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News and Events

Marking the end of an era
July 25, 2017

After much prayer and discernment, it became clear in 2014 that St. Joseph Monastery, St. Marys, PA, the first Benedictine women’s foundation in North America (1852), would need to close due to a climbing median age and the lack of new members. The community of 17 sisters began to visit other Benedictine communities and arrange for transfer, four of whom eventually transferred to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

Sister Rita Brink, OSB, of St. Walburg Monastery in Covington, KY, has been the primary representative of the Federation of St. Scholastica for the past five years in...

Rock Out Erie: Kids Cafe
July 24, 2017

“When we walked back from Perry Square yesterday, we picked up random stones and rocks along the way,” said Ebony King, staff member at the Kids Cafe. “Today we are painting the rocks and soon we’ll hide them all over downtown as a part of Rock Out Erie.”

Rock Out Erie is a current fad in which people decorate and then hide rocks around town for others to find, post pictures on the Rock Out Erie Facebook page of what they found, and then re-hide the rocks. The creators of Rock Out Erie hope that finding the...

Our Employees are the Best
July 21, 2017

It was a perfect summer day for the Employee Picnic. Employees and their families joined the sisters for the annual appreciation event. Food, fun and friendship were shared; games and swimming were enjoyed. “Our employees are very special people and we are happy to tell them how much we appreciate them with this picnic,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “They do so much for us and we are very grateful.”

The picnic was organized by Sister Judith Trambley, Personnel Director, Sister Diane Cook, Treasurer, and Sister Diane Rabe, Monastery coordinator. One of the highlights of the...

Good News! $10 000 ASHRAE LEVEL II Energy Audit Grant
July 20, 2017

The Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund awarded the Benedictine Sisters of Erie a $10,000 ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Level II energy audit grant to possibly cover 5 of the Benedictine inner city buildings. They are St. Benedict Education Center; St. Benedict Community Center (gym/auditorium); St. Benedict Center (Day Care, Emmaus Ministries and Residence); Neighborhood Art House and The Studio at St. Mary’s: A Space to Create (Gus’ Kids Café and programs). CARE chose Gary Jacobs, Senior Energy Engineer for Smart Edge USA, to do the audit...

Sisters minister to rural poor and incarcerated
July 19, 2017

Sister Marian Wehler, OSB and Sister Tina Geiger, RSM, have been working in Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM) in the Oil City Deanery in the Erie Diocese, Sister Marian for 10 years and Sister Tina for 5 years. Recently, they were interviewed by Brittany Wilson of the Our Sunday Visitor, who wrote a wonderful article touching on many facets of the ministry in which Sisters Marian and Tina are engaged.

CRM provides pastoral care to people through home visits, community retreats, spiritual workshops and youth-building activities. The goal of CRM is to help meet the needs of the...

Driveway completed; Medal Embedded
July 18, 2017

A circular drive was added to connect the Emmaus Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry driveways and parking lots.

Before the concrete dried, Sisters Mary Miller led the Emmaus staff in a small blessing of the property, the guests, and all who are involved with the Emmaus community and then placed a Benedictine medal in the concrete. A similar medal was recently placed in the renovated soup kitchen building.

Placing a medal expresses hope that peace will prevail with God’s blessing over the property.

Members of Emmuas staff watch as Sister Mary Miller places the medal in the...

Fresh Food for Everyone
July 11, 2017

Even thinking about biting into a fresh, sweet snap-pea or having a salad made with just-picked lettuce can make a mouth water. And thanks to a few dedicated gardeners, Emmaus Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry guests are enjoying quite a bit of mouth-watering fresh vegetables this summer.

Before the Food Pantry opened Monday morning, Emmaus Grove master gardeners Ellen DiPlacido and Mike Bailey were in the garden harvesting snap-peas, onions, and beets. They immediately shared the produce with guests of the food pantry.

Along with fresh produce, a table outside the pantry was...

Celebrating the Summer Feast of Benedict
July 10, 2017

In the Benedictine Calendar of Saints, Benedict of Nursia is celebrated as the founder of Western Monasticism on July 11. He provided a Rule which establishes a way of life rooted in the Gospel and grounded in the scriptural principles of charity, humility, stability, and faithfulness.
Benedict's Rule is all about love: it teaches that everything is a holy endeavor; it points to Christ. “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ” sums it up perfectly.

As Benedictines, preferring nothing to the love of Christ is how we seek God in our prayer life, in our community living and in our...

Discover Your Inner Artist: New Dates!
July 7, 2017

Produce your very own whimsical acrylic painting on canvas under the direction of artist and Neighborhood Art House teacher, Mary Kay Geary. Classes are for adults and will not exceed 10 participants, so register early. Choose from four dates, see dates and times below. Registration fee includes all materials, snacks and soft drinks.

For additional information and reservations (required) contact Mary Kay at 814-490-2807 or email

Monday, July 24, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Sister Carolyn on Know Your Neighbors
July 5, 2017

Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski's most recent podcast is an apt reminder of our common humanity.With her trademark openness that not only reveals her own self journey but also invites us to deeper levels of our own selves, Sister Carolyn explores, "Know Your Neighbor," detailing what a walk around her own inner-city block reveals. As she walks she ponders, where is "here" now in a changing neighborhood, a new reality?

Listen to this new episode here or subscribe to her podcast series, Sister Carolyn on Creation Spirituality on...

July 4: Independence Day
July 3, 2017

July 4 gives Americans reason to celebrate. Gratitude for the gift of freedom will be marked with cookouts and family time, parades and parties. In the midst of this day on which we give thanks for our many blessings let us take time to reflect and pray; let us be renewed to continue the good work that was begun when America became an independent nation in 1776.

When the United States was young, its ideals high, its goals so blazing and brilliant in a world whose ideas had grown old and sclerotic, no effort to achieve them was too much, no failure fatal. Now freedom has new...