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
Breanna Mekuly

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 admiring a passion flower outside the Food Pantry

Dear Friends of Emmaus, I like the Zen quote “No seed ever sees the flower.” Though it advises me not to worry about results, it also reinforces the need to plant seeds. And it reminds me that I get to choose what kind of seeds to plant. Do I want a flower or not? ...

For the Record

Box Village

Campus Ministry students and Fr. Jason with Breanna Mekuly of Emmaus.

Over 100 campus ministry students at Cathedral Prep School in Erie slept outside in the cold to raise awareness of poverty and hunger. The goal of this box village, where the students stay in cardboard for the night, is to "give the young men an experience of what it's like to be homeless for a night," said Fr. Jason Feigh, organizer of the project, so that they recognize the needs of the most marginalized and share what they have to alleviate the pain of poverty and hunger in their own communities.

Along with experiencing a night without the comforts they often take for granted, they also raised $1,500 for Emmaus Soup Kitchen....

PNC Foundation

Sister Karen Oprenchok, Emmaus Ministry staff, with Chris Bernatowicz, Senior VP and Head of Retail at PNC Bank, Erie

“We had an opportunity to choose an organization we felt passionate about,” said Chris Bernatowicz, Senior Vice President and Head of Retail at PNC Financial Services in Erie. “So we decided to give a donation because we had extra funds in our foundation at PNC.” She brought a check for $2,500, which she designated to support the children at Sister Gus’ Kids Cafe.

The PNC Foundation focuses on forming partnerships with local community-based nonprofit organizations with the goal of alleviating poverty and enhancing opportunities for children. Chris, who works with the local PNC Bank, has branches throughout the Erie, Warren and Elk...

Gift from the staff at MacDonald Illig Attorneys Offices

Frani Miseyka of MacDonald Illig with Emmaus cook, Shirley Whaley

The sixty members of the MacDonald Illig law firm take the idea of “neighbor helping neighbor” seriously. For the past ten years they have been donating to Emmaus at their Christmas luncheon because, according to staff member Frani Miseyka, “the soup kitchen is in our local area so by donating there, we are assisting our neighbors.”

Before the luncheon, staff members donate items to be bid upon in a Chinese auction and participate in games of chances. They also put out boxes for staff members to donate coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. At the Christmas luncheon, the winners are announced and the donations all collected.

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.

Longtime Pantry Volunteer Dmitry Tishchenko Turns 90 years old!

Longtime Pantry Volunteer Dmitry Tishchenko Turns 90 years old!

From Sister Lucia Surmik, coordinator of the Emmaus Food Pantry: “Our quiet, smiling, ever young Dmitry has been a dedicated volunteer at Emmaus Food Pantry for fifteen years. Dmitry, very quietly but so cheerfully, gathers our empty cardboard boxes and loads them on the truck for recycling. He is seen filling in wherever he is needed, especially helping the elderly and guests who need extra assistance with their bags of food. We have been blessed with Dimitry’s gentle and peaceful presence among us. We wish him a very Happy 90th Birthday!”

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 February 5-9

Lately, the snow has started to partially melt and then refreeze each night. Walking on the sidewalks, then, is like walking on bendable ice. I've been thinking a lot about this specific form of ice and how I, too, ought to be this way: solid but flexible. Then this morning, Sister Mary and I had a conversation that solidified my thoughts. "A unique part about working with Emmaus," she said, "is that each new day when you wake up, you never know what you'll encounter."


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.

+ Barbara Hildum Juarez Keller (vol)

+ Anna M. (Spor) Raines

+ Rose A. (Raymondo) Rozumalski

+ Dorothy Bujalski

+ Donald Andrews Sr

+ Agnes Marie Sturgeon

+ Jim Lieb (vol)

+ Paul Meaden (vol)

+ Fernanda (Arduini) Bonaminio

+ Lila Mae "Gump" Hart Buterbaugh

+ Edward Michael Gieza, Jr.

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