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

After spending forty years in the soup kitchen, I’m beginning to understand the Leonard Cohen quote that appears on the cover of the newsletter: Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in. Everywhere I look I see a fissure. In the system that keeps people in poverty and homelessness, in our efforts to help that often result in widening divisions, in lives broken by addictions, and certainly in all the “cracks” that I find in myself...

For the Record

Benedictine Ministries Collaborate

Art House students at the Kids Cafe

During the summer, students enrolled in a day program at the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House are welcomed to a free lunch at the Kids Cafe. Both ministries are run by the Erie Benedictine Sisters but often the Art House and Kids Cafe cater to different children in the neighborhood.

“I’ve been going to the Art House since I was seven,” a young child said while eating her sloppy-joe sandwich, orange slices and celery. “But I have never been to the Kids Cafe to eat before today!” Then looking around, she said, “I like it here.”

“We expect about 20-25 children from the Art House each day,” said Stephanie Grear, coordinator...

Northwest Pennsylvania 2-1-1

NW PA 2-1-1

There are all sorts of emergencies that we are prone to call 9-1-1 for: fires, accidents, urgent health issues. But who does one call for basic human need crises—like a lack of food and shelter?

Pennsylvania recently began a 2-1-1 national call center initiative that, according to their website, PA211NW.org, “seeks to provide an easy-to-remember telephone number, chat, text, and a web resource for finding health and human services – for everyday needs and in crisis situations.” All one needs to do is call or text the number 2-1-1 or visit the webpage. The Northwest PA branch of 2-1-1 is available...

Brown Bag Lunches

Marcia and Dominic Frisina

What does golfing and making brown bag lunches for complete strangers have in common?

“You know how you feel out on the golf course?” Marcia Frisina asked her husband, Dominic.

“Yes,” he replied. “I feel wonderful.”

“Well,” Marcia continued, “that’s how I feel when I’m preparing food for the guests at Emmaus Soup Kitchen.”

Because of this, she and Dominic made 137 brown lunch bags filled with PB&J sandwiches, carrots, celery sticks, pretzels, and candy for Emmaus Soup Kitchen guests.

Pictured: Marcia and Dominic Frisina with their donation.

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.

Buck and Helen Swahn Retire

Buck and Helen Swahn

Buck and Helen Swahn are retiring from their role as regular volunteers at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen. “We hate to say we can no longer do it,” said Helen, but standing for so long has become physically difficult for the two. “We promise we will still visit!”

“You’ve certainly been a blessing to Emmaus,” replied Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus. “I’m very glad you’re making the right decisions for yourselves – and also not abandoning us completely!”

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 June 12 - 16

Someone at the kitchen really got to me today. While I was wiping down tables, I asked a guest how his meal was. “It doesn’t really matter,” he replied angrily. I must have given a concerned look because he continued, “It doesn’t matter what you serve or even what it tastes like. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry. It’s a horrible experience.” Then he put it on me: “You’ll know sometime,” he said. “Sometime you’ll be here eating instead of wiping down the tables like you’re doing now.

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.

+ Adele Ward Bole

+ John E. Fries Sr.

+ Vera Szapowalowa Karowicz

+ Frances Bules Hofmann

+ Violet E. Popoff Sala (Vol)

+ Rudy "R.C." Wiesner

+ Herman K. Klauk (vol)

+ Marilyn Alice Graham Heberlein

+ Elizabeth "Betty" Orzel

+ Frank J. Vietmeier

+ Katherine M. Imig Middendorf

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