Bente Wolf, Franciscan Lay Sister
Bente Wolf was born in Denmark in 1952. She spent her childhood and youth in a normal Danish - not especially religious - family with mother, father and two sisters under those caring and secure conditions, which we are so privileged in having in our western world nowadays. Already in her childhood a spiritual longing found expression in periods with much inner contact with the angelic kingdom and sometimes tears of longing, which surprised the family when they participated in masses during Christmas and other church feasts. One of the existential questions as a child was, why there was so much suffering on earth, and she often wondered how she could help the poor children in Africa. Perhaps she could send them some of her favourite food with liver paté?
After an education as an English/German translator and secretary and then further training in economics, accounting and management a "worldly" career path working with law firms started. For some years this path meant demanding and well-paid positions as a translator and later as head of personnel and administration.
At the same time she married and had a son, now an adult. Some personal crises in these years with marriage and immediate family started a process of deeper surrender to God parallel with the outer activities. In this process she received training in different spiritual traditions. She qualified as a psychotherapist with a spiritual emphasis, and in 1995 she started to work as a psychotherapist. She continued her spiritual search, and joined courses at Findhorn in Scotland and other training in spiritual centers in Denmark. In 1996 a deeper surrender took place during training at The Golden Circle in Denmark.
In 1999 Bente Wolf went to Assisi on her first visit - a stay which resulted in radical changes in her path of life, which gradually led to a real, religious vocation. She had "come home" in a mission giving her the understanding that now God could use her to make a bigger difference than previously in her life. Between 1999 and 2001 her visits to Assisi grew longer and longer, and in 2001 she started to work as a volunteer for the Franciscan friar Father Max Mizzi in his ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue mission in Assisi. In the summer of 2003 she let go of the main part of her material belongings in Denmark and moved to Assisi, where today she lives in a small apartment in the centre of Assisi with a panoramic view over the beautiful valley at the foot of the mountain.
Meeting Assisi, St. Francis, St. Clare and Franciscan spirituality lead Bente Wolf into a deep search in "inner" Christianity and Christian mysticism. In 2002 she was received into the Catholic Church after one year of introduction with the Franciscan friars in Roskilde, Denmark, and under spiritual guidance by Father Mizzi. At the same time she was received as a Franciscan Lay Sister into an Order of Franciscan Friars and Sisters - Franciscan Sisters and Friars of the Atonement with its mother house in Graymoor near New York. The Order also has a convent in Assisi.
Bente Wolf and Father Max Mizzi continued their close co-operation over his ecumenical and inter-religious peace mission, and at the same time they performed various related activities until Father Mizzi's transition in March 2008. ASSISI MISSION continues its activities in Assisi and abroad, including the current co-operation with other Franciscan friars and sisters in Assisi, as described in this website.
Bente Wolf's article on her first 7 years in Assisi is published under "Articles". It is called "With God in Assisi". It may be opened by clicking here