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.

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See our Guest Accommodations Page to schedule a visit.

Community Life

Project Pajamas, Unaccompanied Children at the Borders

Thanks to Susan Carpenter, participant in the Benedicta Riepp Program presently ministering in the Wellness Program at Mount St. Benedict Monastery, the members of the This &That...

SEPTEMBER 21: SAVE THE DATE

My Home – Our Planet – the Future? Commit to Make a Difference

Inspired by Campaign Nonviolence's call to plan nonviolent actions in hundreds of cities during the week of September 21-27 calling for an end to...

Erie Gives Day ─ A Great Day for Emmaus Ministries

Thank You to all donors who made The Erie Community Foundation Erie Gives day a great day to help Emmaus Ministries. Emmaus Ministries received a record breaking $21,495 in total donations....

Sister Pat Witulski makes First Monastic Profession

“I ask that I may continue to seek God in this Benedictine community through first monastic profession,” expressed Novice Patricia Witulski at Evening Praise on Saturday, August 9. Prioress, Sister Anne Wambach, accepted Sister Pat’s request and...

Today is ERIE GIVES Day: Support the Neighborhood Art House and Emmaus Ministries

TODAY, Tuesday, August 12, 2014 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST a percentage match of your donation will expand your contribution to support the Neighborhood Art House (NAH) programming for inner-city children or the outreach...

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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