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Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds: A Meditation

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ─William Sharp

See the beauty, hear the silence and enjoy the peace of Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds.

News and Events

Easter Egg Fun
March 26, 2016

Benedictines cultivate beauty whenever they can – even in the art of Easter egg decorating. “There was nothing haphazard about the annual event organized by Sister Helen Heher,” said Sister Marilyn Schauble, one of the egg decorators. “Every detail was attended to with care. It was so inviting that you couldn’t help but want to decorate eggs and create something beautiful.”

Eggs are symbolic of new life and for Christians decorated Easter eggs are a sign of Resurrection life and joy. “It was a wonderful coming together,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “As the number of...

It is Finished in beauty
March 25, 2016

Christ is crucified today whenever and wherever hatred, violence and injustice prevail. As part of the triduum, the Benedictine Sisters, along with oblates, family members, friends and interested public, walked through downtown Erie marking the Way of the Cross, mindful that an injustice to one is an injustice to all. This year’s stations were based on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in conjunction with the Year of Mercy as called for by Pope Francis.

“This is our 36th Peace Pilgrimage,” explained Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “In a special way we are reminded to be...

O God, Hear our Prayer
March 25, 2016

Tenebrae: a series of psalms and lamentations and a meditation on the events of salvation running from the Last Supper to the entombment.

The candles of the Tenebrae candelabra are lit and then extinguished in order to denote the almost complete abandonment of Christ by the apostles.

Nevertheless, the unrecognized light of Christ is not destroyed, as the 15th candle gives evidence. In the midst of the deepening darkness, the light of this candle still shines.

Benedictines participate in FAITH-BASED “MORALtorium” on Fracking in Pennsylvania
March 25, 2016

Faith leaders from across Pennsylvania gathered in Harrisburg on Monday, March 21, 2016 to raise the awareness that Pennsylvania’s energy policy is a moral issue. Among them were Benedictine Sisters Pat Lupo, Norma Jean Kingsley, Lucia and Claire Marie Surmik and oblate, Sheila McLaughlin. Sam Miller and Dave Weinkauf from Our Water Our Air Our Rights filled out the Erie contingency.
“The Faith community sees fracking as a deeply troubling moral issue,” explained Sister Pat. “Many faith leaders, with their congregations...

Sister Pat Lupo honored with Women in Conservation Award
March 23, 2016

“For a long time, too many years to count, I have worked with young people and adults to create change in the communities where they live, in the communities that we care about and in communities where justice demands that we work with our sisters and brothers to address their issues of concern,” said Sister Pat Lupo in her acceptance of the annual Women in Conservation Award. The award, presented by Penn Future, a Harrisburg-based environmental advocacy and political lobbying group, celebrates Sister Pat’s commitment to environmental activism and her achievements in conservation in...

Lenten Meal─St. Gregory's, North East─Emmaus
March 22, 2016

In the prayer that opened the Lenten Soup/Bread Supper at Saint Gregory’s Parish in North East, PA, those attending prayed, “We thank you for Sister Mary as she shares the gift of her ministry to the hungry, poor and neglected of our society. May her words help us to open the door of your mercy as we reach out to those who are broken in body or spirit. Help us to heal them through our love and turn their sorrow into joy.”

After joining the parishioners in a simple meal of soup and bread, prepared by the children who attend Saint Gregory’s elementary, Sister Mary Miller, director of...

Lent VI: Some thoughts for Reflection
March 20, 2016

In the Gospel of Luke we hear of cloaks and carpets, not palms, laid out for Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. These are the valuable items of the poor. Are we willing to lay down what we value most for the good of others?

True passion is a strong emotion that moves us most deeply. During this Lenten season have we been moved to a deeper relation with God?

In the Rule of Benedict we are reminded that the life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent. (RB 49:1) Let us not forget that eternal Lent brings eternal Easter.

─Sister Katherine Horan, OSB, from reflections on...

When I was a prisoner . . .
March 19, 2016

In keeping with the Year of Mercy, as designated by Pope Francis, the theme of the annual Lenten Reflection Afternoon for Oblates was “When I was a Prisoner.”

Oblate co-director, Sister Dianne Sabol gave an overview of the history of the community’s involvement in prison ministry. “Being able to share memories of our first sisters involved in prison ministry, Sisters Bernardine Goeble, Mary Margaret Kraus and Miriam Vos, was very special for me,” said Sister Dianne.

The Oblates also heard from Sister Mary Lou Kownacki about her personal experience of being a prisoner. She...

Benedictine Oblate Interviewed for National Catholic Reporter Blog Column
March 17, 2016

Mary Hembrow Snyder, Professor of religious studies, and director of the William C. Sennett Institute for Mercy & Catholic Studies at Mercyhurst University and Oblate of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, was recently interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) blogger, Mercy Sister Camille D’Arienzo.

Every two weeks Sister Camille interviews members of the Catholic Church about how their faith has affected them for her blog: Conversations with...

St. Benedict Education Center Hosts Annual Appreciation Luncheon for Volunteers
March 16, 2016

Spring arrived on cue, just in time for St Benedict Education Center’s (SBEC) annual spring luncheon for its volunteers.

The guests were welcomed by executive director, Nancy Sabol, who thanked them for their tireless service. “Non-profit organizations like SBEC operate on a shoe string. Volunteers are a life line for us. We are so fortunate to have committed and faithful partners in this important work. Thank you for all you do.”

The tables were beautifully arrayed with placemats, each displaying a Mandala created by the refugee students. Each guest also received an...

Humanitarian of the Year
March 15, 2016

Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, received a long standing ovation following her acceptance talk upon receiving the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Notre Dame Club of Erie at the Kahkwa Club on Thursday, March 10. The award, named after Fr. Richard McBrien, one of the outstanding post-Vatican II theologians in the country who taught at Notre Dame for many years, is given to a person whose actions demonstrate and advocate the Catholic faith. Sister Mary has served the poor of Erie for 35 years and she was a student of Fr. McBrien’s when he taught at Boston College...