UPDATED Message in response to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

UPDATED Message in response to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

March 20, 2020

Throughout the last week I have been inspired by the care and concern we have for each other, for our friends and families and for the people of our country and world. Undoubtedly there is much suffering that has already occurred and much that is still to come. Among the most affected are people who live from weekly paycheck to paycheck and are now out of work; parents who are challenged with school-aged children now at home 24-7, without the food resources and educational services they normally depend on; and our elderly, both in private homes and nursing facilities, who deal with a wide variety of challenges—many now cut off from one of their primary sources of care: their family. It is heartbreaking to consider the difficulties that many are facing. We must continue to bring them to our daily prayer and look for ways of supporting them–in our ministries and in our own outreach–simple and limited as it may be during this time.

It appears that this pandemic is showing no evidence of slowing down in the United States and that the three-week suspension of visitors and guests I had announced will not suffice.

Along with the many other cancellations and adjustments to our manner of life, the remaining weeks of Lent, Holy Week and Easter will all be affected. There will be no public services at the monastery as we strive to support the public requests for minimizing both group and personal interactions. This means that the Monastery will, in essence, continue to be closed to guests and visitors indefinitely.

We uphold you and your families in prayer and ask that you do the same for one another and for us.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Let us remain hopeful that we will soon see an end to this pandemic.

Sister Anne Wambach

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.