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Easter Alleluia

News and Events

Women in Transition Continued
May 18, 2017

“When it became necessary for Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, long-time organizer and leader of spiritual programs, to curtail some of her activities, I was sad and anxious, and distressed that the Women in Transition program would need to be discontinued,” shared Beth Sammartino Blood. “Then I remembered Sister Joan Chittister’s wisdom: ‘This is not a time for despair but for action.’”

To that end, Beth, a faithful participant in Sister Carolyn’s programs and retreats for more than 10 years began Women in Transition Continued. She invited Becky Spudich, Oblate, to help her...

A Mother’s Day Event: Defend Mother Earth!
May 17, 2017

Sisters Pat Lupo, Lucia and Claire Surmik, Oblate Janice Etchison, Sarah Everett, Elliot Dale and Sam Miller took part in "The Barrel Battle at the Border," a demonstration against fracking. In an effort to acknowledge Mother Earth and the suffering that is hers, it was held on Mother’s Day. The Erie group from Our Water, Our Air, Our Rights joined anti-fracking activists from Butler, PA to face off against Ohio anti-fracking groups from Youngstown and Ashtabula in a mock battle at the border over accepting fracking waste...

Carol Zinn, SSJ: Religious Life for the Life of the World
May 16, 2017

"Religious life is always a radical response to the Gospel in a particular historical and cultural context," said Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, PhD, in her presentation to the women religious of the Diocese of Erie who gathered at Mount St. Benedict Monastery on Saturday, May 13 at the invitation of Bishop Lawrence Persico. "When the history and cultural context shifts, guess what's right behind it? The expression of religious life shifts to match it. Today's women religious are in a process of transformation—a chrysalis, like a caterpillar transforming to a butterfly."

Sister Carol, a...

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...