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Pray the O Antiphons

The "O Antiphons," one of the oldest liturgical rituals in the church, are prayed around the world during the final days of Advent. For the seven days before Christmas, we recall in these prayers a quality of Christ that must be realized before the presence of Christ can consume the world.

Join us in prayer. Listen to the Benedictine Sisters sing the antiphons that were composed by the late Erie Benedictine Sister Mary David Callahan.

O Adonai

December 18
When we build a vision of life it is necessary to realize that Jesus must be the center of it—not our institutions, good as they may be; not our plans or personal talents, necessary as they are. — Joan D. Chittister, OSB

Prayer
O Adonai, leader of the ancient Israel, giving Moses, while in the burning bush, the law on Sinai. Come with outstretched arms and teach us.

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Advent is the season of preparing to birth the Christ in our lives and in our world. It is a time to slow down, to pray: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; it is a time to wait with patience for the reign of God. “It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us.” (From The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister, OSB)

Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Advent with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel features the sisters’ handbell choir under the direction of Sister Marilyn Schauble.

Christmas Appeal 2018

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Christ and the coming of Christ’s light into our world. The Christ child in our midst is a gift that invites us to expand our hearts and our giving.

Please consider a financial gift to our Christmas Fund! Your gift will support our ministries and assist with the upkeep of our monastery. It will also bring love and care to our senior sisters who worked so long for so little.

Click here to read more or go to our secure website and give now.

News and Events

Liturgy A-Z: September 17, 2018
September 17, 2018

The topic of Liturgical Art is continued with this week's Liturgy A-Z posting. Every Monday Sister Karen Oprenchok will add a new entry on the particular topic at hand. In today's post she gives some very interesting background on icons. Click here to read A VERY brief history of icons, materials, and design.

Congratulations are in order
September 11, 2018

The Art of Healing Art Show is presently underway at the LECOM Wellness Center. Congratulations to the Benedictine Sisters who each had two photographs accepted into the show:

Sister Bernadette Sullivan: “A Taste of Spring” and “The Cross of Christ”
Sister Lucia Marie Surmik: “Wonder of Nature” and “Rush of Joy”

The art show put on by LECOM gives local artists a chance to display their work and give back to the community. All purchases from the “Art of Healing”...

Remembering 9/11
September 10, 2018

As we remember the heartbreaking events of 9/11, a tragedy that changed the world forever, we humbly turn to God in whom we place our hope and trust and renew our prayer for peace and nonviolence.

May my mind think no harm.
May my lips speak no harm.
May my hands do no harm.
May the children of tomorrow
bless the work I offer.

─Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

New Feature on the Website: Liturgy A to Z
September 10, 2018

Liturgy A-Z kicks off today with its first entry. Topic: Liturgical Art. Sister Karen Oprenchok will be posting weekly. Every Monday will bring a new entry on the particular topic at hand. Today, September 10, Sister Karen shares some thoughts about Liturgical Art under the title: Strive after Noble Beauty.

If you want to know more about the why behind Liturgy A-Z click here to read the introduction. Sister Karen, a native Canadian, professed her first vows in 2017. Now...

A Vigil for Racial and Economic Justice after the death of Felix Manus
September 7, 2018

A Vigil for Racial and Economic Justice will be held at the Erie County Prison’s Work Release Facility, 450 E 16th St, Erie, PA on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 pm.

Felix L. Manus died after suffering an asthma attack while he was an inmate in the Erie County Prison’s Work Release program. He experienced the asthma attack on May 30 at his work site in Edinboro, was transported back to the Work Release facility in Erie and waited until an ambulance was called. He became unresponsive in the ambulance, never regaining consciousness, and died on June 11, 2018.

This 48 year-...

Annual Benetwood-Benedictine Dinner
September 5, 2018

“This is one of my favorite events,” shared Colleen, one of the guests who arrived at the monastery from Benetwood. “It’s always nice to be with the sisters and I always look forward to the prayer, delicious meal and dessert pies!” And thus began a very pleasant evening as the Erie Benedictines welcomed their neighbors from Benetwood Apartments for what has become an annual event: Evening Prayer and a special dinner ─ a simple celebration of friendship, faith, food and fun.

Evening Prayer in the chapel was followed by a festive meal in the monastery dining room. As the guests left...

Blue Coats Serving at Emmaus
September 5, 2018

Summertime: warm weather, lots of sun, plenty of time spent outside, children running through the fountain at Perry Square… it brings a different sort of energy than winter.

The same is true at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen: in the summertime, and even after school begins, the energy is high. To contain the vivacity, Erie’s “Blue Coats” Ray Humphries and Bruce Wayne (aka: “Batman”) are on site before, during, and after mealtime at the soup kitchen.

Nicknamed the “Blue Coats” by children, this group of volunteers typically work with the Erie School District to promote peace and...

A Special Guest at Emmaus
September 3, 2018

Despite – or maybe because – of the sign in the Emmaus Grove Garden that says “No Rabbits!” a baby rabbit was found in the parking lot of the soup kitchen. At maybe just a day or two old, it weighs less than an ounce and is smaller than the palm of one’s hand.

The rabbit was found right before the food pantry opened as the volunteers walked in. “We’re calling him Emmaus,” said Marie Wolf, volunteer, “because we found him on the road to get food.” And in finding this tiny creature, volunteers at the food pantry saw something divine in him.

In an attempt to save the rabbit,...

Labor Day Mindfulness: Ora et labora
September 2, 2018

The spirit of the Rule of Benedict can be summed up in the simple motto, “Ora et Labora” – pray and work. Benedict viewed prayer and work as partners, and believed in combining contemplation with action. Work is an integral part of all human life.

As we celebrate Labor Day let us be thankful for the gift and opportunity of work; let us be mindful of those who long for just employment; let us support those unable to find work.

May God bless the work that we do for the good of all.

September 1: World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
September 1, 2018

In 2015 Pope Francis declared September 1 an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Stewardship of the planet has been a key issue for the Pope. He has expressed his concern about climate change and how it has put the earth’s most vulnerable peoples at risk. His encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, is devoted to how we who live on this planet might leave it in a livable condition for future generations. Citing his encyclical he said: “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary...

Jubilarians Celebrating 60 Years Renew Vows
August 31, 2018

Where, oh where, did the last month go? That's how long it has been since the sisters celebrating 60 years of monastic profession renewed their vows at a special evening prayer for the community. “It feels like it was just yesterday,” shared Sister Rita, one of the jubilarians. “The memory of a beautiful time together remains alive in my mind and heart.” And now there are picutres to accompany that memory! Click on the arrow to view a collage that captures some of the event's special moments. Clicking on individual photos will enlarge them for better viewing.

The community affirmed...

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