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News and Events

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...

Ora et Labora and “Playora”
June 28, 2017

Pray—work—play—was the way Sister Valerie Luckey, novice, explained her time at NADI, the Novice and Director’s Institute she attended with Novice Director, Sister Stephanie Schmidt, as part of her novitiate program. NADI provides an opportunity for all the novices and directors in Benedictine communities across the nation to gather together for a formative experience. This year it was held at Our Lady of Grace monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana.

The seven novices and directors had the chance to explore some essential elements of the Benedictine monastic way of life while...

Edible Beauty
June 28, 2017

Beauty is brought into the Emmaus Soup Kitchen in many different ways. The most recent is artistically designed cookies.

“I call the cookies I make ‘Kid Cookies’ because I know the children will enjoy the different designs,” said Joe Orinko, a member of St. Jude Church who bakes cookies with all sorts of special designs each month for the Emmaus Soup Kitchen guests. This month, he made cookies that looked like KFC chicken legs.

Joe sees his cookie making as a hobby. “It takes about 10-15 minutes to design each cookie. And typically I have to let the first coat of frosting dry...

Congratulations to Sister Phyllis Schleicher on a job well done
June 26, 2017

Two and a half years ago Sister Phyllis Schleicher accepted the invitation to chair the Bishop’s Faith Formation Task Force for the Erie Diocese which, according to Bishop Persico, is at the heart of the diocesan effort to develop and implement a strategic plan to transmit faith into the future through pastoral planning. Sister Phyllis and the nine member of the task force have worked tirelessly to prepare recommendations that would encompass a broader understanding of faith formation. “The mission of this particular task force was to determine how to improve our faith formation delivery...

Benedictine Ministries Collaborate
June 23, 2017

During the summer, students enrolled in a day program at the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House are welcomed to a free lunch at the Kids Cafe. Both ministries are run by the Erie Benedictine Sisters but often the Art House and Kids Cafe cater to different children in the neighborhood.

“I’ve been going to the Art House since I was seven,” a young child said while eating her sloppy-joe sandwich, orange slices and celery. “But I have never been to the Kids Cafe to eat before today!” Then looking around, she said, “I like...