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

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie will continue to take action on Climate Change

"Care for the earth has been integral to the Benedictine Charism since our very foundation in the 6th century."

Emmaus would like to share the strong statement issued by Sister Anne Wambach, prioress of the Erie Benedictine community as part of a response to the President's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on combating climate change. To read the rest of Sister Anne's declaration, please find the story here.

Handmade Quilts

Handmade Quilts

“I hope this quilt brings someone in need comfort and warmth,” said Margie Santo, who mailed four quilts to Sister Rosanne, the women’s advocate at Emmaus.

Margie who designs and makes all the quilts by hand, asked that they be shared with someone in need. “That’s easy,” said Sister Rosanne. “The women I meet with often ask for blankets for their children and now I can give them a beautiful quilt.”

Margie assured Emmaus that she has more designs, fabrics, and plans in the works and that Emmaus is on her giveaway list.

Emmaus' Summer Intern

Emmaus' Summer Intern: Caitlin Sniezek

Caitlin Sniezek is a familiar face in a new role: this summer she is interning at Emmaus Ministries.

Caitlin became involved with the Soup Kitchen two years ago while serving time in AmeriCorps as the volunteer coordinator at Mercyhurst University where she brought the students to Emmaus to volunteer. Eventually, Caitlin became the lead coordinator for Saturday lunches at the Soup Kitchen. When her year with AmeriCorps finished, Caitlin became a caseworker at Stairways Behavioral Health in Erie and continued to volunteer at Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

Caitlin is currently studying Public Administration in a Masters program at...

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