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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

EARTH DAY: CRM, Children and Laudato Si'
April 22, 2016

Sisters Marian Wehler, OSB and Tina Geiger, RSM see the enthusiasm of children for the earth and its people, especially those most in need. As part of Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM) in the Oil City Deanery they work with young people in the schools, parishes and religious education programs in Venango and Clarion Counties.

“We have been showing the students in St. Stephen School in Oil City, St. Patrick’s School in Franklin and St. Joseph School in Lucinda the Laudato Si’ animation videos prepared by CAFOD (the...

April 22, 2016 ─ Nationwide Prayer for Action on Climate Change
April 21, 2016

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. It marks the anniversary of the 1970 birth of the modern environmental movement. As such, it gives voice to an emerging consciousness of the essential need for love and care of all people and all creation.

This year, Interfaith Power and Light is asking all people of faith to join in a nationwide prayer for action on climate change. Pope Francis has exhorted, over and over again, for “everyone to see the world through...

Poem in Your Pocket Day ─ Do you have a poem in your pocket?
April 21, 2016

On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

You can also simply send or text a poem to a friend.

What’s your favorite poem? Spread the word. Join in National Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Keep A Poem In Your Pocket
By Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you...

Stop Motion Video: Peeps and Portals
April 20, 2016

Three Neighborhood Art House (NAH) students, Gerzayn Agilar, Nathan Martinez and Shane Work, took up the challenge from Villa Maria Elementary School to create a piece of art using Peeps. Together they produced a stop-motion video that they named Peeps and Portals. "This was no easy task," said Sister Annette Marshall, NAH Executive Director.

A stop-motion video is produced by taking a series of still pictures that, when shown in rapid succession, produce the appearance of motion. The boys had to first develop their story line and create the setting and props. They then...

April 21 is coming: Do you have your poem ready?
April 20, 2016

The Writing Studio, a new collective of women writers and literacy advocates, is the sponsor of Erie’s Poem in Your Pocket Day which will be celebrated on Thursday, April 21.

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, coordinator of The Writing Studio which is located in Space to Create, The Studio at St. Mary’s, explains: “We believe in literature and words as a way to create dialogue between people.” Read all about it in the...

Light in the Night: Canisius College Women’s Spirituality Retreat at the Mount
April 19, 2016

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie hosted the Canisius College Annual Women’s Retreat for the 6th year with the help of Oblate Sarah Signorino, Associate Campus Minister at the college, and Sister Marilyn Schauble, Vocation Director.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Canisius that is very special to us,” said Sister Marilyn. “This particular event, while short, is an...

Moving Forward with NRRO
April 18, 2016

The Benedictine Sister of Erie have benefited from the annual national appeal, Retirement Fund for Religious, sponsored by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) and launched in 1988. Now, they are about to utilize some of the special services the NRRO offers to religious communities of men and women. “Besides giving direct assistance to religious communities for retired sisters, NRRO also offers help through a Planning and Implementation Program,” explained Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “We entered this program by attending an NRRO workshop in January. As a result of that, we...

News from The Writing Studio: We’re Celebrating National Poem in Your Pocket Day
April 15, 2016

The Writing Studio, a new collective of women writers and literary advocates whose mission is to honor the word, has a home in The Studio at Saint Mary’s: Space to Create, located at 310 E. 10TH Street in Erie.

Initiated and coordinated by Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, The Writing Studio sponsors such activities as writing workshops, author readings, book discussions, literary public art projects, literary activities with women in transition, and initiatives to celebrate National Poetry Month.


Sister Anne McCarthy reports on Strong Statement Issued by Historic Vatican Conference on Nonviolence and Just Peace
April 14, 2016

"The conference, 'Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,' ended last evening," writes Sister Anne McCarthy, who was a participant in this historic event convened by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International. A strong statement has been issued: An Appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence. "There...

St. Benedict Education Center invites you to meet Elsa Teklay
April 14, 2016

Elsa Teklay is presently featured on the St Benedict Education Center (SBEC) webpage. Elsa, an immigrant from Eritrea, a country in East Africa, credits SBEC for her ability to live happily and productively in Erie with her husband and two sons. “SBEC found me a job and now my family and I have a good life. Thank you.”

Read the full story and learn more about SBEC and Elsa.

Founded in 1988, St. Benedict Education Center is owned and administered by the...

A Match made in Heaven
April 13, 2016

“St. Benedict Child Development Center is better because of the commitment of Sisters Kate Disbrow and Beth Adams,” said Sister Diane Rabe, director. Both Sister Kate and Sister Beth recently received service awards from the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP).

Sister Beth was honored for 20 years of service. “I feel delighted and proud of this achievement. I have enjoyed working with migrant children and their families,” she remarked. “Some of the children I have taught are now enrolled in Universities. One of them is an assistant teacher in our program. Nothing is...