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

America Magazine Interviews Sister Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister: Essential Writings, selected by Mary Lou Kownacki and Mary Hembrow Snyder, was published by Orbis Books in August, 2014, as part of its prestigious Modern Spiritual Masters Series. After its release, Sean Salai, SJ...

Anniversary of 9-11 ─ A Prayer for Peace and Nonviolence

As we remember the heartbreaking events of 9/11, a tragedy that changed the world forever, we humbly turn to God, in whom we place our hope and trust, and renew our prayer for peace and nonviolence.

May my mind think no harm.
May...

Emmaus Ministries: The Companion

The September 2014 issue of the newsletter of Emmaus Ministries, is hot off the press and available online for your viewing pleasure. This issue features the art work of Brother Mickey McGrath.

Sister Mary explains, "When I heard that...

TBTS Vigil: September 11

Violence has again touched our city, our neighborhood, our hearts.
We need to reclaim the place where violence has occurred.We need to pray for all people who are victims of violence. We need to believe that a nonviolent way of...

Monthly Vigil: Justice for Immigrants

Consider joining us for this month's JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS VIGIL sponsored by Benedictines for Peace. It is being held FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, at 2nd and State Streets...

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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