Update: Coronavirus at the Monastery

January 25, 2021 Update from Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Prioress
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and concern and for the encouraging notes and calls we have received. While the monastery remains closed to visitors, the sisters have ended quarantining in their bedrooms and are able to move about the building. The quarantine was effective in stopping the spread of the virus in the monastery.

We are following health department regulations and modifications in the way we gather in daily life. We wear masks everywhere in the monastery but our bedrooms; we are maintaining distance in chapel; we are eating in two shifts so that we can be seated one at a table.

We continue to pray with and for all who are suffering in any way because of the pandemic and all those who are working tirelessly to serve, to heal, to bring this chapter of our history to an end.

First Week of Lent

First Week of Lent

February 21, 2021

We begin Week One of Lent praying this translation of Psalm 25 by Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, who holds a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Sister Jen Frazer offered reflections at Saturday's vigil. Both are Erie Benedictine novices.

I have put my whole being
into your arms, my God.
Read entire Psalm 25>>>

Sharing Love for Valentine's Day at Kids Cafe

Sharing Love for Valentine's Day at Kids Cafe

February 19, 2021

Kids Cafe staff helped to spread love, delivering Valentine’s Day treats and cards to children in the after-school program. Stephanie Grear, Kids Cafe coordinator, along with Irvina Salter and Ebony King, who have been in regular contact with families since the pandemic caused the program to shut down in-person activities last March, delivered gifts...
Read at Emmaus >>>

Lent: A Time for Emptying

Lent: A Time for Emptying

February 17, 2021

"A monastic Lent is the process of emptying our cups. Lent is the time for trimming the soul and scraping the sludge off a life turned slipshod. Lent is about taking stock of time, even religious time. Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord we have the spiritual stamina to say yes to its twists and turns with faith and with hope...." These words from Joan Chittister were a part of morning prayer on Ash Wednesday.
Read more >>>

Katie Gordon, left, and Benedictine Sr. Rosanne Lindal-Hynes at a Count Every Vote rally Nov. 4, 2020, in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Inquiry and experimentation is alive in religious life

February 16, 2021

"As I write this, I am in my corner office at Pax Priory, a small living community of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA," is how millennial Katie Gordon begins her Global Sisters Report post "'Rebel Hearts,' joyful revolutionaries: inquiry and experimentation is alive in religious life." Katie is a Nuns & Nones national organizer and Monasteries of the Heart staff member who moved to Erie to live in intergenerational community and work with the Erie Benedictines. She is pictured (left) with Sister Rosanne Lindal-Hynes, one of her living group. Read at GSR>>>

Required: Planning, hard work, creativity

Required: Planning, hard work, creativity

February 15, 2021

In early October 2020, laptop computers were provided to all staff whose job allowed them to do some work at home. These were connected to office computers at SBEC so work could proceed securely and seamlessly. At that time Nancy Sabol, Executive Director of Saint Benedict Education Center, commented: These laptops will "strategically position us for whatever is to come..." The agency will provide essential tools for telework...to the extent possible."
Read at SBEC>>>

Sister Rosanne Lindal-Hynes and Margaret Kloecker

Emmaus staff member knits winter items for guests

February 12, 2021

Knowing that winter-time accessories are given out as quickly as they are donated, staff member Margaret Kloecker, Emmaus administrative assistant, recently knitted three sets of matching hats and scarves, as well as several dozen other scarves to give away to guests. “I could knit all year long, and there would always be someone who comes to our door in need of these items,” said Margaret, “and with limited spaces for people to gather indoors this winter due to the pandemic, we want to do what we can to help our guests stay warm throughout the cold months.”
Read more at Emmaus>>>

Benedictines for Peace invites you to Prayers for Myanmar

Benedictines for Peace invites you to Prayers for Myanmar

February 11, 2021

Join Erie's New American's with roots in Burma / Myanmar and Benedictines for Peace for a vigil to support the courageous nonviolence movement to stop a military coup in Myanmar and support the democratically elected government there. Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. in Perry Square. Masks and distancing required or join the live stream on Facebook.

More information here>>>

Case manager Cheryl Witherspoon at St. Benedict Education Center—It's Amazing

St. Benedict Education Center—It's Amazing

February 11, 2021

You might think not much is happening within Saint Benedict Education Center if you see the empty hallways, darkened offices, or the few cars in the parking lot. Not true. The needs of participants, commitment of staff, and availability of technology come together to produce amazing results. Case manager Cheryl Witherspoon is one example. She continues to meet weekly with her clients over the phone, as do all of the staff.

Read at SBEC>>>

Do your own Silent Peace Walk

Do your own Silent Peace Walk

February 11, 2021

Erie Benedictines for Peace is encouraging a "Do it yourself" Silent Walk for Peace on Friday, February 12, from 1:00 to about 1:30 pm. We hope you will walk in solidarity, by holding a silent peace walk in your local area at the same time. Download a PDF presentation that introduces and explains the Silent Peace Walk. Click here.

Read more>>>

Emmaus Ministries participates virtually in Nuns on the Bus 2020 Tour

With so many events—large and small—adjusted, postponed, or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuns on the Bus, an annual social justice bus tour sponsored by the Catholic advocacy group NETWORK, had to adapt as well. Prior to the coming national presidential election, NETWORK has organized a virtual bus tour to address issues that are part of the Catholic social justice agenda.

“Since Nuns on the Bus could not go on the road, they asked organizations like Emmaus to share how federal policies can affect the people it serves both for better and for the worse,” said Breanna Mekuly, Emmaus staff member. Emmaus submitted a video for the tour explaining policies important to its ministry in the city of Erie: support for food assistance programs like SNAP, the FEED Act which helps farmers get their food to the hungry without waste, expansion of the Affordable Care Act, and a call for a “housing first” approach to ending homelessness. “Each person and each family we meet at Emmaus is unique, but they all are harmed by policies that punish the poor. We call on the federal government to prioritize bills and laws that will allow for all, especially those most marginalized and forgotten in our society, to obtain their basic needs,” Sister Valerie Luckey, Emmaus staff member, shared in the video. (NOTE: Archive photos, pre-COVID-19, used in video.)

Emmaus Ministries (Erie) from Paul Marchione on Vimeo.