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Lenten Meditation

"Lent is about the holiness that suffering can bring. It is about bringing good where evil has been, about bringing love where hate has been. It is about the transformation of the base to the beautiful . . . . The point is that no one escapes suffering. It is part of the rhythm of life, part of the process of living. The question, then, is, for what are we willing to suffer?"
--Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year: the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life

News and Events

2017 Spring Art Show Opening
March 13, 2017

“Once again we are proud to exhibit the art of our Benedictine Sisters, Oblates and invited friends of the monastery,” said Sister Margaret Ann Pilewski, manager of the monastery’s Chapter 57 Gift Shop and organizer of the 2017 Women's Art Show. “The scope of the show is vast and includes an array of media including photography, digital photography, acrylic, polymer clay items, sculpture, wood turning, fiber and quilt, and mixed media.

The Chapter 57 Gallery was lined with guests for the opening of the show which celebrates Women’s History month and focuses on the theme of...

Sister Pat Hause receives the GSWA 2017 Social Worker of the Year Award
March 10, 2017

“When you are recognized as being good at something you love it is very humbling,” said Sister Pat Hause when named Social Worker of the Year by the Geriatric Social Workers Association (GSWA). Sister Pat, the administrator of Benetwood Apartments, a government subsidized non-profit facility administered by the community that provides monastic hospitality to low income, elderly, and handicapped persons, was nominated and chosen by her peers.

GSWA is an organization that was formed to foster and enhance professionalism among the nursing home and geriatric health related social...

An Act of Kindness to Promote Peace and Nonviolence
March 10, 2017

“There’s my teacher, “ a little girl shouted out. A woman with her looked around and said, “We ‘re here for this child’s father.”

The little girl’s father, Lavell Beason, was shot and killed in January. A large group of family members, neighbors and friends had gathered at the place of the homicide to participate in the Take Back the Site Vigil sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St. Joseph along with their oblates and associates.

Beason’s mother was also present and thanked everyone for the kindness shown her. In the midst of...

KINDNESS: Sophomore Lockdown brings Canned Goods to Emmaus
March 9, 2017

What happens when a group of 14- and 15-year olds are in “lockdown” at school for 24 hours? Lots of movie watching, board game playing, sporting activities, talking, and, of course, pizza eating! But this group of young teenagers are also socially aware: to get into the lockdown event, each student was required to bring a canned good to be shared with the guests of Emmaus Ministries.

This lockdown was planned and attended by students of the sophomore class at Collegiate Academy High School.

After the weekend, Student Council Sophomore Vice Presidents, Olivia Kelly and Abbey...

NCSW--Kindness: Get in the Habit
March 8, 2017

As part of Women’s History Month, the first National Catholic Sisters Week (NCSW) was launched in 2014. The week of March 8 – 14 is intended to bring greater awareness to Catholic Sisters and to help them be made known and visible on a broad national level.

In celebration of the fourth annual National Catholic Sisters Week, the Erie Benedictines, along with all of the Catholic sisters serving in the Diocese of Erie, are joining a nationwide campaign to encourage people to be kind toward one another.

The message – “Kindness: Get in the Habit” – will be shared through...

Sister Val’s Blog: The Lenten Journey Continues...
March 7, 2017

“So, this is the first Sunday of Lent, and I have already encountered the first struggle,” begins Sister Val in her blog Walk in the Holy Presence. Sister Val is a novice in initial formation. She posts to her blog twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday. Check out her most recent entry, The Lenten Journey Continues, where you are sure to find insights that may give you pause and challenge you to reflect on your Lenten journey, too.

Erin's Latest Blog: The Beauty in Death
March 6, 2017

Erin Carey, a 22 year old graduate of St. Benedict’s College in Minnesota, is volunteering here in Erie as part of the Benedictine Women Service Corps (BWSC), an outreach program of the Benedictine Sisters in Minnesota that encourages alumnae to volunteer in works of justice as they strive to live Benedictine values in a Benedictine community.

Erin is working part time at the Neighborhood Art House (NAH) teaching music...

Master Gardener Shares Expertise with NAH Students
March 6, 2017

There's nothing to see in a garden during the winter, right? Not so! says Mike Bailey, Master Gardener, while guiding Neighborhood Art House (NAH) children through the raised beds at the Emmaus Grove Urban Garden.

On an unseasonably warm day in late February, the children not only took a look, they also felt the seemingly dried up remains of the garden plants and smelled them as well. They were surprised to see the beginning of the greening that was soon to come. The Master Gardeners have been wonderful partners for the NAH gardening class, assisting Sr. Pat Lupo in her efforts to...

Meet Debbie Shoup, Emmaus Volunteer
March 2, 2017

“I try to remember all the names of the individuals who come through my line at the pantry,” says Debbie Shoup, who volunteers both at Emmaus’ pantry and soup kitchen. “I can’t tell you the warmth of the smile they get on their face when I remember their name without looking at their identification card.”

At the pantry, Debbie sits behind a desk checking guests in each Monday and Tuesday. She works with people from last names beginning with the letters A-G. There are about 300 active individuals in her group of guests.

Debbie has worked hard at remembering all her guests’...

Lent and the culture of encounter
March 1, 2017

Lent begins. The annual 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The journey to Easter and the expectation of resurrection.

“If you were to enter the monastery chapel you would know a new season has begun,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “You encounter the cross positioned in the center of the worship space; a purple candle invites peace and contemplation; the Word of God is visible and the open book issues an unspoken invitation to listen deeply during this special time.”

In his annual Lenten message Pope Francis suggests that lent is the “season for renewing...

Committee for Alternative Resource Energy (CARE): New Web Resource Now Available
February 28, 2017

The CARE Committee invites you to visit their new page on the Benedictine Sisters of Erie website. “The goal of our new page is to extend the work of our committee—to provide resources and information for those who would like to join us in making a positive difference in our effort to slow climate change,” explained chairperson Marlene Trambley, Benedictine oblate.

The new page offers articles, web links, videos and other resources. “We also invite our readers to suggest resources that we can share on the page or to tell us about the work you are doing to conserve and protect...

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