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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

NAH received a New Year’s Surprise
January 4, 2017

A New Year's Surprise... Cheryl Bough of Fremont California is a long-time supporter of the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House (NAH). At her family Christmas celebration, Cheryl's family gathered items from the wish list which were mailed from California. Cheryl's 6 year old granddaughter Lucy made paper houses with animals and sold them for a donation at the celebration, raising $62 for the Art House! We thank them for their generosity and thoughtfulness!

To learn more more about NAH visit their web page.

Meet Emmaus Volunteer: Mary Anne Geary
January 3, 2017

“My hairdresser and friend of fifty years, Kathe Wilson, had often told me about how much she enjoys volunteering at the soup kitchen,” explained Mary Anne Geary. “So when she asked me to step in for a volunteer who was getting older and struggling to come in each week, I said yes.” That was three years ago. And after that first year of substituting, Mary Anne became a regular volunteer on the serving line at the kitchen.

“I love the Tuesday volunteer group that I work with,” she said. “Our boss is Sister Mary and you couldn’t ask for anyone better. And the others on the team are...

The New Year Begins
January 1, 2017

There is a sense of newness in the monastery as we begin another year. Whatever was is no more. Life is like that. It is a recurring cycle, ever changing, always new. It is simply a matter of learning to let go of the past so that we can all begin again.

—From A Monastery Almanac by Joan Chittister, OSB

This New Year provides us with the opportunity start anew. Let us do so with mindfulness and attention, with generosity and care, so that we may know peace within and be a presence of kindness and peace in any and all situations.

May you know a blessed...

Sister Marlene Bertke named an Erie-Times News Person of 2016
December 31, 2016

Sister Marlene Bertke has been named one of the Erie Times News People of 2016. She is among four honorees who have made and continue to make a lasting and positive impact in the Erie area.

Sister Marlene is recognized as a leading activist for numerous social issues. The article notes that Sister Marlene helped found the Take Back the Site Vigil program in 1999 and the monthly immigration vigil in 2013.

“We are very proud of Sister Marlene’s ongoing efforts as a member of Benedictines for Peace,” said Sister...

All is ready!
December 24, 2016

The monastery looks like Christmas. The tree has been decorated and the chapel is ready for services. Decorations fill the offices and hallways. Love—the Light, the Guest, is on the way. We are ready to welcome the Christ.

Click on the arrow to view a collage of photos. Clicking on individual photos will enlarge them for better viewing.


Success for first-time cookie bakers at SBEC
December 22, 2016

There is a first time for everything and that includes baking cookies. A segment of the student population at SBEC are immigrants from an array of cultures. Women and men from the Congo, Somalia, Syria, Bhutan and Puerto Rico recently had the experience of making their very first cut-out cookies in America.

With the help of Erin Carey, Benedictine Women Service Corps volunteer (BWSC), who is working at SBEC part-time tutoring refugees, and Mary Lou McCall, one of the refugee instructors,...

Erin's latest blog: A Season of Firsts
December 22, 2016
Erin experiences the Mount's tree trimming.

Erin Carey, a 22 year old graduate of St. Benedict’s College in Minnesota, is volunteering here in Erie as part of the Benedictine Women Service Corps (BWSC), an outreach program of the Benedictine Sisters in Minnesota that encourages alumnae to volunteer in works of justice as they strive to live Benedictine values in a Benedictine community.

Erin is working part time at the Neighborhood Art House (NAH) teaching music...

Hark! The Herald Sisters Ring!
December 21, 2016

Well, now it is beginning to sound like Christmas here at Mount St. Benedict. The handbell choir, under the direction of Sister Marilyn Schauble, was in great form at their weekly rehearsal for the upcoming Christmas liturgies. Music by the Erie Benedictine Sisters' Handbell Choir accompanies this photo collage that gives witness to the fun the group is having while getting ready for Christmas festivities. Hark, the Herald Angels sing and better yet, Hark, the Herald Sisters ring! Check it out by clicking on the arrow to look and listen. Clicking on individual photos will enlarge...

Free Christmas Trees for Emmaus Guests
December 20, 2016

For many years, Tim Holland, a long-time regular volunteer at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen, has donated Christmas trees for Emmaus guests to take home for free. In the midst of a very snowy morning, Tim and his neighbor, Ed Gordon, brought fifteen trees to the pantry from Tim’s farm in Harborcreek.

Before they even finished unloading the trees from their two trailers, two guests of the pantry picked one out and began to haul it away, pulling it behind them as they walked home. “Thanks to the snow (and icy sidewalks), watching them walk away looked just like it was out of a Christmas...

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas
December 19, 2016

I don’t know what’s in your pizzelles but the Mount’s pizzelles are full of love and fun. With the addition of two new pizzelle irons the group laughed their way through a great time of making pizzelles for the community. Newer members were initiated into the annual tradition and learned the ropes from resident pizzelle expert, Sister Marilyn Schauble. “It didn’t take them long to catch on,” said Sister Marilyn of Kathy McCarthy, postulant, Jessica Varquez (Benedicta Riepp Monastic Experience Program) and Erin Carey (Benedictine Women Service Corps). “In no time they were turning out some...

Advent: Week IV
December 17, 2016

The last week of Advent has begun. The fourth advent candle was placed by Sister Katherine Horan at the start of the final Advent Vigil. Christmas is only days away and the Advent message of Matthew’s Gospel (1:18-24) is a strong reminder of that to which each one of us is called.

In her reflections, Sister Anne McCarthy pointed out that Joseph was urged not to be afraid to take Mary and the unborn into his home, to not leave Mary, the pregnant unmarried woman, as an outcast but to encircle her with protection care, security and safety.

“The needs of the most vulnerable in...