Emmaus Ministries

Emmaus Ministries

A commitment to the forgotten and the faceless of society – a Christian presence and outreach in Erie, Pennsylvania since 1974.


EMMAUS MINISTRIES: A Commitment to the Forgotten and the Marginal
— to the faceless of society who get left out and left behind without support at times of crisis

— to the single mother whose life is a constant struggle to provide simple necessities for her children

— to the child lost in poverty whose present is barely human and whose future is already lost

— to the elderly whose basic needs are too great for a check that is too small

— to the working poor who work in the lowest of low paying jobs and never get ahead

Contact Information

Emmaus Ministries, Inc.
345 East 9th Street
Erie, PA 16503
Phone: 814-459-8349
Fax: 814-459-8066
Sister Mary Miller, OSB
Margaret Kloecker
Rita Scrimenti

Emmaus Soup Kitchen
218 East 11th Street
Erie PA 16503

Sister Gus' Kids Cafe
310 East 10th Street
Erie PA 16503

Breaking the Bread

There are people  
in the world so hungry,
that God cannot
appear to them
except in
the form
of bread.
Mahatma Gandhi 

From the Director

Sister Mary Miller

Sister Mary

After spending forty years in the soup kitchen, I’m beginning to understand the Leonard Cohen quote that appears on the cover of the newsletter: Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in. Everywhere I look I see a fissure. In the system that keeps people in poverty and homelessness, in our efforts to help that often result in widening divisions, in lives broken by addictions, and certainly in all the “cracks” that I find in myself...

For the Record

Standing Against Racism

Sisters Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, and Mary Lou Kownacki, Emmaus board member, took the opportunity to speak out against bigotry and racism while enjoying the annual Celebrate Erie Days, Aug. 18-20.

Emmaus Ministries staff joins with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie stand to condemn racism in all forms.

Locally, Sisters Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, and Mary Lou Kownacki, Emmaus board member, took the opportunity to speak out against bigotry and racism while enjoying the annual Celebrate Erie Days, Aug. 18-20. “We think one of the best things to celebrate in Erie is its diverse population,” explained Sister Mary Miller, “so we wore these simple signs while walking through the festival.” The signs read: “I Celebrate Erie’s diversity… #NoHateInErie”.

At Emmaus, we also stand with the Benedictine Sisters and...

Summer Basketball Clinic

A&K Basketball Skills Clinic in session at the St. Benedict Community Center

“What’s the quote of the day?” Raphell Thomas-Edwards, co-director of A&K Basketball Skills Clinic, asked the teenage boys from the Kids Cafe bouncing basketballs through their legs and around their backs.

“Practice makes perfect!” One of the young men shouted out.

“That’s the quote of the day,” Raphell responded, “but does practice really make perfect? No. If you practice something the wrong way, you will permanently do it wrong.”

Raphell is not only teaching the fine arts of basketball skills, he’s also teaching life skills during the three weeks of the basketball clinic open to selected youth from the Kids...

Erie County Poet Laureate takes interest in Emmaus Ministries

Marisa Moks-Unger

A writing conference, 60 boxes of Cracker Jacks, and Emmaus’ Kids Cafe: what do these things have in common? The common denominator: Marisa Moks-Unger, the 2016-2017 Erie County Poet Laureate.

Marisa first explored the Kids Cafe when looking for a possible site to hold the International Women’s Writing Guild’s Regional Flagship City Writing Conference.

Marisa, a former secondary English teacher, was impressed with the store at the Kids Cafe. “I think this sort of reward system for sustained good behavior etches many good experiences for youth,” she said. “Here they can tangibly assist their family in ways that would not be...

Walking Together on the Road to Emmaus

Volunteers and Donors

Emmaus depends on many volunteers and donors at the food pantry, soup kitchen and Kids Cafe.Call 814-459-8349 if you would like to volunteer. Click here to make a donation.

Meet Brian Martin

Brian Martin at the Emmaus Food Pantry

Brian Martin has been volunteering at the Emmaus Food Pantry for thirty years. “It’s hard to believe,” he said, “that I’ve been here so long!”

To Brian, the Emmaus Food Pantry is an example of the story of Jesus feeding the masses in the Bible. Over his thirty years with Emmaus, he has seen the ministries grow to meet the needs of the poor and hungry with resources continually flowing in even when it seems they might not have enough.

Soup's On: An Emmaus Journal

By Breanna Mekuly, a new employee with Emmaus Ministries. She grew up in Wisconsin, studied theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and relocated to Erie this summer to intern with Sister Joan Chittister. She began working with Emmaus mid-fall 2016.

Week of July 31 - Aug 4

“Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday,” one of the children at the Kids Cafe told me. “She’ll be nine! She’s celebrating by going to the beach. And she’ll get whatever she wants. And… she’s going to sell my youngest sister!” She’s going to sell her? I replied. Why would you sell her?

Remember Emmaus with a Memorial

We are grateful to family members who ask that memorials be made to Emmaus on the death of loved ones. Visit our secure site to offer a memorial.

+ Virginia Mae Clements Meyer Thor

+ Barbara Ann Mack

+ Marian Woloshyn Smith

+ Adele Ward Bole

+ John E. Fries Sr.

+ Vera Szapowalowa Karowicz

+ Frances Bules Hofmann

+ Violet E. Popoff Sala (Vol)

+ Rudy "R.C." Wiesner

+ Herman K. Klauk (vol)

+ Marilyn Alice Graham Heberlein

Fulfill the Emmaus Wish List

We are in URGENT NEED of food items such as powdered milk, canned chili, beef stew or pasta, soup and canned fruit for our emergency bags. We ALWAYS need diapers (all sizes) and baby formula.

The Kids Cafe Store is in need of the following items:
Nail Polish
Travel size Kleenex
Pump bottles of hand soap
Dollar Store toys for Bingo prizes

Attention Bakers!!! We welcome homemade treats for our guests. If you're a baker, know that our Emmaus guests appreciate cookies, cakes, pies…sweets of any kind.

Call 814-459-8349 for more information or to schedule your donation.

Pray with Emmaus

Please join with the Emmaus community in reciting this prayer daily.

Prayer of St. Vincent DePaul

You will find that charity
is a heavy burden to carry,
heavier than the kettle of soup
and the basket of bread.

But you must your gentleness
and your smile keep.

Giving soup and bread
isn’t all that you can do.

The poor are your masters-
terribly sensitive and exacting
as you will see.

But the more demanding they seem
the more unjust and bitter
the more you must give them your love.

Emmaus Ministries