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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Community Life

Prioress' reflections for the Feast of Benedict

Sister Anne Wambach’s reflections for the March 21 Feast of Benedict had an interesting twist. She touched on three contemporary artistic expressions of monastic life that, as she said, “may contribute, in their own way, to a greater awareness to...

Celebrate Benedict and "seed the future"

Benedictines around the world celebrate the Solemnity of Benedict on March 21. This day is the commemoration of the death of St. Benedict of Nurcia, the Father of Western Monasticism and author of the Rule that guides Benedictines to living in...

Golf Tournament plans being finalized

The planning committee for the Benedictine Sisters of Erie Charity Fundraiser Golf Tournament to be held Monday, June 17 at Lake Shore Country Club held a luncheon meeting at the monastery on March 19 to finalize...

Novice Kathleen McCarthy makes her First Monastic Profession

The first profession made by Novice Kathleen McCarthy at Vigil Prayer on March 15 coincided with the death anniversary of Benedicta Riepp, the young leader of the first Benedictine sisters in America who, with courage and fortitude, brought and...

May God have mercy . . .

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie are appalled at the latest act of violence hurled against innocent people who were defenseless as they prayed to their God.

“We offer support and compassion to our Muslim sisters and brothers, especially to...

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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