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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

Unsung Heroes at the Kids Cafe
May 12, 2016

It’s the small things we do for others, over and over again, that are often the stuff of unrecognized heroism. Take Kids Cafe volunteer John Kathman and staff person Sheila Murray who try to motivate Kids Cafe children to do homework throughout the school year. “We set up a system where children who finish their daily homework under volunteer supervision earn a star on our “Homework Chart,” explained John who helps at the Kids Cafe once a week. “When the children earn 15 stars they are eligible for prizes.”

Thirty children have joined the homework project and six have earned gift...

Second Take Back the Site Vigil of 2016
May 11, 2016

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie and Oblates, along with the Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates and the Sisters of Mercy and Associates upheld their longstanding practice of holding a vigil at the site where violence has occurred. Allen Basham, 19, was shot and killed in the 1100 block of West 26th Street in a senseless act of violence. Together with family and friends, the sisters and their oblates and associates prayed to reclaim the site for non-violence. "I have been to many of these vigils," said Sister Marilyn Schauble. "Each one is so sad. My heart goes out to the family and...

Mid-Life / Long-Life Directions for Personal and Spiritual Growth
May 9, 2016

Sister Rosanne Loneck, OSB recently offered a Mid-Life / Long-Life Directions opportunity at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery. “This weekend retreat-workshop offered the chance for the 10 participants to look at mid-life, sometimes a crisis and always a time of transition,” explained Sister Rosanne. “The foundational question for this experience ─ What is the purpose of my life? ─ was the driving energy behind the presentations and sharing.”

The participants of Mid-Life / Long-Life Directions were invited to deepen their awareness of self, the world and the Divine through...

Children at Kids Cafe make Mother's Day Gifts
May 8, 2016

One thing for sure, every Kids Cafe child who wanted to give a special Mother’s Day gift had a chance to do so.

Some of the children chose to sew original aprons. “We wanted the children to enhance their sewing skills and give a gift from the heart,” explained Kids Cafe volunteer Becky Kathman who organized the Mother’s Day apron project. Becky, who began pajama sewing classes with the children in fall 2015, purchased and donated a new sewing machine to the Kids Cafe. Gretchen Mikelonis and Kathy St. George, volunteers who manage the Kids Cafe store every Wednesday, purchased the...

What's Giving You Hope These Days?
May 5, 2016

Postulant Valerie Luckey reflects on the death of Daniel Berrigan, American Jesuit priest, anti-war activist, and poet, in her most recent blog entry.

In reflecting on Berrigan's obituary she says, “There were two parts of the obituary that stuck out for me. One was a piece of advice he gave to the former Jesuit John Dear: "All you have to do is to make your story fit into the story of Jesus." Sounds simple, right?! The other was a question that he asked one evening around the dinner table, "What's giving you hope these...

Energized Kids
May 4, 2016

The five seminarians from Saint Mark’s who volunteered at the Kids Cafe one day a week for six months agreed on one thing: the energy of the children overwhelmed them at first and they weren’t prepared for it. But now that their time is coming to a close they find it’s the one thing they will miss.

“…after volunteering at a nursing home prior to this place, the energy level of this place was striking…but by the time we had to leave I found it an experience for which I am deeply grateful,” wrote Waylan Duncan. “I have come to enjoy the craziness of this assignment,” said Kevin...

Meet SBEC Volunteers: Bill and Marilyn Reiser
May 3, 2016

One morning, Bill Reiser offered to substitute for his sister, Marilyn, at her volunteer workplace Treasures and Such. He was impressed with the volunteers and discovered the satisfaction of helping the participants at St. Benedict Education Center (SBEC). Today he is a “regular” at the store and has mastered a new currency – “Benny Bucks."

Not just a shop where clothing and household items can be purchased, Treasures and Such is an integral component of the education experience at SBEC. Many of the customers at the store are refugees and this is a living laboratory where the...

Villa Maria Girls: Day of Caring at the Mount
May 2, 2016

The student bodies from Villa Maria Academy (VMA) and Cathedral Prep, along with faculty and staff, recently spread out in the Erie community for their annual Community Outreach Day. Students from Villa Maria Academy opted to come to Mount St. Benedict Monastery and once again there was an extra treat for the sisters: The Villa Maria Show Choir. Under the direction of Andrew Alesso, the young women performed a variety of songs including: Disney Princess Songs, Time Warp, Bring Me Little Water Sylvie and an Irish Blessing. “What a delight,” said Sister Marilyn Schauble who...

Filled with Surprises
April 30, 2016

If you go to the after school program at the Emmaus Kids Cafe you can be sure you’re getting a hot and nutritious home cooked meal, but after that…you might be surprised. Recently children at the Kids Cafe were volunteers for a project conducted by Gannon University students on Yoga and Memory; participated in Poem in Your Pocket Day by pretending to be eaten by a boa constrictor among other things; and walked outside to pet a live Jersey cow and a pygmy goat.

At right, Megan Alexander, a volunteer at Kids Cafe with Gannon’s ServeMore Sophomores Program, lives on a farm in...

NAH Students take a Spring Field Trip to Glinodo
April 29, 2016

Thirty-one very excited children, all students at the Neighborhood Art House (NAH), boarded a bus to Glinodo Center in Harborcreek Wednesday afternoon. Three were participants in Lourdes Jasso's digital photography class; twenty-eight were students in one of Sister Pat's environment classes. Their destination was Sevenmile Creek. "For some, this was their first time to see or be near a creek, and they couldn't wait!" said Sister Annette Marshall, NAH Executive Director.

The photography students started their adventure at the mouth of the creek where they documented the merging of...

Gathering of Benedictine Sisters 55 & Under
April 28, 2016
Sisters Katherine Horan, Cindy Hoover,  Lynn McKenzie (President of the Federation of St. Scholastica)
Sisters Cindy Hoover and Katherine Horan

Erie Benedictine Sisters Katherine Horan and Cindy Hoover were among a group of Benedictine Sisters, age 55 and under, who recently gathered for a weekend of input and relationship-building at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, IN. Participants came from monasteries within the Federations of St. Scholastic, St. Gertrude and St. Benedict, as well as from the Congregation of Perpetual Adoration and the Missionary Benedictines of Norfolk, NE.

The theme, “New Wineskins,” took shape in a number of presentations and discussion topics revolving around the importance of...