Fr. William Wilson was born in the Philadelphia in 1937. Both parents were alcoholic. His father was absent. “Buddy”- his childhood nickname- grew up in squalid poverty on the mean streets of Kensington in Philadelphia. After two years of planning suicide, at nineteen, his hunger for God led him to enter a Trappist Cistercian Abbey in Iowa. After a quarter century as a monk— including seven years living in nearly total solitude as a hermit, Fr, William became a spiritual father and teacher. At the beginning of his conversion, B J Weber came to Fr William’s hermitage and asked him to be his teacher in his new-found faith. That was the beginning of a life-long friendship in Christ.
After serving as spiritual director and chaplain to contemplative Trappistine Nuns, Fr William was made Formation Director at New Melleray Abbey where he formed new-comers in the monastic spiritual life. Next he was called to live as a monk among the destitute poor in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. God brought B J Weber and his friends on board to establish a medical clinic for the sick and injured destitute Quechua natives. Then followed the founding of an orphanage and a retreat house. To support this work, William founded the AMISTAD MISSION in the U.S. (See Amistad Mission.com)
Against all expectations, in 1989, at 52 years of age, Fr. William felt free in the Lord to consider marriage as a holy way of life. After a year of painful discernment, against all the traditions of men, he dared to marry Dr Susan Winchester. During 34 years of seeking union with God and transformation in Christ in the married life, he has broadened and deepened his understanding of the spirituality of married love. God favored them with two children. The experience of being a parent greatly expanded his vision of the process of sanctification and transformation by the Spirit.
During all these years Fr. William has continued as a spiritual teacher to many, clergy and lay. His spirituality incorporates the best traditions of monastic history and breaks new ground by finding the ordinary experience of Christian life in the world a perfect way to consummate union with God and transformation in Jesus.
Fr. William presides over the Southern Fellowship, DBA, The Spiritual Life Ministry Foundation, a non-denominational Christian ministry that, engages people of all denominations in the ministry of friendship. Its goal is to initiate or to strengthen the personal relationship of the Christian with Jesus Christ.