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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

Wise Women Also Came
January 9, 2017

Read Sister Val’s blog, Walking in the Holy Presence, where she reflects on Epiphany. Sister Val shares the poem: Wise Women Also Came by Jan Richardson as well as a “photo-journey” she and some wise women took on Epiphany afternoon. Clicking on the photos will enlarge them for better viewing.



Blessing of the Monastery
January 8, 2017

The blessing of a home is an Epiphany custom and a tradition at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery. The community gathers at the Monastery entrance to mark the doors with the current year and the inscription CBM: 20+ C+B+M+17. The initials stand for the names of the magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The letters also represent the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat which means “May Christ bless this home.”

The inscription remains as a sign that blessing is wished for all who enter and depart from our monastery. The community proceeds to process around the monastery...

Welcome to the Mount
January 8, 2017

What better day than Epiphany to extend welcome to a group of students from Canisius College who traveled from Buffalo to spend their Winter Break at the Mount. The “star” that led them was the desire to engage in this special ministry endeavor.

The group of students with their adult leader arrived just in time for Sunday liturgy. Sister Marilyn Schauble, Director of Vocations, organized the week. “This has become one of our favorite weeks of the year. We are pleased and excited to welcome this college group into our home and hearts.”

The week will include prayer and meals...

In Memoriam: Sister Janet Staab, OSB
January 5, 2017

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie remember Sister Janet Staab who entered into eternal rest on January 5, 2017. Please join us in prayer for Sister Janet.





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...