Wisdom Ways Serves Spiritual Seekers

By Berggren, Kris | National Catholic Reporter, January 21, 2005 | Go to article overview

Wisdom Ways Serves Spiritual Seekers


Berggren, Kris, National Catholic Reporter


Pam Keul annually attends a half-dozen events offered by Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, a resource sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. One of Keul's favorites was the 1999 summer institute on Celtic spirituality. She described the extraordinary ritual at the chapel at the College of St. Catherine: "They used big puppets from Heart of the Beast Theatre [a Minneapolis arts organization and event partner]. They marched in with these puppets in the procession at the beginning of the service, including a bare-breasted Wisdom/Sophia and all these animals!"

If Keul, a lifelong Catholic and member of St. Olaf Parish in Minneapolis, found the experience a bit "startling," she also found it inspiring. "Feminine energy isn't banned in church? Natural animal energy isn't banned in church?" she said. "It was like, 'Wow!' Sometimes Catholicism has been wound so tightly and I think there is a little fear mixed in there. If we loosen the strap a bit, it can be more inclusive. There is more celebration and gratitude and joy and connections." Later that day, Keul, a publisher of Turtle River Press, listened raptly to John O'Donohue, author of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom. "I hung on every word," Keul said. "Every word."

Another Wisdom Ways regular, JoAnne Rohricht, agreed that many Wisdom Ways events are memorable and transformative. "Whenever they do an institute or major event they use the arts, including color, movement, light, as well as the spoken word," said Rohricht, who holds a master's degree in religious studies from United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minn., and is a member of First Christian Church in St. Paul. "I consider Wisdom Ways the finest source of theological and spiritual education in the area."

Since its inception in 1994, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul has served approximately 5,000 program participants each year. "Wisdom Ways was founded to explore the spiritual dimensions of contemporary life for women and for men," explained founding director Mary Kaye Medinger. "We are rooted in intellectual depth, opportunity for spiritual practice, action on behalf of justice, feminist methodology and inclusiveness of all spiritual seekers."

Now, as the center marks its 10th anniversary, a "re-founding" board has tweaked its purpose slightly; originally a collaboration between the College of St. Catherine and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, it is now solely sponsored by the sisters, for whom it has become an umbrella for their integrated spiritual ministries. "The purpose is expanding and this board helps us do that," Medinger said. "Our new mission statement includes the phrase 'to re-imagine and embody all that women can be as agents of transformation in church and society.'"

With three staff members and a modest budget of just over $213,000, funded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, program fees and an annual appeal, Wisdom Ways continues to offer rich one-time and ongoing events--seasonal prayer rituals, book discussions, an annual summer institute and a fall Soul Conference, and a yearly "Theological Insights" series and more--that local spiritual seekers have come to count on. A glance through the 2005 online program calendar reveals a wide-ranging spectrum of choices, including a midwinter labyrinth walk; discussion of the current film "What the (Bleep) Do We Know?"; evenings dedicated to sacred dance or silent meditation; a session on the spirituality of grandparenting; and a St. Brigid's Day celebration. Over the years many notable names in theology and spirituality have presented programs, including Parker Palmer, Jeannette Rodriguez, Diana Hayes, Sr. Joan Chittister, Edwina Gately and Sallie McFague.

While Wisdom Ways is not entirely unique as a spiritual resource center, it is "distinctive, especially in this part of the country," according to Mary Farrell Bednarowski, author of The Religious Imagination of American Women, professor emeritus at United Theological Seminary and a member of Wisdom Ways program advisory board. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wisdom Ways Serves Spiritual Seekers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.