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Lenten Reflection

News and Events

Emmaus Grove: The Growing Season Begins
May 15, 2017

“It’s not too early to plant some of our vegetables so today we’re planting leeks,” said Mike Bailey, master gardener and coordinator at Emmaus Grove: The Erie Urban Farm School. “We already have our potatoes, onions, beans, and radishes in the ground. And our garlic is growing so well from last fall!”

The other coordinator and co-founder of Emmaus Grove, Ellen DiPlacido, eagerly talked about the ongoing activities in the garden. Every third Saturday of the month the garden is open for neighbors to come in and learn gardening techniques and best practices. She recently scheduled a...

What a Tail!
May 12, 2017

Sister Lucia Surmik received an Honorable Mention award in the Senior Art Show sponsored by the Independent Council on Aging (ICA) for her photograph, “What a Tail!” The event, hosted by the Mercy Hilltop Center, was open to both professional and amateur artists 55 years and older. “It is always exciting to have your work recognized,” said Sister Lucia, “especially in the midst of so much talent and such varied media.” On May 16 the show will move to Alta Cucino where it will be on display from 5-8:30 p.m. The mission of ICA is “to...

Religious Sisters' Erie County/Erie City Election Survey on Climate Change
May 10, 2017

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas sent out a survey to 42 candidates running for Mayor and City Council in the city of Erie, PA and County Executive and County Council in the County of Erie, PA. The survey focused solely on climate change. “We did not see or hear where this issue was being addressed and felt it was very relevant, especially with its relationship to the poor, as expressed in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’,” said Marlene Trambley, Committee for Alternative Resource Energy (...

A Braided Life
May 9, 2017

Oblate Carol Vaccariello was featured in the pilot issue of Braided Way, a magazine that celebrates the diversity of the world’s faith traditions. The publication aims to support an individual’s spiritual development, while influencing the larger culture toward inter-spiritual and inter-religious understanding, acceptance and engagement. The article, “A Braided Life,” unfolds Carol’s unique spiritual journey. Access the magazine here.


NEW BOOK: Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life
May 8, 2017

Feeling burnt-out from life, strung-out from social media, and put out by a society that always wants more from you? Beloved nun and social activist Joan Chittister, who appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, offers a practical, character-building, and inspirational guide to help you take control of your emotional life and redirect your spiritual destiny.

Click on book cover photo and listen to Joan Chittister read from her new book: Radical Spirit.


Emmaus benefits from Harley-Davidson
May 6, 2017

Motorcycles, fashion shows, and Emmaus: what do they have in common? This year, they unified in one event, the Spring Open House at the Harley-Davidson of Erie on April 29th.

The Open House featured a biker fashion show, in which springtime rider gear was highlighted. In exchange for “biker cash,” or a 20% off coupon, customers were encouraged to bring in a food donation for Emmaus Ministries.

“A few customers came in to the store during the Open House and didn’t know about our special event,” said Kelly Tombaugh, the fashion show organizer and donation collector. “So we told...

Reading by Women Writers
May 5, 2017

Twenty women who attend sessions at The Writing Studio, 310 East 10th, participated in public reading there on Wednesday, May 3. “We had a standing-room only crowd that couldn’t have been more positive and enthusiastic,” said Mary Lou Kownacki, coordinator of The Writing Studio. “I was especially pleased with the diversity of the readers and audience—a good representation of ages and races and professions.”

The Poet Laureate of Erie County and Joan Chittister, an award-winning Erie author, were guest readers. Sister Joan read from her new book...

Emmaus Ministries and the Crop Hunger Walk Luncheon
May 3, 2017

Emmaus Ministries was one of 25 local agencies that received a donation from the Erie County Crop Hunger Walk.

These walks take place around the country and are organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. In 2016, the Erie Crop Hunger Walk collected $59,000 in donations and shared 25% with local Erie agencies attempting to fight hunger.

The awards were given at an appreciation luncheon where the Crop Hunger Walk board recognized the commitment and compassion of volunteers, sponsors, walkers, donors, and hunger-fighting...

Women's Reading, Wednesday, May 3: Free and Open to the Public
May 2, 2017

Women who have been meeting at The Writing Studio, 310 East 10th, for writing workshops will host a public reading.

Liz Allen, long-time columnist for the Erie Times-News, and the Poet Laureate of Erie County, Marisa Moks-Unger, will also read from their works.

Special guest Sister Joan Chittister will read from her new book, Radical Spirit.

The reading is free and light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, May 3
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Benedictine Sisters and Oblates join in Erie Climate Change March
May 1, 2017

On the 100th day of Trump’s presidency more than 300,000 people in Washington DC and across the country joined together in a powerful demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action. The people of Erie, including Benedictine Sisters and oblates, were out in full force to take part in Erie’s Climate Change March which was hosted by Our Water, Our Air, Our Rights, co-Sponsored by Erie Benedictines for Peace, the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Mercy, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Unitarian Universalist...

2017 Erie Poem in Your Pocket Day
May 1, 2017

The Writing Studio and the Erie County Library, in partnership with local groups promoting literacy, education and the arts, celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 27. The Erie event took place on National Poem in Your Pocket Day, which has been celebrated since 2002 as part of National Poetry Month in April.

From Erie’s Bayfront to Summit Township, volunteers fanned out Thursday to pass out poems rolled into scrolls and tied with ribbons. The poems come from “Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets” and “Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry.” Both volumes are...