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

Kathy McCarthy
Kathy McCarthy, postulant

Kathy McCarthy began the postulancy on November 27, 2016. In her words, “Desiring to continue to deepen and live more fully and confidently in God’s love, I find myself as a plant which has grown well and flourished...

Valerie Luckey, Novice

“I ask that I may continue to seek God through sharing the monastic life with this Benedictine community,” responded Valerie Luckey during the Rite of Entrance into the Novitiate on September 10, 2016.

Sister...

Dina Lauricella, Novice

Dina Lauricella, a former motorcycle safety instructor from Lusby, MD, began the novitiate in a ritual ceremony held on Sunday, November 1, 2015. “I’ve learned that there are sacrifices that come with living in...

Karen Oprenchok, Novice

Karen Oprenchok is from Windsor, Ontario, Canada where she was an office worker for the Canadian Federal Government before entering the Erie Benedictine community. She began the Novitiate on November 1, 2015. “The...

Patricia Witulski, Scholastic

“I ask that I may continue to seek God in this Benedictine community through first monastic profession,” requested Novice Patricia Witulski at Evening Praise on August 9, 2014. Prioress, Sister Anne Wambach, accepted...

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

Gentle Words

 

 

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.

Psalm 36

In love sustain those who are faithful, those who are sincere of heart.

Living the Zeal of Benedict

A blog by Marilyn Schauble, OSB

Guard your lips from harmful or deceptive speech. RB 4:51

Psalm 39: I said, I will be watchful of my ways for fear I should sin with my tongue. I will put a curb on my lips when the wicked stand before me.

Benedict recommends that when we speak we are to be gentle, humble, serious, few, and reasonable. Some other descriptors that might fit are mild, light, soothing, tender, calm, peaceful, placid, serene, tranquil, compassionate, merciful, down-to-earth, and well-...


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

Stories and Events

A story can make a difference

About 50 people came together for the Benedictines for Peace (BFP) Speaker Series held at Mount St. Benedict on May 22. “I have found that telling...

Villa Outreach Day

A group of 12 students from Villa Maria Academy made 20 lasagnas for Emmaus Ministries on their annual Outreach Day. About 1,000 Prep and Villa...

Sister Marilyn Schauble Sings with the North East Choral Club

"Sing Together" was the theme of the annual spring concert presented by the North East Choral Club (NECC) at Park United Methodist Church on...

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....