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

Rapid Repairs

Carl and Kareem after upholstering the chairs

“Look at these chairs,” said Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, to Stephanie Grear, coordinator of the Kids Cafe. “The fabric is so used – maybe we should call someone and get these redone.”

The next day, Stephanie sent Sister Mary the following pictures of the staff and children reupholstering the chairs with this caption: “We eat together, learn together, play together, and recover chairs together.”

Pictured: Kids Cafe coordinator Stephanie, staff member Ebony, and children Kareem and Carl working on the chairs

TreeCycling Event

Sister Mary Miller receiving a used Christmas tree at the Millfair Recycling Center with volunteers.

What do you do with your Christmas tree after the holiday season is over?

The Millcreek Township encourages all residents of Erie County to recycle their trees by holding a “Christmas TreeCycling Event” at the Millfair Compost and Recycling Center. The Center's staff Jessica James and Judy Zelina, along with volunteers, help residents unload trees at the site. In exchange for services, the Center accepts monetary donations for Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, attended this year’s TreeCycling event. “By 9:30am, they had already collected twenty-four trees!” she said. “I love the fact...

Jerry's Lunch Bag

Jerry's Lunch Bag

What’s in your lunch box? Jerry Gorniak, who sells Christmas trees in the area, brings his “lunch bag” to share with Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, each year around Christmas. This year, he walked into the soup kitchen with a rolled up paper bag, handed it to Sister Mary and said, “I’m here to share my lunch.”

Sister Mary, who knew just what was inside, laughed and thanked him and then unrolled the bag to pull out wads of cash.

As Jerry sells Christmas trees each year, he also sells branches of the evergreens and donates all the proceeds of the bows to Emmaus. This year, he collected about $300.

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.

Meet Mary Anne Geary

Volunteer Mary Anne Geary

“My hairdresser and friend of fifty years, Kathe Wilson, had often told me about how much she enjoys volunteering at the soup kitchen,” explained Mary Anne Geary. “So when she asked me to step in for a volunteer who was getting older and struggling to come in each week, I said yes.” That was three years ago. And after that first year of substituting, Mary Anne became a regular volunteer on the serving line at the kitchen.

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.

+ Debra Ann Baumann

+ Sara May Burrows Coleman

+ Barbara Coughlin (vol)

+ Brenda Kuntz Nikolishen

+ Dolores "Dolly" A. Harrington

+ Francine Wasiloff Stromenger

+ Maria A. DeRooy

+ Ann DeSantis Swabb

+ Charles G. "Charlie" Knight

+ Harry W. Honard Jr.

+ Helen R. Huegel Kowalski

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