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 Miller with a child from the Kids Cafe

Dear Friends of Emmaus, "The homeless man takes off his shoes before his cardboard house." (poem by Penny Harter) This poem is about dignity. Human dignity. Here the homeless person keeps his sense of worth and honors the place where he lives, albeit a cardboard house. At the soup kitchen, we try to replicate the spirit of this poem. We want our kitchen to be a sacred space where hungry, homeless, and hurting people find a home...

For the Record

Lady of St. Patrick

Kay Sauers, with her sash, celebrating her new naming of “Lady of St. Patrick” with the regular Friday volunteers at the Soup Kitchen and Emmaus staff

Long term Emmaus Soup Kitchen volunteer Kay Sauers was recently named a “Lady of St. Patrick” at a special induction service at Saint Patrick Church in Erie.

The Knights and Ladies of St. Patrick are a group of distinguished “men and women of all nationalities who have been recognized by the Bishop of Erie for their contributions to the community in the name and spirit of Christ Jesus.”

Kay has a list of volunteer experiences that affirm her new title as “Lady of St. Patrick,” one who is dedicated to serving the Erie community.

For 22 years, Kay has been involved in Emmaus Ministries both serving meals every Friday...

"40 Cans for Lent" Food Drive

John Curtin and Tom Whittmann of the Knights of Columbus Council 4123 at St. George Parish

As a part of their Lenten practice, families at St. George Parish are donating canned goods to Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

“We’ve encouraged each family in the parish to donate 40 canned food items during Lent,” said Knights of Columbus member John Curtin, who has been collecting and sorting the donations. “And we have about 2500 families registered at the parish so we might get a lot of food!”

This collection is part of a nationwide Knights of Columbus initiative called “Food for Families.” The Knights of Columbus Holy Trinity Council 4123, which is based at St. George Church, is organizing this local drive.


The Psychology of Poverty

Gannon University students Kristen Moore and Carly Glatz, along with a participant of the Kids Cafe

“We’re learning about the history of poverty in our senior seminar course,” said Carly Glatz, a student at Gannon University who is volunteering at the Emmaus Kids Cafe as part of her course requirements. “This week we’re focusing on the interaction of poverty and health.”

The professor of the course entitled “The Psychology of Poverty” is sending students out into the Erie community to have firsthand experience working with people suffering the effects of poverty.

Carly and her friend Kristen Moore, another senior in the course, have been spending two days at the Kids Cafe each week.

“I enjoy the Kids Cafe because...

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 Debbie Shoup

Debbie Shoup prepared to check in guests at the pantry.

“I try to remember all the names of the individuals who come through my line at the pantry,” says Debbie Shoup, who volunteers both at Emmaus’ pantry and soup kitchen. “I can’t tell you the warmth of the smile they get on their face when I remember their name without looking at their identification card.”

At the pantry, Debbie sits behind a desk checking guests in each Monday and Tuesday. She works with people from last names beginning with the letters A-G. There are about 300 active individuals in her group of guests.

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 March 20-24

We don’t have a problem with people trying to smoke in the soup kitchen but every once and a while people will pull out a cigarette and stick it in their mouth as they walk out the door. Last night, there were two men at a table getting ready to leave and rolling a cigarette before they left. Sister Mary walked up to them saying: “What are you rolling up in those cigarettes?” The man immediately straightened up and looked her in the eye. “Sister,” he said, “it’s just tobacco.

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.

+ M. Louise Cooper Luddy

+ Amelie Martinez Thayer (vol)

+ Donald F Robinson Jr (vol)

+ Arthur Pinczewski

+ Patricia Kelleher

+ Richard Dawson Bliley

+ James Terrence "Terry" Lynch

+ Mary Ellen Bujnoski

+ Richard H. Kuhn MD

+ Laura M. Nunes

+ Joyce Nelson Greene

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