Welcome to the website of the Daughters of Wisdom, United States Province. The United States Province was established in 1949.
The spirituality of the Daughters of Wisdom is that of seeking Wisdom in ordinary, everyday experience.
As Daughters of Wisdom, we see all reality— creation, humankind, the joys and struggles of life—as interconnected sacred reality. For more than 300 years, we have ministered to countless women, men, and children, desiring to share with all our heritage of Wisdom spirituality.
We follow in the spiritual footsteps of our co-founders, St. Louis Marie de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet. At the beginning of the 18th century in France, they were captivated by Divine Wisdom.
We are called in community to seek and to contemplate Divine Wisdom, present in a world that hungers for meaning, justice and compassion. We seek to bring the message of Jesus, Incarnate Wisdom, to people experiencing injustice, violence, poverty and oppression, especially women and children. Learn more about the Daughters of Wisdom today, Read More or Watch our video.
LIKE A GIFT FROM HEAVEN
February 2, The Feast of The Presentation also marks the day in 1703 when Marie Louise Trichet was given the habit by St. Louis Marie de Montfort and became the first Daughter of Wisdom.
Polio was a major health challenge especially for children in the 1920s. To meet the need, on January 20, 1924, the New York State Board of Charities granted a license for an orthopedic hospital and clinic at 277 Hicks St. in Brooklyn, NY. The Diocese of Brooklyn built the facility; the Daughters of Wisdom staffed it. The Brooklyn Clinic was a sorely needed reception house and quarantine station in the city. Patients requiring long term care were transferred to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY. Mother Theresa, the administrator of the Port Jefferson facility, sent four of the best nurses to the new foundation so that they might introduce the same method of care into the clinic that existed in Port Jefferson.
The chapel in the new hospital in Brooklyn offered an oasis for reflection in the midst of the bustling activity surrounding it. Particularly meaningful to the Sisters was a stained-glass window donated by Reliance Charities. It portrayed St. Louis Marie de Montfort, their founder, giving the habit to the first Daughter of Wisdom, Sr. Marie Louise of Jesus, on the day of her consecration, February 2, 1703; and thereby establishing the foundation of the congregation.
In the late 1940s, the Salk vaccine was discovered. It seemed like a miracle. Now the dreaded disease of polio could be prevented. After years of dedicated treatment of polio patients, on September 7, 1967, the Clinic in Brooklyn closed. Msgr. Asip, who resided at the hospital and worked closely with the Sisters, had the foresight to save the stained-glass windows from demolition. They were put in crates and stored in the garage of a pastor friend of his until 1992. At that time most of the windows were donated to a new church in rural Georgia. Msgr. Asip put aside the window depicting the founders. He called Sr. Rachel Bouchard a nurse he had known from the Brooklyn hospital, to ask if the Daughters of Wisdom would like to have it. She, in turn, contacted the Provincial Superior who was delighted.
It was during that time when The Daughters of Wisdom had received the good news of the upcoming beatification of their co-foundress. The opening ceremony to commemorate the significant event would now include the solemn blessing of the window of the founders. Pope John-Paul II beatified Marie Louise Trichet on May 16, 1993. The stained-glass window was installed in the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help convent Sound Beach, where it remains to this day. To all those who had ministries at Hicks Street and St. Charles Hospital, it seemed like a gift from heaven.
The first Daughters of Wisdom arrived in the United States in northern Maine in 1904. Three hundred sixteen years later Daughters of Wisdom can be found in mission in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The congregation numbers over 1,500 members including Associates or Friends of Wisdom.
Thanks to Sisters Barbara O’Dea and Alice Benedict for collaborating on this Reflection.
PAST WISDOM REFLECTIONS
Weddings - A Time to Celebrate Sr. Barbara O'Dea
Sr. Evelyn Lamoureux, DW and Sr. Catherine Sheehan, DW
God Shall Be Peace, 4th Sunday of Advent, Sr. Grace Malonzo, DW
Jesus Living in Mary, 3rd Sunday of Advent, Sr. Jeannine Boutin, DW
O Come Thou Wisdom From On High, 2nd Sunday of Advent,
Valerie Day, AW
Come And Set Us Free 1st Sunday of Advent, Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
Autumn Splendor Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
Summertime Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
I am With You Always Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
St. Louis Marie de Montfort Feast Day, April 28 Sr. Ann Nielsen, DW
We've Only Just Begun Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
Easter Reflection Sr. Ann Gray, DW
Easter -What a Wonderful Time of Year Sr. Evelyn Lamoureux, DW
God Calls Us by Name Sr. Rosemarie Greco, DW
Ready For The Journey Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
'Tis the New Year' Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
Become All God Created You To Be Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
A Healing Vision for Our World Sr. Mary Stuart, DW
Wisdom Dwells With Experience Sr. Lucy Clynes, DW
Surprised by the Spirit Sr. Barbara O'Dea, DW
Before I Built A Wall Sr. Marie Chiodo, DW
SR. JOAN KLEMBALLA, DW, Ph.D., RN, FNP-PC, 81
SR. JOAN OF THE ROSARY
6/20/37 - 2/9/19
62 YEARS PROFESSED
Wisdom’s Radiance Never Sleeps
Modified from a tribute written by Sr. Emma Rohn, DW in recognition of Sr. Joan Klemballa’s 60th Jubilee, August 2017.
Sr. Joan Klemballa, from the beginning, was formed by Wisdom to set her light on a lampstand to give light to all in the house. (Mt. 5:15) Joan entered the Daughters of Wisdom from the parish of St. Gregory the Great in Bellerose, NY shortly after her graduation from Our Lady of Wisdom Academy, Ozone Park, NY. Professed on August 2, 1957… she received her religious name, Sr. Joan of the Rosary. Her life … has truly reflected the Rosary’s luminous mysteries. When Joan identified herself, she said emphatically, “I am a nurse!” With good reason. Well-prepared for the splendid ministry, Joan earned her R.N. at Maryview Hospital School of Nursing in Portsmouth, VA. in 1961. She began her nursing assignments in Brooklyn, NY at St. Charles Orthopedic Hospital followed by five years as supervisor in the operating room at Holy Family Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, all while earning her BS in Nursing from St. John’s University…. Then in 1968, she returned to St. Charles as Head Nurse and Assistant Director of Nursing Services.
SR. EILEEN CATTERSON, DW, MD, 83
63 YEARS PROFESSED
We are saddened to report the passing of Sr. Eileen Catherine Catterson, DW, MD, 83, (Sr. Eileen of Our Lady). Sister passed peacefully into eternal life on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Sister would have been 64 years professed in February.
Sister Eileen began her ministry in the health care in 1955 as a student in Maryview Hospital School of Nursing in Portsmouth, Virginia and left as a clinical instructor in 1962 before going off to mission as an instructor at St. Joseph Hospital in Malawi, Africa. There she also served as a head nurse and headmistress of nursing. In 1967 she returned to the United States to pursue studies in the medical field, and later to do a residency in pediatrics at Akron Children’s Hospital, Ohio. She then went to West Virginia through the National Health Service Corps. She became a Doctor of Medicine in 1974, earning her degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed her Pediatric Residency at the Children’s Hospital of Akron, Ohio. In 1977 she was licensed to practice in West Virginia, and in 1979 she became a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.
Love Without Borders!/ Aimez Sans Frontieres!/Amate Senza Frontiere/ Amen Sin Fronteras!
8/23/18- Congratulations to the members of the thirty-second General Council of the Daughters of Wisdom. Pictured from the left: Sr. Antonella Prestia, General Councilor (Italy), Sr. Isabelle Retailleau, General Councilor (France), Sr. Rani Kurian, General Superior (India), Sr. Pierrette Bwamba, General Councilor (RD Congo), and Sr. Marie-Reine Gauthier General Councilor (Canada). The new leadership team will serve for the next six years and is mandated to live out the theme, “Love without borders.”
Since 2014 over $550,000 has been awarded through Daughters of Wisdom Mission Grants. Organizations that address injustice, violence, poverty, and oppression, especially among women and children, are candidates for annual grants of up to $15,000 for two consecutive years of funding. Grants are awarded in the Fall.
2018 Misson Grants Awarded
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Mission Grants: St. Mary Gate of Heaven Academy, Ozone Park, NY, The Book Fairies, Freeport, NY, L’Arche Long Island, NY, Virginia Alternative to the Death Penalty, Richmond, VA, Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, Chicago, IL, The Opening Word Program, Wyandanch, NY, Mary and Elizabeth Center, Oceanside, NY and The Center for Wisdom’s Women, Lewiston, ME.
ASSOCIATES OF WISDOM
A community within the community of the Wisdom family, Associates of Wisdom share in the spirituality, mission, and history of the congregation.
To learn more about the Associates of Wisdom follow the links below:
Wisdom's Voice- Spring 2018
New Leadership Team Elected
(L-R) Audrey Schroeder, AW, Sue O'Brien, AW, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, DW,
Sr. Pat Schmidt, DW and Maria Roja, AW.
New leadership team members, Sue O’Brien and Maria Roja, elected in October 2018 at the Associates of Wisdom Day of Prayer and Discernment, formally began their roles as co-directors of the thirty-member group on January 1st. Associate Audrey Schroeder will serve as a council member and Sr. Pat Schmidt, DW will continue in her role as liason.
SOME OF OUR MINISTRIES
See the ways God makes Her presence known in the ordinary experiences of life. Join our Wisdom Spirituality Circle and receive weekly relections. Fire In Our Hearts is for Catholics and persons of all spiritual traditions.
Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires, in the historic town of Litchfield, CT, Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center spans 70 acres of meadows, woods and brooks. Offering year round programs, this interfaith center welcomes those who value seeking and learning in a contemplative environment. The complex includes indoor and outdoor sanctuary areas, and a labyrinth to encourage meditation, prayer and creative thinking.
August 23, 2018
SR. CLAIRE SULLIVAN, DW, 84
MARY CECILIA SULLIVAN
SR. CLAIRE OF THE IMMACULATE
9/21/34 – 1/11/19
65 YEARS PROFESSED
We are saddened to report the passing of Sr. Claire Sullivan, DW, (Mary Cecilia Sullivan, Sr. Claire of the Immaculate) on January 11, 2019. Sr. Claire was 84 years old and would have been 65 years professed in February.
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