Season of Creation

The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home....The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. Throughout the month-long celebration, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home. For your reflection we share pictures of creation that surrounds our monastery.

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Sister Cecilia celebrates 70 years

Sister Cecilia celebrates 70 years

September 24, 2022

Sister Cecilia Sullivan pronounces her monastic vows at evening praise on September 17, 70 years after she initially made them. She was one of five 2022 jubilarians but was unable to participate with the others when she came down with covid a few days before the August celebration. In addition to celebrating her 70 years of monastic profession, the community also celebrated her 90th birthday which also came while she was out of circulation while she recovered. The first jubilee story, including Sister Stephanie's reflections, is here.

2022 Prophet of Peace: Candace Battles

2022 Prophet of Peace: Candace Battles

September 22, 2022

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie honored Candace Battles with their 2022 Prophet of Peace Award during Evening Praise at the monastery on September 21. Prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt recalled her early connection with Candace as she introduced the award. “Candace has been serving our community, especially women and children, for so many years. She was always there to assist a mother in need when I called on her to help the women in the House of Healing program more than 15 years ago," she said. Sister Stephanie then acknowledged her current efforts with Our West Bayfront, and many other organizations, boards, and programs that have benefitted from the love and generosity Candace has offered the Erie community.

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Sister Pat Hause and Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress

Sister Pat Hause retires from Benetwood

September 21, 2022

“It’s been an incredible 23 years,” said Sister Pat Hause at the celebration of her retirement as manager from the Benedictine Sisters’ Benetwood Apartments in Harborcreek. She is pictured here, on the left, with Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress. Community is a good descriptor for life at Benetwood, one of the few stand-alone facilities of its kind in Erie. Board president Gery Nietupski, Law Offices of NietupskiAngelone LLC, says, “Sister Pat has been key in creating and sustaining that sense of community over the years, both among the residents and also with the board. Leading the Benetwood board has been one of the most positive board experiences I’ve had.”

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The clearing continues at Glinodo

The clearing continues at Glinodo

September 21, 2022

Students participating in Gannon University Gives Day on Saturday, September 17 continued the clearing effort begun by 11 goats in July. "We had the generous help of 20 water polo players who worked on the trails at Glinodo, laying wood chips, clearing brush, lining the trails with logs, and uprooting multiflora rose bushes," said Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, member of the Care for the Earth Committee and instrumental in the Glinodo effort to clear the woods of invasive species. "In just three hours, they made huge progress: the trail is now accessible all the way down to the beginning of Kraus Path. We’re really grateful for their help!"

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New issue of Emmaus newsletter highlights love

New issue of Emmaus newsletter highlights love

September 17, 2022

The newest issue of The Companion, newsletter of Emmaus Ministries, is out. As director Sister Mary Miller says in her opening letter, "In this issue of The Companion, you'll read about some of the many ways that Emmaus lives out the calling to be a soup kitching that is 'all things' for our guests." She refers to the newsletter's cover quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux: "I will become love, and then I will be all things."

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Judie Pentz photo by Erie Reader Erin Phillips

SBA Alum featured in Erie Reader—Remnants, Art, and Heart

September 16, 2022

Judie (Plizga) Pentz, '60, owner of The Remnant Store on East 11th Street, a block from the former St. Benedict Academy building, was recently featured in an article, Remnants, Art, and Heart, by Erin Phillips in the Erie Reader:  "'You do what you can do for people and I think it comes back to you,' says Judie Pentz, owner of the Remnant Store, a fabric shop at East 11th and German that has been in operation for nearly 60 years. Beyond selling fabric remnants, she has created an anchor in a neighborhood that is often overlooked by those who don't happen to have a heart as big as hers." The article also features a new mural along much of its front facade, part of the "Purposeful Placemaking" project through Erie Arts.

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AIM Board meeting at monastery

AIM Board meeting at monastery

September 12, 2022

The Alliance for International Monasticism, US Secretariat (AIM-USA) held their annual board meeting at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery September 6 and 7. AIM USA represents 140 US and Canadian monasteries who are linked to 450 monasteries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. It's an organization whose reason for being is to build relationships among monastics around the world who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. The organization works to promote solidarity and cooperation among the monasteries around the world.

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Communion of Saints, Community of Life

Communion of Saints, Community of Life

September 6, 2022

It is through our prayer, our awareness of God-with-us, that we come to know this communion with the entire people of God. It is in this awareness that we can say with St. Paul, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” –Romans 8:38-39 

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and send us the names of those for whom you'd like us to pray.

A different reflection on work

September 5, 2022

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki concludes her most recent Old Monk post with these words, "So maybe that’s my final lesson. Maybe I still need to realize that purpose is illusive, that too much of life is preoccupied with “working for a purpose” and that at the end purpose can’t be grasped. Maybe my purposeless wild cosmos and canaries get it: We’re here for play, for wonder, for awe and mystery." 

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Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism

Under the leadership of Siobhan O’Neill Meluso, Communications Coordinator for the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, a group of communicators from Benedictine women’s monasteries have produced a video, “Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism,” that illustrates 10 Benedictine values with photographs provided by 21 monasteries. Judith Sutera, OSB, a Benedictine scholar and historian from Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS, was instrumental in preparing the script. The technical expertise of Amanda Hackett, Communications Coordinator, Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict (St. Joseph, MN), and Susan Damon, Development Associate, Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, TX, created the video including an instrumental track of the handbell choir of the Sisters of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, arranged by Christine Manderfeld, OSB © 1997. Other committee members were Jan Gull, Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, IL, and Linda Romey, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA.