Become a Benedictine

Permanent Vowed Membership

The face of permanent members of monastic communities has changed over the centuries. In our time many people seeking permanent membership are professional women who long for a life that follows the Gospel of Jesus. They come from varied backgrounds and share the common desire to seek God and change the world.

A woman interested in permanent membership comes to know the community and in the process discerns her vocation. At some point she moves into the monastery to begin living the communal life of prayer and ministry. She participates fully in the life of the community and learns the community history, its vision and values and must decide at every step of the way if she shares those values and wants to continue the formation process.

Perpetual monastic profession comes only after five to six years of fully immersing herself in community life and passing through stages of formation that move the individual deeper into her own soul and also deeper into the heart of the world.

Vocation Contact

Sister Marilyn Schauble

Marilyn Schauble, OSB
Vocation Director
6101 East Lake Road
Erie, PA 16511
814-899-0614 ext. 2424

Stages of Initial Monastic Formation

  • InquiryA woman who is interested in religious life spends this time getting to know the community through regular contact with the vocation director, visits to the monastery and prayer. It is a time of mutual discernment. (6-24 months)
  • PostulancyIn this stage a woman requests admission to the monastery so she can continue to discern her vocation. She experiences the Benedictine way of life with our community by entering into the daily rhythm of prayer and work. (12 months)
  • NovitiateThis is a year of intense study and immersion into community life. The novice learns more about the Benedictine charism and the monastic vows. At the end of this year she will discern if she is being called to continue this journey and then make her first monastic profession.
  • ScholasticateThis 3-6 year period is a time to focus on the integration of prayer, community and ministry. The scholastic prepares to enter into a permanent covenant relationship with God and the sisters of this community.
  • Perpetual Monastic ProfessionWith the perpetual profession of monastic vows the scholastic is welcomed into full membership in the community. She commits herself to a lifetime of conversion through the monastic way of life.

Sisters in Initial Monastic Formation

Kathleen McCarthy, Novice

Sister Kathleen McCarthy began her novitiate year on January 27, 2018. Her desire to continue to seek God with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie was ritualized at Vigil Prayer. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Kathy was...

Valerie Luckey, Scholastic

On October 21, 2017, Sister Valerie Luckey made her intentions clear: "I ask that I may continue to seek God in this Benedictine community through first monastic profession."

Sister Valerie, age 29, is from...

Sister Dina Lauricella, Scholastic

Sister Dina Lauricella, a former motorcycle safety instruction from Lusby, MD, made her first monastic profession on the eve of Pentecost, June 3, 2017. After expressing her desire to continue to seek God with the...

Sister Karen Oprenchok, Scholastic

Sister Karen is from Windsor, Ontario, Canada and is a former office worker of the Canadian Federal Government. On June 3, 2017, the eve of Pentecost, she professed her first vows of stability, obedience and...

Web Links and Reading Suggestions

VIDEO: In the Footsteps of Benedict and Scholastica
Benedictines-worldwide
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue
Trappists-worldwide

Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
Joan Chittister, OSB

Monk in the Inner City
Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

New Seeds of Contemplation
Thomas Merton, OCSO

Engaging Benedict
Laura Swan, OSB

Monasteries of the Heart
Joan Chittister, OSB

Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints
James Martin

The Cloister Walk
Kathleen Norris

St. Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living
Jane Tomaine

The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century
Joan Chittister, OSB

The Song of the Seed: A Monastic Way of Tending the Soul
Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

With Open Hands
Henri Nowen

12 Steps to Inner Freedom: Humility Revisited
Joan Chittister, OSB

Let Your Life Speak: Listening to the Voice of Vocation
Parker J. Palmer

The Nonviolent Moment: Spirituality for the 21st Century
Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

Vocations Anonymous: A Handbook for Adults Discerning Priesthood and Religious Life
Kathleen Bryant, RSC

Memorable Moments

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

I am no longer afraid of death,
I know well its darkness
and cold corridors leading to life.
I am afraid rather of that life
which does not come out of death.
I live each day to kill death.
I die each day to beget life,
and in this dying until death,
I die a thousand time and am reborn
another thousand...

Read more

Practice Lectio Divina

Latin for “divine reading,” is an ancient method of praying to promote union with God. Its outward appearances might be a gentler spirit, a passionate heart, greater compassion, love and peace-making. Use the passage below for your lectio divina.

Easter Sequence

Christians to the Paschal Victim,
offer your thankful praises.

A Lamb redeems the sheep;
Christ, who is sinless, reconciles sinners to our Creator.
Life and death fought together in great combat.
The Sign of Life, who died, reigns immortal.

Tell us, Mary, what you saw on your way.
"I saw the tomb of the living Christ,
the glory of Jesus' resurrection.
The angels gave witness to the empty shroud.
Christ, my hope, is risen from the dead;
he goes before us into Galilee."

We know that Christ is risen from the dead,
our new life obtaining.
Have mercy on us, victorious one.
Amen Alleluia!

Living the Zeal of Benedict

A blog by Marilyn Schauble, OSB

Rejoice heavenly spirits!
Sing choirs of angels!
Exult all creation around God.
Jesus Christ, our Savior is risen!

The Exultet has roots in the first centuries of Christianity.
In form, it is a “thanksgiving,” with similarities to the Eucharistic prayer.
It is a call to exult, to rejoice, to sing!

Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth,
in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your God.

...


Scholastic Valerie Luckey shares her journey with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in her blog, Walking in the Holy Presence. Read it here.

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Living Monastic Life

Sister Mary Miller

When I was a novice, I was attracted to this quote by Teilhard de Chardin: “Nothing is profane to those who know how to see.” Given my limited world view at the time, I had a naïve interpretation of its meaning. The...

Sister Helen Heher

The reasons I came to this community are not the reasons I stay in this community. Fifty-two years ago, just ready to turn 18, I left my home of origin in Oil City, Pennsylvania, and followed the sisters home to Erie...

Sister Christine Kosin

For me, being Benedictine is being blessed by a loving God who placed me in a faith-filled family and then in a community of faith-filled women. This has been my greatest joy. This is what I celebrate at Jubilee....