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


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 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.


See our Guest Accommodations Page to schedule a visit.

Community Life

The "Art" of Pumpkin Carving

"It's Gushy!" This apt description was given to the pumpkin flesh being removed prior to carving by one of the youngsters as she reached into the large soon-to-be transformed pumpkin. For some, carving pumpkin faces and designs was a brand new...


Holding tiger masks and wearing their PNC Grow Up Great T-shirts, 20 children from St. Benedict Child Development Center joined with hundreds of preschoolers across the nation in the attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest...

Submit the Names of Your Loved Ones to the Community of Life Program

For the past several weeks we have been receiving the names of loved ones people would like remembered throughout the month of November, the month of All Saints and All Souls. There is still time to submit the names of your loved ones to our...

PNC Grow Up Great World Records Attempt ─ Largest Vocabulary Lesson

PNC is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its signature program, PNC Grow Up Great ®. Over the last ten years, the initiative has helped prepare more than 2 million children for success in school and life, and PNC employees have volunteered more...

Oblate Commitment: Come, Live in the Light

“Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of our God!” These words of the David Haas song, “We Are Called,” began the Oblate Commitment Ceremony that was celebrated at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery on Saturday, October 25, in the...


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