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Welcome to the website of the Daughters of Wisdom of the United States Province. We hope that you enjoy reading these pages and that you get a sense of who we are.


Mission Statement

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.

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Learn more about the Daughters of Wisdom today,

Watch our video.



fire in our hearts

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. Wisdom House

wisdom house

Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshires, in the historic town of Litchfield, CT, Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center spans 54 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.
Click here to take a tour of Wisdom House from the air.



Grant Money Helps to Support Housing Project

for Women of Lewiston, Maine


Envisioned and started in 1999 by Daughters of Wisdom, Sisters Irene Arsenault, Mona Guerrette, and Maureen Hurley, “Wisdom’s Center” in Lewiston, Maine, was begun after the Sisters discerned a need for a drop-in center for women in Lewiston. Being one of the poorest census districts in the state and in the country, forty percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line.  “Wisdom’s Center” was set up to offer all women, and especially those who fell between the cracks of the social service system, a place where they could find direction for their lives, kindness, compassion, dignity, and respect. The Sisters ran the Center until 2008.


After a short period of being closed, in 2009 with new Executive Director, Klara Tammany, Wisdom’s Center was reopened and renamed The Center for Wisdom’s Women. In a commitment to maintaining a connection to the Daughters of Wisdom and their charism, Klara Tammany became an Associate of Wisdom in 2014. Currently, the Center is governed by an 11 member Board of Advisors and staffed by an average of 20 volunteers each month. The Center logs in about a 2500 visits a year and has registered over 1200 individual guests since re-opening.


Today women young and old can participate in support groups and conversation, educational and skill building programs, activities and crafts in a stress-free environment and atmosphere that resembles the comforts of home - where there is always a welcoming face and where the tea is always brewing and the coffee is always on.  Much progress has been made over the years with expanding services and programs through grants and fundraising.


One such endeavor has been the planning of a long-term, trauma informed housing project for women in crisis, called Sophia’s House. Found to be structurally sound, an old closed convent in downtown Lewiston built in 1913 to house the Sisters of Notre Dame, and then later other orders, will become the residence for this exciting new venture. Money from the 2015 Daughters of Wisdom Mission Grant has enabled the Center to move forward with this project. Sophia’s House will be an interfaith community house, offering a two-year residency to include wrap-around services for survivors of prostitution, addiction, prison and abuse. Partnerships with local agencies will provide support services for trauma and addiction recovery, GED work and job training. This project will adapt the model of Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN by including a core, permanent resident community which will be income producing and cover  the expenses of operating the  house. The complex which has three floors will include communal space, one small apartment and a hostel for

volunteers on the first floor. On the second floor there will be four permanent apartments and a common space. The third floor will have six apartments that will provide free, two-year housing for women in recovery.


The program will include a job skills and income earning component utilizing space in the basement to be  devoted to a "social enterprise," a small business that the women could create and work in, an idea also borrowed from the Thistle Farms model. The initial plan is to make and sell salted herbs and a calendula salve and oil.  Additional funding for the complete renovation is estimated at $1 million. The hope is that Sophia’s House can open in 2019 which will be 20 years after the Daughters of Wisdom opened the original Center and the 10th anniversary of The Center for Wisdom’s Women.

Executive Director, Klara Tammany wrote to the Grant Committee recently and said, “This ministry started by you, has been a blessing to so many women.  Your foresight in creating it, your dedication to building it, and your commitment to us as we took over the work is simply amazing.  You laid a firm foundation and helped to maintain it.  That we are now even considering expanding to include a residential component, is witness to the investment you have made over time.


What if you had never opened this Center?  What if we had not kept it going? There would have been no loving, compassionate place for women… to process and heal the hurts, no place for them to receive understanding hugs and prayer.”


The Daughters of Wisdom Mission Grant was established In October 2012. Since then, grants have been awarded to a variety of compatible groups and organizations that provide community services that keep alive and continue the rich legacy of the Daughters' 300 years of mission in the United States and abroad. Grants up to $15,000 for two consecutive years of funding are awarded to ministries that are consistent with the objectives of addressing injustice, violence, poverty and oppression, especially among women and children. To be eligible, applicants must be working in ministry with a Sister or have the endorsement of a Daughter of Wisdom.


To find out more or to support the Center for Wisdom’s Women visit


Read more about last year's Mission Fund Grant recipients

Daughters of Wisdom Award $99,238 in Mission Grants


During the Extraordinary Jubilee Year Of Mercy, Pope Francis calls all Catholics to be profound witnesses to mercy and to "find the joy rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time."


Pope Francis composed a special prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Through it he asks the Lord to make this a year of grace so that the Church, “with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.”

Click on the link below to download the prayer.

Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy


Find us at

Daughters of Wisdom, USA Province





A community within the community of the Wisdom family, Associates of Wisdom share in the spirituality, mission, and history of the congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom.


To learn more about the Associates of Wisdom follow the links below:


Who are we?


Wisdom's Voice- Spring 2016


Associates of Wisdom in the News


Associates Annual Retreat



The Daughters of Wisdom, USA Province and the Montfort Missionaries celebrated the legacies of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise of Jesus to commemorate the 300th anniversaries of the death of Montfort and the establishment of the Primitive Rule of Life for the Daughters of Wisdom in a two day event this past April 27-28, 2016.

The memorial events began with a Taizé Evening Service at Montfort Spiritual Center in Bay Shore, NY and concluded the next day with a full program that highlighted the life of Montfort and the missions of the Montfort fathers and the life of Blessed Marie Louise of Jesus and the ministries of the Daughters of Wisdom.

Watch our video to view highlights of the memorial events.

Dr. Elizabeth Ursic Visits
with Daughters of Wisdom



The Daughters of Wisdom were delighted to reunite with and host Dr. Elizabeth Ursic recently for a discussion on her book “Women, Ritual, and Power- Placing Female Imagery of God in Christian Worship,” published by SUNY Press in 2014. The Daughters of Wisdom occupy the second chapter in the book, "The Resource of Personal Prayer Experience: Daughters of Wisdom Catholic Sisters," and first came to know Dr. Ursic during the days when she was working on her dissertation- which later resulted in the publication of this book in which the Daughters share their personal experiences in the seeking of Wisdom Sophia. Many of the Sisters who were interviewed for this chapter were present for the follow-up discussion held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent in Sound Beach, NY.

Dr. Ursic is an adjunct professor in the Women's Spirituality program at California Institute of Integral Studies, and a professor of Religious Studies and Women and Gender Studies at Mesa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Arizona State University, and a Masters of Divinity from Yale University where she was a Fellow at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. She is chair of the Women and Gender Studies Committee at Mesa Community College, and co-chair of the American Academy of Religion Women's Caucus. She also serves as the Higher Education representative on the board of the Arizona Interfaith Movement and is a spiritual director at the Franciscan Renewal Center, a retreat center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Sr. Catherine Marie Bearse, DW
1/2/24 - 6/24/16

Born into eternal life on June 24, 2016 in her 92nd year, Sr. Catherine Marie Bearse, DW (Sr. Catherine Marie of the Sacred Heart) will be greatly missed by her Sisters the Daughters of Wisdom, US Province. Sr. Catherine Marie was predeceased by her parents Prince and Mary Bearse.


Born Gertrude Mary Bearse on January 2, 1924, in Brooklyn, NY, Sr. Catherine Marie of the Sacred Heart was a parishioner from Holy Child Jesus in Richmond Hill, NY and graduated in 1941 from Our Lady of Wisdom Academy, Ozone Park. She entered the novitiate in 1959, made her first profession in 1960 and final vows in 1965. She began her educational studies at Drake’s Business School in Jamaica, NY earning a certificate in secretarial studies in 1942 and then went on to earn a BA in Education from St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY in 1965. In 1970 at 46 she earned her MA in secretarial studies and certificate as a high school business teacher from Hunter College, and then went on to Prince George Community College in Maryland where she earned an associates’ degree in nursing and RN certificate in 1978 at age 50.


Sr. Catherine Marie spent most of her career as a teacher holding positions in New York State at Christ the King High School in Middle Village; Maryhaven Center of Hope, Yaphank; Roslyn High School, and St. Joseph’s Parish. She also taught in South Carolina at Denmark Technical College and Saluda High School. After earning her nursing degree and registration, she worked at Providence Hospital in Washington DC. Early in her career, before teaching, she was an executive secretary at W. R. Grace in New York City, NY, and in Silver Spring, Maryland. At age 72 she went overseas, for the second time, for a year (1996-97) to serve as a secretary at the Daughters of Wisdom Provincial House in Lunzu, Malawi. Her first trip abroad was in 1980, where she worked at a Cambodian Refugee Camp in Thailand. Upon return from Malawi, at the end of her career at age 73, she became the coordinator of the Marie Louise Convent in Terryville, CT for 5 years.


In her retirement years Sr. Catherine volunteered as a teacher of English as a second language in New York and Connecticut, and was an aide in the Development Office of Daughters of Wisdom, US Province.


Read Provincial, Sr. Catherine Sheehan's reflection here.

Emily Singleton, this year’s recipient of the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet Scholarship Award is congratulated by  (L) Daughters of Wisdom, Provincial, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, Islip Hamlet Historical Society President, Madeline Hanewinckel and Corresponding Secretary, Matthew Clareen.

Local Student Receives Scholarship Award on Provincial House Essay

Congratulations to Islip High School’s Emily Singleton who is this year’s recipient of the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet Scholarship Award. It’s the second award from the Historical Society for the Singleton family as Emily’s brother Matthew won the award in 2013 for his essay on the historic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Islip. Emily earned this year’s award on her essay “The Most Heavenly Home on South Ocean Avenue,“ which is about the history of the ownership of what is now the Daughters of Wisdom’s US Provincial Office and Convent. She will be attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT this fall and plans on studying secondary education with a specialization in history.  No stranger to the Provincial Office, Emily’s first exposure to the Daughters of Wisdom was through her mother, Lori, who works in the Provincial Business Office and for whom she has volunteered many hours doing clerical work.

Read Emily’s essay by clicking here: The Most Heavenly Home on South Ocean Avenue


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August 6th & 7th
10 am- 3 pm