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Lenten Meditation

"Lent is about the holiness that suffering can bring. It is about bringing good where evil has been, about bringing love where hate has been. It is about the transformation of the base to the beautiful . . . . The point is that no one escapes suffering. It is part of the rhythm of life, part of the process of living. The question, then, is, for what are we willing to suffer?"
--Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year: the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life

News and Events

"40 Cans for Lent" Food Drive
March 24, 2017

As a part of their Lenten practice, families at St. George Parish are donating canned goods to Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

“We’ve encouraged each family in the parish to donate 40 canned food items during Lent,” said Knights of Columbus member John Curtin, who has been collecting and sorting the donations. “And we have about 2500 families registered at the parish so we might get a lot of food!”

This collection is part of a nationwide Knights of Columbus initiative called “Food for Families.” The Knights of Columbus Holy Trinity Council 4123, which is based at St. George Church, is...

FAIRVIEW CARES names Art House as 2017 Donation Recipient
March 22, 2017

The first day of spring brought with it an amazing donation of “wish list” items contributed by Fairview Elementary and Middle School students. From toothpaste to laundry soap, crayons to air dry clay, the Fairview School District’s families gave generously to this part of the year-long Fairview Cares campaign. Twenty-nine boxes filled with donated items at an estimated value of $2,000 were delivered by district teachers Alysabeth Mahood and Carol Elliott who explained that their Fairview Cares student leaders had developed several initiatives to encourage students to participate in this...

The Psychology of Poverty
March 21, 2017

“We’re learning about the history of poverty in our senior seminar course,” said Carly Glatz, a student at Gannon University who is volunteering at the Emmaus Kids Cafe as part of her course requirements. “This week we’re focusing on the interaction of poverty and health.”

The professor of the course entitled “The Psychology of Poverty” is sending students out into the Erie community to have firsthand experience working with people suffering the effects of poverty.

Carly and her friend Kristen Moore, another senior in the course, have been spending two days at the Kids Cafe...

Celebrate Benedict and "seed the future"
March 21, 2017

Benedictines around the world celebrate the Solemnity of Benedict on March 21. This day is the commemoration of the death of St. Benedict of Nurcia, the Father of Western Monasticism and author of the Rule that guides Benedictines to living in right relationship with God, self, others and the world. For Benedictine monastics the Rule answers the question: how are we to live life with meaning, direction and purpose?

As Joan Chittister remarks in A Monastery Almanac: “The life of this man whose ideals and the Rule have guided people for over 1500 years is clear proof that everything...

It all started with a chocolate cross
March 20, 2017

“It all started with a chocolate cross given to us March 8, first day of National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW),” Sister Marian Wehler of the Oil City Deanery Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM) recalled, “and we caught the bug.” In record time Sister Marian and her co-worker, Sister Tina Geiger, RSM, had planned an open house to celebrate their religious vocation, one as a Benedictine, the other as a Sister of Mercy. “We invited a few friends to help with the food and before long we had the multiplication of the ‘goodies’ with lots to share,” Sister Marian explained.

Friends, volunteers...

March Madness at the Kids Cafe and Gym
March 17, 2017

All across the country – in offices, schools, online, and yes, even in the Kids Cafe – people are filling out NCAA March Madness basketball brackets.

“Eleven of the children at the Kids Cafe filled out their brackets already,” said Sister Dianne Sabol, who runs the gym the children use. The child with the most correct guesses has the opportunity to win a gift card.

As the children came into the gym on March 14th, Sister Dianne reminded them of the opportunity to participate in the playful competition. “I won last year,” said one of the older boys as he walked in, “Remember,...

ServErie at the Kids Cafe
March 16, 2017

About twenty-five people volunteered with ServErie to do a thorough spring cleaning this past Saturday at the Kids Cafe.

“They were in every room doing a deep cleaning,” said Stephanie Greer, coordinator of the Kids Cafe. “I mean they washed everything – the floors and the windows, the tables and chairs, the toys and the cabinets, the books and benches.”

The mission of ServErie is “To be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community through acts of service.”

One of their goals is to join with organizations already serving the poor and needy in the community. A desire of...

Sister Val's Blog: Transfigure Us, O God
March 14, 2017

“We must be transfigured if we are going to allow the Spirit to get to work in our lives,” writes Sister Val Luckey in her Sunday blog reflection on the Gospel of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17: 1-9). Sister Val is a novice in initial formation. She posts to her blog twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday. Check out her most recent entry, Transfigure Us, O God.

Damanta Khadka, SBEC Seamstress, becomes a Naturalized Citizen
March 14, 2017

Meet Damanta Khadka. A native of Bhutan, Damanta and her family were exiled in 1993 and spent 19 years living as refugees in Nepal. Finally given the chance to re-settle, Damanta came to the United States. In December of 2014 she was hired as a seamstress at St. Benedict Education Center (SBEC), where she works in the Mending Place.

Damanta will tell you that one of her greatest challenges was learning English. She wanted desperately to become a citizen, but she knew that she would have to learn to speak the language. At SBEC she was tutored, but she seemed to reach a point...

2017 Spring Art Show Opening
March 13, 2017

“Once again we are proud to exhibit the art of our Benedictine Sisters, Oblates and invited friends of the monastery,” said Sister Margaret Ann Pilewski, manager of the monastery’s Chapter 57 Gift Shop and organizer of the 2017 Women's Art Show. “The scope of the show is vast and includes an array of media including photography, digital photography, acrylic, polymer clay items, sculpture, wood turning, fiber and quilt, and mixed media.

The Chapter 57 Gallery was lined with guests for the opening of the show which celebrates Women’s History month and focuses on the theme of...

Sister Pat Hause receives the GSWA 2017 Social Worker of the Year Award
March 10, 2017

“When you are recognized as being good at something you love it is very humbling,” said Sister Pat Hause when named Social Worker of the Year by the Geriatric Social Workers Association (GSWA). Sister Pat, the administrator of Benetwood Apartments, a government subsidized non-profit facility administered by the community that provides monastic hospitality to low income, elderly, and handicapped persons, was nominated and chosen by her peers.

GSWA is an organization that was formed to foster and enhance professionalism among the nursing home and geriatric health related social...