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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

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...

Kids Cafe: Decorating for Christmas
December 14, 2016

One little girl at the Kids Cafe was so into decorating cards for Christmas, “I had to beg her to wash all the paint off her hands so she could go eat!” said student Hannah Murkens, part of the Servemore Sophomores group at Gannon University, as she reminisced about the Christmas decorating party at the Kids Cafe.

“We planned the Christmas decoration party as a fun way to end the semester for us and for the kids,” Hannah said. The service club, regular volunteers at the Kids Cafe, brought all sorts of art supplies and spent the...

Sister Marilyn Schauble Sings with the North East Choral Club
December 13, 2016

Several sisters and oblates swelled the crowd that attended the annual North East Choral Club Christmas Concert, both on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. Sister Marilyn Schauble has been singing with the group for 8 years. “This wonderful group of women has welcomed me as one of them and given me the opportunity to sing with a group, one of the things I most enjoy doing.” This year’s selections included a variety of classic Christmas songs, all of which held special messages for this holiday season. There was even an audience sing-a-long.

A free will offering was accepted to...

2016 SBA Alum Christmas Party
December 12, 2016

“Once again, the SBA annual Christmas Party was a success,” said Ann Comstock, SBA Alum Director. “We came together and shared an evening of fun and laughter, catching up with friends and classmates, sisters and teachers, and simply having a good time.” Approximately 350 women gathered to begin this year’s Christmas season. “I just love this party,” shared one alum. “If we could bottle that unbelievable SBA spirit and sell it we’d make millions!” Until that can happen, gift baskets provide the opportunity to raise funds.

The gift basket raffle is one of the favored features of this...

Third Week of Advent: Rejoice Sunday!
December 10, 2016

This evening’s vigil was community at its best. A winter weather advisory, lake-effect snow, low visibility, hazardous roads . . . Sister Ann Hoffman stepped in for Sister Kath Horan and carried in the third candle; Sister Mary Ellen Plumb stepped in for Sister Ann Muczynski and sang in the choir; Sister Susan Doubet stepped in for Sister Mary Lou Kownacki and proclaimed the Advent psalm; Sister Mary Ellen Cummings stepped in for Sister Elizabeth Oettel and read Elizabeth’s reflections in her absence. The Vigil was carried on with the help of community. God is here; there is reason to...

‘Tis the Season—Gifting Emmaus
December 9, 2016

Many people donate needed items to Emmaus throughout the year. At Christmas time that gift-gifting multiplies through the generosity of students and organizations that put together special events like cereal drives, cookie-baking, and the collection of personal items.

Right now you can read three stories about groups who coordinated their efforts to benefit Emmaus: Gannon University Support Staff Association, a Cursillo Gathering from St. Marys, PA, and a Rosary Society from Our Lady of Peace Parish here in Erie.

Read it for yourself on the...

Blogs by Sisters—and a Podcast, too
December 7, 2016

The web site page dedicated to Blogs by Sisters has had a face lift thanks to web developer, Sister Linda Romey.

Each blog has links to the most recent three posts of each blogger and it will update automatically each time the sister posts to her blog.

In addition there is a new regular feature: an audio podcast posted every two weeks.

These are the five blogs and the podcast you’ll find at Sister Blogs:

Light through Stained Glass Windows by Sister Susan Doubet...

Young People Respond
December 6, 2016

“Did everyone brush their teeth this morning?” asks Emmaus social worker Rita Scrimenti to the children at Erie Day School as she holds up a toothbrush from the bag of items students donated. “Everyone likes to brush their teeth and keep clean. We all like to smell and look good,” she says. “So thank you for donating all this – our guests will love it.”

Throughout the month of November, young people have been responding to the needs of guests at Emmaus. The students at Erie Day School created gratitude baskets to share with...