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

Dear Friends of Emmaus,

“Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan,” wrote John C. Maxwell.

In the year following the devastating fire at Emmaus Soup Kitchen I have come to appreciate that advice. When a good part of the soup kitchen went up in flames, we decided to build a new facility that...

For the Record

Cereal Collection

Morgan and Ashley from Gannon University with cereal donation.

“The kids pick out two boxes of whatever cereal they would like per week,” Sheila Murray, staff at Sister Gus’ Kids Cafe said. She was explaining what happens to the 284 boxes of cereal collected by the Gannon University Support Staff Association for the Kids Cafe. Their third annual cereal drive means that the kids are able to bring cereal home to their families, which often supplements meals, “especially during the weekends and on long vacations from school,” says Sheila.

Pictured: Morgan and Ashley from Gannon University with cereal donation.

Homemade Cookies

Terri Bish donating 125-dozen cookies from the Cursillo group

There’s nothing like a few-dozen homemade cookies arriving at the front door of Emmaus soup kitchen. “Our guests love them,” said Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus. “But 125-dozen cookies! The guests were elated!”

Ken Bish and his Cursillo group from St. Mary’s, PA baked the cookies especially for the guests of Emmaus. Coming in all shapes and sizes, Ken’s wife, Terri, made a day out of the delivery; after bringing the cookies, she volunteered in the kitchen and pantry. “I just loved being there,” she said, “and I know that our cookies are just a drop in the box of everything else needed to feed the guests.”


Rosary Society

Rosary Society members and their donations

“I brought a few icons – pictures that we hang on our walls at the kitchen – to tell the women of the Rosary Society about the journey to Emmaus and why we do what we do,” said Emmaus social worker Rita Scrimenti. Rita explained to the women from Our Lady of Peace parish in Erie that, like in the biblical story of Emmaus, “we meet people where they are at, share a meal together, and come to see the Christ in all.” Not only does the society meet regularly for prayer but they also do good works and gave Rita a donation of hats, gloves, peanut butter, and jelly for the Emmaus guests.

Pictured on right: Two Rosary Society members...

Walking Together on the Road to Emmaus

Volunteer at Emmaus

Over 300 people volunteer at Emmaus food pantry, soup kitchen and Kids Cafe.Call 814-459-8349 if you would like to volunteer.

This is where Christ eats

Mary Jaskowak Emmaus volunteer

Walking into Emmaus Soup Kitchen can be a life-changing experience – for the volunteers, that is, says Greg Baker.

Greg is director of campus ministry at Mercyhurst University, whose students and staffers have been volunteering at Emmaus for 25 years.

“So often we see that what students understand as service changes during the years,” says Greg, 39, who views service work and ministry as “wrapped together.” He met his wife, Jennifer, at Gannon University. After they graduated and married, they joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Kansas. He worked at an alternative high school; Jennifer volunteered at an inner-city elementary school...

Donate to Emmaus

There is no such thing as a donation that is “too little.” Over 90% of our donations are under $100.

Flowers power generosity

Carl Larese, Emmaus donor

Carl Larese knows the value of mentors and the beauty of paying it forward, and both have influenced his support of Emmaus Ministries.

The owner of Larese Floral Design, 3857 Peach Street, Carl, 58, found his calling professionally at age 17 when he worked at the former Bachelor Button flower shop at West 10th and Cherry streets. He rode his bike there from his family’s home on West 21st Street.

“I started as driver, delivering flowers, cleaning up,” says Carl. But Bobby Wurst, owner of Bachelor Button, told Carl, “You’d be more valuable to me in the store than out in the truck,” he recalls...

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.

+ Harry W. Honard Jr.

+ Helen R. Huegel Kowalski

+ Michael Henry Schloss

+ Mary Beth Regan

+ Howard G. Earll

+ Carolee "Carol" A. Bretz

+ Mary D. (Riazzi) Filippo

+ Alan D. Cagara

+ Jacqueline A. (Miller) Iavarone

+ Edward Joseph August Kennerknecht

+ Ann (Chilelli) Bandecca

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