Sisters, family, and friends applaud as Sister Valerie Luckey leaves chapel after making her perpetual monastic profession.
The ceremony began with the sisters processing into chapel.
Sisters sing  Sophia Wisdom as a reflection after the Gospel.
Sister Val reads her vows in the presence of Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress,  and all those gathered.
After Sister Val and Sister Stephanie have signed the vow document, Sister Stephanie seals it with the community seal.
Sister Val chants the Suscipe three times.
Family and friends join the sisters for a celebration of Sister Val.
Rose Marie Doney, Sister Val’s grandmother, and Denise and Tom Luckey, her parents, enjoy the reception with Sister Stephanie, prioress.
Katie Gordon, Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, Sister Val, Oblate Breanna Mekuly, and Erin Carey  don handwoven grapevine wreaths.
Sister Val’s co-workers at Emmaus Ministries: Catherine Simon, Sisters Mary Miller, Val, and Rosanne Lindal-Hynes, and Oblates Margaret Kloecker and Rita Scrimenti.


Community of Life 2021 is underway

This is your invitation to join us in prayer during the month of November. Information about enrolling your loved ones in the 2021 Community of Life Program is here.

New COVID Protocols in place

Masks are required for everyone who comes to the monastery. This includes guests, employees, sisters, and anyone who needs to come into the building for any reason. Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe.

Sister Val chants the suscipe.

Sister Val makes perpetual monastic profession

October 15, 2021

In the presence of her Benedictine sisters and 50 friends and family, Sister Valerie Luckey made her perpetual monastic profession on Saturday, October 9. “I remember a story that one of my sisters told during my first year in community. She said that the key to a strong communal life is celebration,” is how Sister Val began her description of the experience and the meaning it holds for her. “My heart has been with this Benedictine community for six years; I have known since the beginning that this was the home for my heart. My profession was a way for me to publicly witness to that inner knowing and to celebrate it with so many people I love. Throughout the day I sensed so much grace that will give me strength for my monastic journey.”

Sister Karen surrounded by friends and co-workers at Second Harvest.

Sister Karen Kosin retires after 33 years at Food Bank

October 11, 2021

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania is, for the first time in its history, without an Erie Benedictine Sister on staff. Sister Karen Kosin, who served as Product Resource Manager, recently retired after 33 years at the Food Bank. “During my many years at Second Harvest I found my various roles challenging, all the while realizing that my work was helping people in need of food,” said Sister Karen


Sister Mary Jane wins at bingo

SBA Cash Bingo Fundraiser

October 9, 2021

Sister Mary Jane Vergotz, '66, was a two-time winner at the latest St. Benedict Academy Alumnae Association Cash Bingo. Valerie Purzycki, '88, SBA Board co-chair, congratulates her in the picture here. Valerie is one of the organizers of the regular fundraising bingos, along with board members Darlene Kerstetter '82 (Board co-chair), Sue Chase '82, Sue Zill '65 , Cheryl Zingelewicz '65, and Ann Comstock '64. This bingo once again raised funds for St. Benedict Child Development Center. Hats, scarves, and gloves for the children were also accepted—and those who donated these items received a free pack of bingo cards.

The next cash bingo will be Sunday, November 14, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Polish Falcons in Erie. Email Val for information or to reserve a table.

Candlelight Vigil for the Earth

Candlelight Vigil for the Earth

October 8, 2021

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie were one of 15 organizations who participated in an interfaith "Candlelight Vigil for the Earth" on October 4 at Perry Square in downtown Erie. The date marked the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of environment, and also the ending of Season of Creation, a period of international prayer for the earth.

LINKS to organizations

Where to shop is important—Tanja first reviews the store ads herself.

HUNGER in our midst. Really?

October 6, 2021

September was “Hunger Action Month” in Pennsylvania. It could be said that every day is “Hunger Action Day” at Saint Benedict Education Center. SBEC staff have in front of them participants who need assistance in dealing with the multifaceted reality of hunger in their lives and that of their children. Hunger issues can be as stark as not having enough money to pay for the food necessary to feed one’s family. It can involve learning about a budget to empower one to use well their resources. It can involve questions about where to shop – and why.


Kelly Stolar, CFRE

Kelly Stolar, CFRE, named Executive Director of the Inner-city Neighborhood Art House

October 2, 2021

Kelly Stolar, CFRE, will become the Executive Director of the Benedictine Sisters’ Inner-city Neighborhood Art House effective October 15, 2021. “Kelly has been Development Director at the Art House for the past three years and has become a valued part of the Art House family in that time. Her dedication to the children at the Art House is evident in her commitment to building and funding programs to help them create dreams for the future. She has also grown to value the Benedictine charism that is at the core of our work in the inner city,” said Benedictine Prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt, OSB, when she made the announcement.

 L to R: Nestor Puc Hoil, Manela May Chale, Josefina Martin Leon, Aide Varguez Pech, Nelsi Varguez Pech, Jessica Lizzet Chan Varguez, Manuel Uc, Azucena Santos Martin

Oblates in Mexico prepare for Oblate weekend

October 1, 2021

Every autumn, Erie Benedictine oblates look forward to their annual gathering at the monastery and the opportunity to renew their commitment as oblates. This year that gathering will again be virtual and will include time for prayer, learning, and reflection, as well as for connections with other oblates and sisters.... Our oblates in Merida, Mexico, have met twice as a group for prayer and reflection as they prepare to participate virtually in the October gathering with the entire community. They are grateful to Oblates Cari Serafin and Lanora Queckborner who translated materials so the oblate community in Mexico could participate in this preparation.


Mary Hembrow Snyder, Oblate, named Professor Emerita

Mary Hembrow Snyder, Oblate, named Professor Emerita

September 30, 2021

Mercyhurst University recently named Erie Benedictine Oblate Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder a Professor Emerita of the University. Mary retired in 2020 after 34 years at Mercyhurst. In that time she served in a variety of capacities: Department of Religious Studies Chair, Dean of the Humanities, and inaugural Director of the Sennett Institute for Mercy and Catholic Studies. She also created the Catholic Studies minor as an interdisciplinary minor, securing courses and support from not only Religious Studies, but also Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics, and served as its first advisor.

Community of Life 2021

Community of Life 2021

September 30, 2021

Enroll your loved ones, living and deceased, in our Community of Life 2021 Program.

Our loved ones whom we have lost—whether recently or many years ago—are now part of the “Communion of Saints” in a new way. Through the celebration of All Saints and All Souls at the beginning of November, our Church remembers the entire Communion of Saints, those living and deceased, who have blessed our lives with their love. It’s a beautiful comfort our faith offers us.

And we, too, are part of that Communion of Saints, a belief that the Benedictine Sisters have been celebrating with you through our Community of Life Program since 1994.

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.