Christmas, 2019

Christmas, 2019

I am a lover of music; when Christmas rolls around I am in music heaven. Christmas carols, Christmas concerts, the Monastery Schola singing, the Sisters’ Handbell Choir ringing—all of it moves me. Christmas music seems to have the special ability to unite singers and listeners, believers and non-believers. It can lift hearts that are broken and give comfort to the suffering. There is simply something magical about Christmas music. It has the potential to energize, inspire, heal and give joy. In so doing it changes people and changes the world.

As we sing or listen to the familiar carols that enliven our memories and renew us, may we truly receive the joy given to the world through newness and birth; may we be grateful for a silent night giving way to a peace and calm that could be given no other way. Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, has come to encourage us to work together as musicians do to create something beautiful for a world in need. “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” (Pablo Casals). May the music of Christmas speak to us the message we need to hear—a message for us to carry forward in order to bring tidings of comfort and joy to all with whom we come in contact.

In the name of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, I pray that the beautiful songs of Christmas will lift your spirit and warm your soul in this most holy and blessed season and in the New Year to come.

Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress,
and the Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, the twenty-first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania is a native of Philadelphia. She moved to Mount St. Benedict Monastery in 1992 to respond to a desire to experience the monastic way of life. Previously a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Sister Anne began the formal transfer process to the Erie Benedictines in 1993 and made her monastic profession in 1997.

Sister Anne has served the people of the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at St. Gregory's School in North East, Pa., from 1992-1995, and at the Neighborhood Art House in Erie, beginning as program director in 1995 and as executive director since 2005. She served on the Monastic Council from 2006-2010.