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.

Not By Bread Alone New Podcast

Not By Bread Alone New Podcast

April 20, 2021

Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski's newest podcast, "Not By Bread Alone," includes a short interview with Cathy Bliss, a long-time member of the monastery's kitchen staff. Sister Carolyn explains that in the monastery, bread-baking is a staple. When Sister Irene Warchol, who served as the community's bread baker for decades, retired, Cathy was ready to step in. Listen to Sister Carolyn and Cathy chat about bread, baking and community.


NAH print

Art House Students Win Awards at the Barber National Institute's Art Show & Sale!

April 16, 2021

We have more good news from the Barber National Institute’s Art Show & Sale! Art House students were the recipients of two Best of Show awards and an Honorable Mention in the youth artist division. This is a big honor! Congratulations to Tania Butler, age 9 and Teajanae Johnson, age 14 & Yeslian Vargas, age 13 for their Best of Show awards, and to Aiva Sadler, age 13 for her Honorable Mention.


Student Artwork at the Barber National Institute's 2021 Art Show & Sale

April 15, 2021

The Neighborhood Art House has a longstanding tradition of entering artwork by Art House students in the Barber National Institute’s Annual Art Show & Sale. The event, held each spring, is a chance for regional artists of all skill levels, from students to professionals to display their work side by side. We have twenty framed pieces by students included in this year’s virtual art show, representing a range of media taught at the Art House.

Anne McCarthy

Sister Anne McCarthy to Participate in Panel

April 13, 2021

Erie Benedictine Sister Anne McCarthy, coordinator of Benedictines for Peace, will be one of four virtual panelists in "Faith and a Sustainable Economy for Middle America," sponsored by Evangelical Environmental Network and In Solidarity. The program will take place Thursday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. ET via Zoom and pre-registration is required. Click here to register. Panelists will discuss the intersection of faith and the obligation to care for creation.

Oblates continue to gather via Zoom

Oblates continue to gather via Zoom

April 12, 2021

Oblates gathered virtually on Palm Sunday for teaching and reflection facilitated by Rev. Judith A. Davis, PhD, a Benedictine oblate. Long a lover and student of the arts, Judith illustrated how how the Stations of the Cross have been depicted by artists over the years. Judith, who calls herself "an artist, birder, mom, musician, priest and general Renaissance woman", shared a variety of artwork from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. There was time for prayer, for small group discussion and for questions and answers. Oblates from across the country and as far away as Ireland were gifted with Judith’s knowledgeable, warm, and easy style.

Painting Mini Masterpieces at the Art House

April 12, 2021

It's hard work to paint a masterpiece on a 3”x3” canvas! Art House teachers and students took on a challenging mission, to paint miniature versions of famous artwork for the Hoyt Art Center’s Mini Masterpiece Competition. The Art House was on spring break this week and we spent Thursday, April 8th recreating paintings of our choice as part of an out-of-the-ordinary workshop offered to all teachers and students.

Sister Susan pouring Paschal Candle

The Paschal Candle

April 9, 2021

Have you ever wondered about the three-foot-tall, white candle you sometimes see in the monastery chapel? Or in your parish church? It is called the Paschal Candle because, as Sister Mary Ellen Plumb explains, “it represents the ‘Pasch’ or light of Christ in the world.” During the Easter Vigil, on Holy Saturday night, a small fire is lit in a special stand that has been placed at one end of the darkened chapel. This “new fire” is blessed by the prioress and celebrant and then the Paschal Candle is lit for the first time. The single flame from the Paschal Candle is then shared throughout the chapel via tapers that each person is holding. “This ritual is powerful because the lighting of the Paschal candle claims our commitment to the belief that Christ is the Light of the World who empowers our own journey from darkness to light by faith. It is a symbol as well that we have a responsibility to be the light of Christ for others,” said Sister Mary Ellen.

Sister Mary Bernadette Ladner, OSB

In Memoriam: Sister Mary Bernadette Ladner, OSB

April 6, 2021

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie remember Sister Mary Bernadette Ladner who entered into eternal rest on April 5, 2021.


New eCourse offers millennial viewpoint

New eCourse offers millennial viewpoint

April 5, 2021

A new eCourse, "Lectio with Rule of Benedict: From the Foundations to the Future," offers the opportunity to "return to the roots of the Benedictine tradition with fresh eyes." Contributors include six millennials (two of whom are Erie Benedictines) committed to living Benedictine life inside and outside the monastery. Begins Monday, April 12.

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.

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