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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

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...

St. Benedict Education Center - Request for donation of FANS
May 30, 2016

"At SBEC, all of our participants are on cash assistance. Many are refugees and all are families with children. Often they are living in less than adequate housing," explains Nancy Sabol, Executive Director of St. Benedict Education Center (SBEC). "With the summer months comes unbearable heat, and for many that means a living environment where there is no air conditioning, where they are residing upstairs where the heat is more intense, and in some cases, where the windows don’t even open."

SBEC is requesting your help. If anyone has a fan they could donate, the staff would be...

Memorial Day: Seek Peace and Pursue It
May 29, 2016

Today, in our remembrance of the women and men who throughout history have given their very lives for the sake of justice, peace and freedom, we are challenged to do what we can to work for these same values. As Benedictines, we embrace a motto of peace. We seek peace; we pursue peace.

We pray on this Memorial Day for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding ─ the peace the world can neither give nor take away.

May peace be our quest and aim as we work to do all that we can to “be a healing presence and prophetic witness” (...

Growing for Emmaus
May 27, 2016

A local ministry has adopted the Emmaus Food Panty and Soup Kitchen as recipients of the produce it will grow in a six-bed garden outside Grandview Alliance Church, 1102 E. Gore Road.

Fruits of the Spirit is sponsoring the project and organized a weekend fundraiser at three Erie area Bob Evans restaurants. Any customers who mentioned Fruits of the Spirit or presented a special flyer had 15 percent of their bill donated to the project. The money will be used for plants and tools according to organizers Cheryl and Howard Shouse.

Prior to starting the garden project, the Shouses...

Sister Helen Prejean: Her Passion Ignites
May 26, 2016

For more than 30 years Sister Helen Prejean has traveled the world speaking out against the death penalty. This time her travels brought her to Erie, PA. Sponsored by Benedictines for Peace (BFP), Sister Helen presented her thoughts and feelings about this important topic at the Annual BFP Speaker Series held in the chapel at Mount St. Benedict.

“Everyone is worth more than the worse thing they have done,” said Sister Helen repeatedly throughout out the evening as she spoke of the men on death row whom she has companioned over the years. “Sitting at the feet of prisoners destined...

2016 SBA Spring Luncheon
May 25, 2016

A group of St. Benedict Academy (SBA) Alum, 135 strong, gathered at Erie Ambassador Conference Center for the annual Spring Luncheon that included a number of highlights. Reminiscing together created some fun moments for those gathered and lots of camaraderie. The announcement of the 20 winners of education scholarships of $250 each, to children, grandchildren nieces or nephews of Alum was received with excited enthusiasm. In addition, 11 vendors were available for the ladies’ shopping pleasure.

The Class of 1961 took the opportunity to celebrate their class reunion. There were 20...

The Kids Cafe and Young Philanthrophists
May 24, 2016

Dina Rollinger developed a unique bond with the Kids Cafe when she was the Gannon University Work Study Placement in Fall 2015. She never forgot the children and when she was assigned a community project in a leadership seminar class at Gannon recently, she decided to organize a Book Drive that would let each child at the Kids Cafe take home any books they wanted. “It was rewarding to see the children’s excitement when they got to pick a few books,” Dina said. “I hope the books will engage them and promote literacy in their...

Therapy Dogs Play a Vital Role in Work with People of All Ages
May 24, 2016

Sisters Carolann McLaughlin and Rita Groner and their dog, Rusty, were invited to Wayside Presbyterian Church to explain the role of a therapy dog. “It was an opportunity for us to share what makes a good therapy dog and what is involved in the training of both the animal and the handler,” explained Sister Carolann. “It was a wonderful time spent with good people.”

For eight years now Sisters Carolann and Rita and Rusty have been involved with Therapy Dogs United (TDU). The mission of TDU is to inspire physical and...