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

Joan Chittister Live Webinar: Women and Moral Leadership

“People get the leaders they deserve” is an old adage. But is it true? Join Joan Chittister for “Women and Moral Leadership,” a live-streamed webinar, as she articulates why church and society are locked in a leadership crisis in an era when we...

The Wisdom of Our Elders, an interfaith special featuring Sister Joan Chittister, to be broadcast Sept. 18, 2016 on CBS

The CBS Religion & Culture show, The Wisdom of Our Elders, that features Sister Joan Chittister will begin airing on CBS affiliate stations. This Sunday, September 18, WSEE Erie will broadcast the program at 8:00 AM. It will...

Share a Flower benefits Emmaus Ministries thanks to Larese Floral Design

Why has Carl Larese, owner of Larese Floral Design, hosted a benefit for Emmaus Soup Kitchen for 14 consecutive years? Why is he still enthused about Good Neighbor Day where he gives a...

Meet Darlene Reid: SBEC participant

Darlene Reid’s story in the past few years is one of great personal loss. She resigned from her work in health care to look after her mother who eventually passed away. Shortly after that, her stepmother died as well. Both women were an important...

S.O.N.S. offer fish fry at Emmaus

The S.O.N.S. (Save Our Native Species) of Lake Erie signed up two new members to its organization while hosting its annual fish fry at Emmaus Soup Kitchen. Both Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, and Rita Scrimenti, Emmaus social...

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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