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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

Benedictine Sisters benefit from PNC Foundation Grant
June 21, 2016

On behalf of the PNC Foundation, James Stevenson, PNC Regional President, made a visit to Mount Saint Benedict Monastery to present a $10,000 grant to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. “We are pleased to benefit from the generosity of the PNC Foundation, a group with whom we share many of the same priorities,” said Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress, who graciously accepted the award which will be used to replace mattress sets and chairs. “Our gratitude is extended to Jim and the foundation for this grant that will provide new necessities for our sisters, many of whom work in the Benedictine...

A Time for Peace
June 20, 2016

Sister Joan Chittister is among 60 religious leaders invited to address the topic, “A Time for Peace: Rejecting Violence to Secure Human Rights” at the Carter Center’s Human Rights Defenders Forum, June 18-21 in Atlanta. The participants will be part of plenary discussions, arts presentations, workshops, tours and a keynote speech by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the topic “A Time for Peace.”

The Carter...

Fruits of the Spirit and Eastside YMCA stocks Kids Cafe store
June 17, 2016

Fruits of the Spirit (Left)
Emmaus Soup Kitchen was the recipient of the first harvest from “Fruits of the Spirit”, a garden ministry started by Stacy and Doug Buettner (photo) to provide food for families in need.

Mike Bailey, master gardener at Emmaus Grove, worked with the Buettners to create the new garden at Alliance Church of East Gore Road. The garden outreach is a branch of Shares of God’s Love, a non-denominational non-profit urban missionary group headed by Harold and Cheryl Shouse

Eastside YMCA stocks Kids Cafe store (Right...

A Tender Moment of Healing and Peace
June 16, 2016

“May all of us know peace, healing and the deep strength of our common faith,” prayed Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, as the community gathered for the celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing, a special part of the community's annual retreat.

The sisters companion those being anointed: sisters, oblates, employees, and friends. The sacrament is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength to those who suffer illness or old age. Anointing with the sacred oil is a sign of blessing by the Spirit. The sacramental anointing can inspire and comfort both those who are being...

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...