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Wisdomworks celebrates Monday

by MAUREEN DOLAN
Staff Writer | December 4, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - They felt a need - that people were yearning, longing for more meaning in their lives - and they responded to it.

It has been 10 years since Sisters Roberta Lamanna and Rosemary Thielman started Wisdomworks, a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization that provides workshops and retreats designed to help people deepen the meaning and value they find in everyday life.

"It's been wonderful," Sister Roberta said. "I feel like we've sparked the vitality that exists in people and allowed them to get in touch with that energy and be able then to call on it, whether it's as a woman, a businessperson, a retired person. It's just really exciting to see people really tap into their inner being."

The sisters will celebrate Wisdomworks' anniversary during a fundraiser Monday at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 625 E. Haycraft Ave., Coeur d'Alene.

Tickets for "Celebrating Christmas at the Club" are $25 and can be purchased by calling 667-7562, or at the door.

There will be hors d'oeuvres and spirits, entertainment by the Holley Jolly singers and Nun Better, a live and silent auction, and raffle items.

The sisters run Wisdomworks out of a house in Coeur d'Alene. The nonprofit is sponsored by the order they belong to, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Wisdomworks serves groups in Kootenai County and throughout the Northwest.

One of the sisters' focuses is working with those living in what they call "the wisdom years."

There are many resources that address the medical, legal and financial challenges of growing older, said Sister Rosemary, but few that address the inner spirit.

"How do I grow to be the kind of elder I want to be in the midst of all thechallenges?" she said.

They lead groups through activities that nurture self-awareness and acceptance.

"We help them examine their own attitudes about aging, and sometimes they discover their own issues with ageism," said Sister Rosemary.

It's also a way for the seasoned adults to build self-confidence, combat isolation, and have some fun.

"For senior adults, even in a church group or a club, what do you do? You go on trips, you play bingo, there is nothing about this special, special, vital time of life that is still offering them so many things and calling on their gifts," Sister Roberta said.

Those elders who attend the nuns' workshops often tell them how their lives have been affected.

"A lot of them say they had quit, 'I thought I was just supposed to coast,'" said Sister Roberta. "When they leave the workshops they tell us they feel nourished, or 'My cup is now full.'"

Wisdomworks offers similar programs for women and businesses.

The programs are often sponsored by churches, schools or other organizations.

There is no Catholic focus, unless it's a Catholic group they are working with, said Sister Rosemary. Their programs are non-denominational and focus on inner strength.

"There is a hunger for that at every stage of life," Sister Rosemary said.

Information: 667-7562, rosemary@wisdomworksonline.com, www.wisdomworksonline.com.

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