots of team bonding, learning, goal setting, and growth @Wisdom_House

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hope Takes a Lot of Faith

Early in this liturgical season, we’re called upon to act out of great faith in what the end of the season promises us. The reading from the prophet Isaiah is a great impetus to us as we journey for the next four weeks. It presents an immediate challenge as well as consolation. The challenge is, “Have faith even when there seems to be no reason to have it,” and the consolation is, “Life in its smallest form has the potential to come forth even when the prospect of new life seems most impossible.” It takes faith to act on what is hoped for!

The last time I ministered in a parish, I was Director of Religious Education. My first year, I asked our janitor, who was clearing a wooded area behind the rectory, if he would bring me the stump of one of the trees he had to remove. I asked once. Asked again and asked a third time when it was almost the First Sunday of Advent. The scripture I wanted to remind the people of was the Isaiah passage - “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse...” Finally, after weeks of waiting and pleading, it arrived.

The waiting was worth it. In fact, I was astounded by what he eventually brought me. He not only brought me a tree stump, he brought me it still attached to its roots!

I never imagined, never thought of what the roots must be like. The roots of this this tree stump looked like they were dancing. I laughed to myself as I thought, “Here are the dancing roots of the stump of Jesse.”

How right and just that the stump, symbol of failure, life-finished, with no possibility for new life, should really have dancing roots! Only dancing roots can bring forth new life. Only hidden roots dancing under an earth of uncertainty and injustice can bring forth the new life.

Why hope for life when the outside looks bleak – dead – forsaken? Or, an even better question is, “Why jump to the conclusion that all is hopeless?" What is needed is watering those roots so that new life will come in due time. Watering those roots so that the “unforeseen life,” in its own time, can spring forth. We water in hope.

The justice of Advent is rooted in hope. What was hoped for came about. What was longed for appeared. When all seemed impossible, what was promised showed its head. And, what was promised was God’s everlasting fidelity.

Advent encourages us to act in faith. We embrace the impossible. We actually are called to befriend it. Ours is a surety beyond proof - a surety at times with no proof at all. But, underneath, we believe the roots are dancing.

We continue to act in the face of the illogical, improbable. Out of this strength, justice will be done “above ground.” Jesus, our Justice, is among us.

~ Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well...for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.         
      ~ Julian of Norwich

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us move forward grounded in gratitude and courage.
     ~ Sr. Rosemarie and the Community of Wisdom House

Monday, November 21, 2016

Community Service Honored

The Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter of NSDAR celebrated its 117th Anniversary at a reception in the community room of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Litchfield.

At this time, they gave their Community Service Award this year to Barbara Putnam and John Lilley.

Barbara teaches a weekly Hatha Yoga class at Wisdom House. We're happy to share some photos of this event.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Self-Care Saturday: Positively Grateful

More than 20 people came to restore and renew themselves in body and spirit at "Self-Care Saturday: Positively Grateful" at Wisdom House.  Facilitated by Gabriele Davis, some of the activities the group was engaged in were laughter yoga, walking the labyrinth, and sitting in silence.

Wisdom House

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Getting Real About Art

Tony Carretta, author, artist, and former gallery owner of New Arts Gallery, will be giving the program "Getting Real About Art" on November 18-19 at Wisdom House.

Join him and a community of artists to explore the reality of how artists can use proven methods of getting their work out to galleries and other venues where the public can appreciate their work.

To register, visit Commuters are welcome.

Copies of his book "Studio to Wall: The Commerce of Art" will be available for purchase

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Meet the Filmmakers/Save the Date

You are invited on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 12 noon to the screening of a new HBO documentary, Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing at the Bantam Cinema in Bantam, CT. 

This exceptional film depicts how a perfect day became a national tragedy and how the lives of individuals and their families were forever changed by the attacks. After the film, the producers, along with two courageous women who were among the seriously wounded, will be part of a Q&A. This opportunity is being offered prior to the film’s HBO premiere.

Admission is free but reservations must be made at Wisdom House hopes you will take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Change in Exhibit Date

Please note the change in exhibit date... now running until December 3, 2016.

Inviting The Great Dance: 
Paintings on the path of letting go
 Elisabeth Moss

October 15- December 3, 2016
Marie Louise Trichet Gallery

229 E. Litchfield Rd. Litchfield, CT

MLT Gallery hours : Monday- Saturday 10am-4pm

Thursday, November 3, 2016

First Baptist Women Return

Women from the First Baptist Church of Stamford again celebrated a weekend retreat at Wisdom House. They had the chance to enjoy the fall foliage along with the support of their faith community.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens

Recently, Sr. Rosemarie Greco and Sr. Jo-Ann Iannotti were part of a dedication of The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens in Washington, CT.  This new site was dedicated to the memory of Judy Black, a resident of Washington, and a recent collaborator with us at Wisdom House.  Judy died of cancer on November 15, 2015.

In 2014, Judy, along with Carolyn Setlow, also of Washington, CT, collaborated with us on sustainability program titled, "Food, Glorious Food," where we explored the topic of eating with compassion and intention. This was an interfaith program supported by the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life and Wisdom House.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gallery Opening

Scenes of lecture and opening of Elisabeth Moss' exhibit: "Invitating the Great Dance: Paintings on the Path to Letting Go" held on October 15th in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery at Wisdom House.

The gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm.

Wisdom House

Friday, October 21, 2016

Healing the Heart After Loss

            If you are seeking new ways to bring wholeness and comfort to your life after the loss of a loved one, “Healing the Heart After Loss” on Saturday, October 22 (9:30am- 3:00pm) may be of benefit to you.

            In this program, you will learn about the process of grief while exploring your own situation through supportive sharing, group process and mindfulness and mediation practices.  

            Eileen Manela, LCSW, who has a private practice in Litchfield specializing in bereavement and loss, will be facilitating the day. Prior to this she spent over a decade practicing at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
            The cost for the program is $50 per person and includes lunch. For more information or to register click on: Wisdom House Retreat Portal, for more information call 860-567-3163 or email:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Season

May this new season bring you peace.
    May you meet what is new
           and what is fading away
                    with equal

Sunday, October 16, 2016


When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.

~ John Muir

Friday, October 14, 2016

Preview: Inviting the Great Dance

Inviting The Great Dance:
Paintings On the Path of Letting Go
Elisabeth Moss

Come see the artist's lecture with reception this Saturday, October 15 at 3:30pm.

For a preview of this exhibit click:

For further information:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Inviting the Great Dance

Inviting The Great Dance: 
Paintings on the path of letting go
 Elisabeth Moss

October 15- December 10, 2016
Marie Louise Trichet Gallery

229 E. Litchfield Rd. Litchfield, CT

Artists Lecture:
Saturday October 15, 2016
 - 3:30pm
Reception to follow

MLT Gallery hours : Monday- Saturday 10am-4pm

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Students for a Dream

Students for a Dream met at Wisdom House for a weekend planning retreat. The organization was founded in 2010 by a group of undocumented students to work in creating social change and addressing injustice in the lives of their members and communities.  The organization is supported by the Perrin Family Foundation, RESIST, Inc, the Fairfield County Community Foundation, Ben & Jerry's, and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.

Learn more at

Wisdom House

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wisdom Award

Honored with this year's Wisdom Award were Joseph Montebello, Sandra B. Roberts, and Ron Leal.  The award celebration and dinner was held at Wisdom House on Wednesday, September 28. This was the 18th Anniversary of Wisdom House giving this award to local residents who through their lives of service have witnessed to Divine Wisdom.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pumpkins and Gourds

Pumpkins and gourds at Wisdom House come from Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, CT.  You might want to visit the cider mill for free tastings and pumpkins, gourds and mums.  

Tell the owner, Theresa Dunlop, that you saw her place on Wisdom House's Facebook or Blog!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Will Real Peace Please Stand Up!

"The way to experience inner peace or global peace is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. 

Peace isn't an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth. It's an experience that's expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling

~ Pema Chodron, "Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears," p. 87

Wisdom House

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Heritage Wednesday

Over the years, we have invited local poets to share their works with us through a program, "Readings in the Gallery."

Some who have made presentations are: Joan Kunsch, Susan Kinsolving, and Rose Styron.

Wisdom House

Monday, September 19, 2016

Be the Rhythm

Join a community of drummers led by international percussionist
John Marshall at Wisdom House on Saturday, September 24, from 9:30am - Noon for a morning of "Global Hand Drumming."  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Art of Marbling

Artist Erin Tapley gave a lecture about her present exhibit, "Heal," which is in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery. The scrolls on exhibit were created by the technique of marbling. Her works will be on exhibit through October 1.

Wisdom House

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Begin Fall with a New Mind

On Saturday, September 10, Wisdom House will be sponsoring two new programs. 

One will deepen your understanding of Christian mystic, Teilhard de Chardin. This will be presented by Sally Campbell Woodhall.  

Another program, “Mindful Parenting” with Sharon Gutterman, will aid those who mentor children in their personal development. 

For further information about each program visit, email, or call 860-567-3163.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Two-Day Event Scheduled for September 30 & October 1

hARTsem Days is a celebration of the arts and spirituality at Hartford Seminary. Artists, musicians, performers, and workshop leaders will bring the community together around a common theme.

Friday, Sept. 30, will center around the Seminary's decision to establish a Chair in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, capped off by a concert with Prof. Miriam Therese Winter and Friends. 

On Saturday, Oct. 1, artists, musicians, authors and others will conduct workshops and performances, and refreshments will be available from food trucks parked on campus. In the evening, Moroccan theater artist Hassan Jai will perform a dramatic reading of the Elif Shafak's novel, "The 40 Rules of Love," which follows the lives of a Jewish-American housewife and a Sufi Muslim based in Amsterdam and their unlikely love.

Among the presenters on Saturday, Oct. 1, will be Jo-Ann Iannotti, OP, Art and Spirituality Coordinator at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield. She will give a workshop on “The Artist as Contemplative.”

The tentative schedule, with registration and ticketing links for select events, can be found here. Questions can be directed to Heather Holda at

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Give success to the work of our hands. ( Psalm 90:17 )

Wisdom House

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


"A few things can help facilitate change. The first and most effective is circumstances over which you have no control, especially suffering in its many forms. These rearrange your world view and awaken the dead places within. They are not what you want, but they are given to you; they become the teachable moments that can and will change you deeply."

~ Richard Rohr, OFM, Adapted from How Men Change: A Thin Time (CD, DVD, MP3)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Uprooting Racism

On August 9, a group of Litchfield County residents met at Wisdom House to discuss the topic of racism in our county.

Litchfield resident Victoria Christgau, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Non-Violence, introduced the group to the evening experience and Dr. Arthur Romano, Professor of Conflict Studies at George Mason University, led the group in a number of activities to heighten their awareness of racism in their own individual lives.

Wisdom House

Saturday, August 20, 2016



Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

        ~  Leonardo Da Vinci

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Artist Residency

"As a public school art teacher, I feel it is crucial to work on my own artwork, yet I can't always find the time and energy during the school year. My artist residency at Wisdom House this summer provided me with the time and space needed to work on my art.  The comfortable room, exceptional food, refreshing pool, labyrinth, and friendly and attentive staff all added to my experience.  The peaceful environment and beautiful surroundings were conducive to my creative work.  This was my second time in residency at Wisdom House and, once again, I accomplished more than I ever imagined and had an amazing time!"

  ~  Lisa Blanchette

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nonviolence Explored at Wisdom House Event

Wisdom House and the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence co-sponsored an evening conversation about uprooting racism in Northwest CT.  This is a news item about the program.  

Wisdom House presents programs in spirituality, education, the arts, and contemporary issues.  More at