Becoming an Oblate

I’ve spent the last year in formation to become a Benedictine oblate, at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin. An oblate is someone who promises to follow a monastic rule in their life in the world, while staying in relationship with a particular monastery. Oblates don’t follow a rule – in this case the Rule […]

Tiny Houses and Hermits

When I’m stressed, I like to read books about hermits: Thomas Merton, W. Paul Jones, Karen Karper, Sara Maitland… I’m becoming my mother, a notorious introvert, who likes nothing better than holing herself up at home and speaking to no one all day long. I used to think she was a bit silly and even […]

My Favorite Monastery

I’ve been visiting monasteries since I was in college. This is my favorite – Holy Wisdom, in Madison, Wisconsin. The land is sort of magical — one of those places where “the veil is thin.” The rooms and buildings have a spare and open aesthetic. The sisters are brainy, sing their prayers in inclusive language three […]

Monastic adventures

I love monasteries. I’ve been visiting them since my college days. I spent a half day at St. Procopius in Lisle today, with three dear friends. The building is all smooth lines – brick, glass, and concrete. I love modern architecture in a monastery: feels like there’s less of the past, dragging the community backward. Spiritually, […]