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

NAH Students take a Spring Field Trip to Glinodo

Thirty-one very excited children, all students at the Neighborhood Art House (NAH), boarded a bus to Glinodo Center in Harborcreek Wednesday afternoon. Three were participants in Lourdes Jasso's digital photography class; twenty-eight were...

Gathering of Benedictine Sisters 55 & Under
Sisters Katherine Horan, Cindy Hoover,  Lynn McKenzie (President of the Federation of St. Scholastica)
Sisters Cindy Hoover and Katherine Horan

Erie Benedictine Sisters Katherine Horan and Cindy Hoover were among a group of Benedictine Sisters, age 55 and under, who recently gathered for a weekend of input and relationship-building at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, IN....

SBEC’s Mending Place helps make Gannon University Fashion Show a Success

SBEC’s Mending Place contributes to the success of “A Style for Every Story” Fashion Show at Gannon University

What do you get when you put two seniors from Gannon University and two seamstresses from Saint Benedict’s Education Center (...

Postulant Val reflects on Community Weekend with Sister Miriam Therese Winter

Postulant Valerie Luckey experienced her first spring community weekend and Sister Miriam Therese Winter all at the same time. She reflects on what she heard and wonders if she is ready to take the quantum leap. Read all about it in her blog...

Miriam Therese Winter and Energy: The Pulse of Life, the Power of the Spirit

“You have invited us to let go of our uncertainties and be open to the new reality of a chaotic world,” said Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Monastic Formation Director, as she thanked Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter at the conclusion of...


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