Feast of Scholastica and 2015 Prophet of Peace Award

Feast of Scholastica and 2015 Prophet of Peace Award

Today is the feast of Scholastica, sister of Benedict. Benedictines seek God with a single-hearted faith according to the vision of Benedict and Scholastica. We witness to the scriptures and strive to be women of compassion who take responsibility for local and global change to bring about justice and peace in our world. Because of this we choose this feast for our annual Prophet of Peace Award, an opportunity to acknowledge others who take responsibility for change that brings about justice and peace.

The reading from the prophet Micah has put before us words that are easy but truth that is profound. From Micah we hear clearly what it is that is required of each and every one of us: act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with God.

This scripture has become a central text in faith communities throughout the world. It is a rallying cry for justice and advocacy that supports the vision of Benedict and Scholastica. It is a text that challenges each and every one of us with the question: How do you see yourself as a prophet? How do you act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God?

Perhaps the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie have never considered this identity in their commitment to “Save Our Native Species” but their very example and their efforts, as we will hear in the award presentation, stand before us as an example of what prophets do: call attention to central and pressing issues of their day.

This evening, we are blessed to honor the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie, an organization of more than 3000 members that has taken the prophet Micah’s message to heart. They have shown themselves to be a group that acts justly, loves tenderly, and walks humbly with God as shown in their care for one of the most precious gifts in our environment: Lake Erie and its tributaries and Presque Isle Bay. In addition they have embraced the social responsibility of justice in their many past and on-going projects: Hatchery, Adopt-a-Stream, Habitat, Education, Handicapped Access, Safety and Adopt-a-Park.

We recognize the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie as a group that has embodied our corporate commitment and its concerns for peace and justice, sustainability, and the needs of women and children. In recognition of this, I now present them with the Prophet of Peace Award─an award that highlights strong local environmental work that has broad implications.

For the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie

Who have been, for nearly 35 years, and who continue to be dedicated to the improvement of fishing on Lake Erie and its Pennsylvania tributaries.

Who have worked effectively to clean up and stock a number of creeks, all leading to a healthier bay and Lake Erie.

Who have used political advocacy, education, outreach and a large number of volunteers to clean up polluted areas.

Who have stood in the forefront to support free public access to the waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.

Who have been instrumental in the City of Erie’s enactment of ordinances and regulations that provide free public access in all new developments on Presque Isle Bay.

Who reach out to children to interest them in fishing.

Who, by introducing children to the wonders of the area’s water resources, make a priceless contribution to the future health of our watershed.

Who are ordinary citizens that volunteer their time and talent in an extraordinary way, thus modeling what is possible when a group commits to act together for positive change.

S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie:

We honor you.
We applaud your work.
We pray for the courage to follow your example of dedication and commitment.

Photo: (L-R) Ed Kissel, Vice President, Sister Anne, Jerry Skrypzak, President

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.