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Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds: A Meditation

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ─William Sharp

See the beauty, hear the silence and enjoy the peace of Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds.

News and Events

Emmaus Volunteer Featured
June 14, 2016

Why do Kiwanis Club members Clarence Swahn and his wife, Helen, volunteer at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen? “The need for what we do is getting greater and greater,” explained “Buck” Swahn in a front page story in the Sunday Erie Times News (6-12-16) that featured service clubs in Erie. The Swahns and other member of Kiwanis have helped prepare and serve a meal at the soup kitchen once a month for over a decade. To read more, click here.


Record Group of Walkers and Runners for NAH 9th Annual Art&Sole
June 13, 2016

“Despite the threat of severe weather, nearly 350 of the 402 people registered for the 2016 Art&Sole 5k Walk/Run lined up for the 9:00 start time,” said Sister Annette Marshall, Neighborhood Art House (NAH) executive director. “The camaraderie was amazing and people were excited to get started at the blow of the horn.”

This annual benefit for NAH has become a favored event among Erie’s walkers, runners, and supporters of this Erie Benedictine ministry. The large group of participants included a number of sisters and oblates that walked, ran, or served as volunteer helpers....

Sister Mary Ellen Plumb: Keep death daily before your eyes
June 11, 2016

Congratulations to Sister Mary Ellen Plumb whose article, “Keep death daily before your eyes” appears in the REFLECTIONS column of the June 11, 2016 issue of Erie Times News.

REFLECTIONS is a weekly column that appears in the FAITH section of the paper. You can read Mary Ellen’s reflections online.

Mary Ellen Plumb, OSB, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, has spent her professional life as a teacher, counselor,...

Emmaus benefits from Verify Services
June 10, 2016

When Verify Services in Erie adopts a non-profit, it goes all out—the staff comes to the soup kitchen to serve a meal, tray loads of mouth-watering deserts are delivered on another afternoon and a generous donation is given. Erin Green, founder and president, was touched by two things during her visit. She recalled that a guest who “looked like someone going through a hard time, probably in his 40s” came up to the serving counter and said to her, “It means so much to me that you all took the time to serve us today.” Then he paused...

Joan Chittister, OSB, wins two 2016 Catholic Press Association Awards
June 8, 2016

Congratulations to Sister Joan Chittister who received two 2016 Catholic Press Association awards in recent award announcements.

Her book, Two Dogs and a Parrot: what our animal friends can teach us about life, (BlueBridge) won a First Place award in the category of Best Book by a Small Publisher.

In the category of Best Blog–by religious/clergy, she was awarded a Second Place award for...

Meet SBEC Volunteer: Helen Schneider
June 7, 2016

Helen Schneider, a retired teacher, began tutoring refugees at SBEC about 3 years ago. “I have the time, the knowledge, and the interest in helping these newcomers to our community. They are so responsive and willing to learn!”

One day while bringing some unneeded household items to the Treasures and Such, Helen had a conversation with Sister Dorothy Stoner, worksite coordinator at SBEC, and has been a faithful volunteer ever since. “Helen has been a great gift to us. Helen has done after-school tutoring for children at the Neighborhood Art House and has found working with this new...

Fairview District students raise funds for Emmaus Ministries
June 6, 2016

Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, accepted a check for $6,000 as one of four recipients of “Fairview Cares,” a fundraising event held by students from the Fairview district. The money($25,000) was raised primarily through a t-shirt sale and solicited donations. Sister Mary Miller had addressed the students and faculty during the kick-off assembly.

Pictured are: (Front row L to R) Erin Fessler (Erie Community Foundation), Mary Miller, OSB (Emmaus Ministries), Laurie Hitt (Fairview High School), Tina Espin (Shriners Hospital for Children), Carol Elliott (Fairview...

Take Back the Site Initiative Marks 95th Vigil Held Since 1999
June 3, 2016

Stephanie Lassman was killed on May 10th by a senseless act of violence. A Take Back the Site Vigil was held by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Sisters of Mercy, along with their oblates and associates, to honor her, to reclaim the site for nonviolence, and to offer solace and comfort to her family, friends and neighborhood. More than 100 people gathered. Together they prayed:

God, we are gathered here
in memory of Stephanie, victim of violence.
We pray with family, friends, and neighbors
for peace and healing.

Kids Cafe children display their Life Question artwork
June 3, 2016

When Stephanie Grear, coordinator of the Kids Cafe, read the lines of a poem that had been painted and illustrated on the front steps of the building that houses the Emmaus after school feeding program for children, she had an idea. “I wonder how the children would answer the question posed by the poet,” she asked herself.

To find out Stephanie took a group of students outside and they read together these lines by poet Mary Oliver:

Tell me, what it is you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”

The children and staff talked about the poem and then the...

Jubilarians Celebrated by the Erie Diocese
June 2, 2016

The annual Diocesan celebration of Women Religious Jubilarians was recently held at St. Mark Catholic Center in Erie. The event, hosted by Bishop Lawrence Persico, included a festive Eucharist followed by a special dinner. It was an opportunity for Bishop Persico to express his personal gratitude to the jubilarians for their commitment and service to the people of the Diocese.

Sister Nancy Fischer, SSJ, director of the Diocesan Office for Religious, was integral to the planning of the evening. At the dinner she asked the jubilarians to share their vocation stories and wisdom....

Meet SBEC Program Participant: Puspa Koirala
June 1, 2016
Kula Dhaurali, SBEC staff, and Puspa Koirala

Puspa Koirala (right, pictured with Kula Dhaurali, SBEC staff) and his family arrived as refugees in the US from Nepal in November 2009. “It was as though I was blind” is the way in which Puspa described the challenges of navigating a new country with no language, no work, no cultural understanding – everything was new and unfamiliar. At SBEC he learned to see his way through the maze of cultural challenges along with the paperwork, procedures and possibilities one step at a time.

Today, Puspa is employed full time as a Quality Auditor at Plastikos, Inc., having been promoted twice...