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

Driveway completed; Medal Embedded

A circular drive was added to connect the Emmaus Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry driveways and parking lots.

Before the concrete dried, Sisters Mary Miller led the Emmaus staff in a small blessing of the property, the guests, and all who are...

Fresh Food for Everyone

Even thinking about biting into a fresh, sweet snap-pea or having a salad made with just-picked lettuce can make a mouth water. And thanks to a few dedicated gardeners, Emmaus Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry guests are enjoying quite a bit of mouth-...

Celebrating the Summer Feast of Benedict

In the Benedictine Calendar of Saints, Benedict of Nursia is celebrated as the founder of Western Monasticism on July 11. He provided a Rule which establishes a way of life rooted in the Gospel and grounded in the scriptural principles of charity...

Discover Your Inner Artist: New Dates!

Produce your very own whimsical acrylic painting on canvas under the direction of artist and Neighborhood Art House teacher, Mary Kay Geary. Classes are for adults and will not exceed 10 participants, so register early. Choose from four dates,...

July 4: Independence Day

July 4 gives Americans reason to celebrate. Gratitude for the gift of freedom will be marked with cookouts and family time, parades and parties. In the midst of this day on which we give thanks for our many blessings let us take time to reflect...

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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