About the Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Corporate Commitment

A corporate commitment is a vision or goal that we agree to promote as a community and as individuals no matter where we are or in how many diverse ministries we might be engaged. The corporate commitment of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie is:

As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability and justice, especially for women and children.

Charism Statement

A charism is a particular way in which people respond to God's call. A community’s charism embodies the way the members carry out their mission and ministries. The Benedictine charism is:

The Benedictine way is to seek God in the communal life and to respond in prayer and ministry.

Common Life

Community

Life as a Benedictine Sister of Erie is centered in community, following the Rule of St. Benedict under the guidance of the Prioress. We are vowed in the Catholic tradition promising with perpetual vows: stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life and obedience. A commitment to the common good and respect for each other support us in our search for God and nurture the bonds of community.

Prayer and Liturgy

As Benedictine women, prayer is central to our monastic life. The community gathers three times a day for the Liturgy of the Hours, the basis of our communal prayer. The festive marking of Sunday, along with the great feasts and seasons of the liturgical year, includes the celebration of Eucharist as well. Daily lectio divina, occasional reconciliation services, and various annual events complete the community’s liturgical life.

Ongoing Formation

How does one keep fresh and alive the energy and joy of responding to one’s call to monastic life? The community’s commitment to continuing education – to our On-going Formation Program – is one way. This program is implemented through a series of regularly scheduled community meetings. The meetings focus on areas that will aid in our growth and development as human persons and monastic women in church and society.

Ministry

Ministry is an integral part of monastic life. Inspired by the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict we respond to the needs of God’s people. We steward the gifts, talents and skills that have been given to us and extend them through service. Community and non-community ministries alike provide the opportunity for meaningful work that is consistent with our monastic commitment to glorify God in all things.

SCHEDULE A VISIT

See our Guest Accommodations Page to schedule a visit.

Community Life

TBTS: An effort to restore peace

The first homicide victim of 2017 was remembered at a TAKE BACK THE SITE VIGIL held on February 23. Marcell Jakeem Flemings was senselessly gunned down on January 15 at 6th and Parade Streets. The vigil, organized by the Benedictine Sisters, the...

Blessed by a Riepper named Jessica Varquez

“For the past 6 months the community has been blessed yet again by a ‘Riepper’ in our midst,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. The community recently celebrated Jessica Chan Varquez, a 24-year-old oblate from Merida, Mexico, who completed her...

Build Bridges, Not Walls--Justice for Immigrants

The Justice for Immigrants Vigil organized by Benedictines for Peace was held today. A group of about 60 people joined together and called for the building of bridges, not walls....

Emmaus, Sixth graders and Cookies

Instead of going to the movies together or going to the roller rink, on a recent day when school was dismissed early, thirteen sixth grade girls from Our Lady’s Christian School gathered to bake cookies for the guests of Emmaus Soup Kitchen....

Build Bridges, Not Walls

A number of national groups (LCWR, USCCB, Network, etc.) and advocates for social justice are calling for immigration vigils this week during congressional recesses. The theme of Build Bridges Not Walls echoes the entreaty of Pope...

Pages

Community History

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie trace their beginnings to the Benedictine nuns at St. Walburg Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany, founded in 1035. Sisters from there first came to St. Marys, PA in 1852 to educate the children of the newly arrived German immigrants.

On June 21, 1856 Mother Benedicta Riepp and five sisters from St. Marys arrived in Erie at the request of the Erie bishop. Sister Scholastic Burkhard was appointed first superior by Mother Benedicta thus establishing the first community of women religious in the Erie area.

In 1859 three sisters from Erie were sent to Covington, KY to begin a community and in 1861 three more traveled to Chicago to establish another community. Both communities continue today. Read more