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.

SCHEDULE A VISIT

See our Guest Accommodations Page to schedule a visit.

Community Life

Therapy Dogs United: Paws in the Park Event

Sisters Carol Ann McLaughlin and Rita Groner and their dog, Rusty, are faithful members of Therapy Dogs United. “We love taking Rusty to nursing homes, and hospitals to give comfort...

Annual Benedictine-Benetwood Dinner

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie had the pleasure of welcoming their neighbors from Benetwood Apartments for what has become an annual event: Evening Prayer and a special dinner ─ a simple celebration of friendship, faith, food and fun.

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Emmaus 40th Anniversary: Newest Winner

A gift certificate to Dominick’s 24-Hour Eatery was awarded to Soup Kitchen guest Sheila S, one of the lucky winners of the September Emmaus 40th anniversary drawing. Erie...

Autumn at the Art House

Fall classes are off and running at the Inner City Neighborhood Art House(NAH). Children are reading about fall festivals, carving very specially designed pumpkins and making designer scarecrows! Click on the photo and see it for yourself.

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St. Joseph Parish, Oil City, Honors the Benedictine Sisters

Fifteen sisters recently attended a special event in Oil City. A mass and reception honoring the Benedictine Sisters for their service to the parish through the years was celebrated as part of the 150th Anniversary year of St. Joseph Parish, Oil...

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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