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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

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.


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

Sister Joan Chittister at Chautauqua
July 31, 2018

Sister Joan Chittister returned to the Hall of Philosophy at the Chautauqua Institute on July 30 to open the Interfaith Lecture Series during the institute’s week on "A Spirituality of Work.”

Drawing from her book, Radical Spirit, Sister Joan explained the 12 steps of humility in the Rule of Benedict as an invitation to freedom, authentic living and the means to shaping a future that honors the common good.

The crowd was overflowing and the listening was intense as Sister Joan explored the need for work that will be a...

Sister Linda Romey speaks at Federation Chapter
July 28, 2018

Sister Linda Romey recently addressed the delegates, prioresses, councilors, and visitors gathered at Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, ND, for the 2018 General Chapter of the Federation of St. Benedict. Click here to read all about it. Included in the story is a link to her latest article at Global Sisters Report. You can also access the article here.

Global Sisters Report is an independent and non-profit source of...

St. Mary's Restoration: with the help of a grant from ECGRA
July 25, 2018

“We live and work in the East side of Erie and we care about this area,” said Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, “and that’s why we were intent on preserving buildings like St. Mary’s school and using them for programs that revitalize the neighborhood. For that reason, we’re thankful for this generous grant.”

Along with supporting other East Bayfront neighborhood non-profits in Erie, the Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority (ECGRA) granted $100,000 for Emmaus Ministries to purchase all new windows and install a new bathroom in the St. Mary’s building. The press...

Sister Valerie Luckey: Co-Winner of the ABA Essay Contest
July 22, 2018

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie are pleased to announce that Sister Valerie Luckey was selected as one of two winners of the American Benedictine Academy's Monastic Essay contest. This contest, which takes place each year there is an American Benedictine Academy (ABA) meeting, encourages scholarly research among newer monastics. Sister Val is a scholastic, the third stage of initial monastic formation.

Sister Valerie’s essay, "In the Way of Grace: A Young Monk’s Joy” explores the joy Sister Val has found in her monastic...

Summer of Hope: Benedictines help with Erie Refocused
July 22, 2018

“Summer of Hope is dedicated to helping east side Erie neighborhoods to be the best they can be,” explained Sister Theresa Zoky, one of several Benedictine Sisters who are helping with the door-to-door interviews that will explain Erie Refocused to city residents. “It is truly an honor to be part of this movement.”

In addition to Sister Theresa, the Benedictine volunteers include Sisters Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, Pat Lupo, Lucia Marie Surmik, Clarie Marie Surmik, and Cindy Hoover. They ask people in target neighborhoods (east of State and Holland streets, north of East 15th Street,...

Global Sisters Report posts article about the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality
July 18, 2018

Breanna Mekuly and Jacqueline Small share the highlights of the first annual Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality in an article published July 18 as part of the Global Sisters Report. Both women were integrally involved in the preparation and unfolding of the two-week summer intensive that welcomed a group of nine female Catholic graduate students or recent graduates of masters programs in divinity, theology or related fields.

The subject of this year’s program, “A Feminist Benedictine Option,” fostered discussions focused on monasticism and women through the lens...

Fresh Produce: Tomato Plants donated to Emmaus
July 12, 2018

“I heard about the Emmaus Food Pantry and called up to see if they would like vegetable plants,” said Bonnie Leamer who runs the B & R Greenhouse in North East, PA. “I figure the more people are able to do for themselves,” like growing their own food at home, “the better off they are.”

Bonnie brought 40 flats of organic tomato plants to be shared with guests of the Emmaus Food Pantry and plans to bring another 40 or more this coming week.

This summer, food pantry guests are also receiving fresh produce...

Visit Chapter 57 Online Store: Featured Artist Jackie Burns, Oblate
July 12, 2018

Check out our online Chapter 57 store where this month we are highlighting the work of Oblate Jackie Burns. Jackie, an ordained Episcopal deacon and a prison chaplain, is offering a selection of hand-crafted jewelry with a Benedictine touch. There are also a limited number of "Forgiveness Bowls."

Every item is unique and made with special care―view the selections, read more about Jackie and place your order here.

Celebrating the Feast of Benedict
July 11, 2018

In the Benedictine Calendar of Saints, Benedict of Nursia is celebrated as the founder of Western Monasticism on July 11. He provided a Rule which establishes a way of life rooted in the Gospel and grounded in the scriptural principles of charity, humility, stability, and faithfulness.
Benedict's Rule is all about love:it teaches that everything is a holy endeavor; it points to Christ. “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ” sums it up perfectly.

As Benedictines, preferring nothing to the love of Christ is how we seek God in our prayer life, in our community living and in our...

Erie City Officials visit Emmaus Ministries
July 10, 2018

“I like this,” said Kathy Wyrosdick, Erie City Planner, while she looked around Emmaus Soup Kitchen. “I like how it feels like a house.”

The City Planner, Kathy, asked to visit Emmaus’ ministries to better learn about community efforts in the “East Bayfront neighborhood.” Kathy is helping to implement the Erie Refocus Plan, the goal of which is to strengthen neighborhoods by first understanding the needs and how needs are being addressed in each neighborhood and then working to further develop effective responses.

“We know that community meetings aren’t always the best way to...

Special Invitation to Sister Joan Chittister from the Shriver Family
July 9, 2018

Sister Joan Chittister has been invited to participate in a ceremony honoring her friend, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. A permanent Flame of Hope monument is being erected in Chicago on July 26, the location of the first international games in 1968. Prior to that event, the Kennedy family is lighting the eternal flame from the rays of the sun at the home of Joseph P. Kennedy home in Hyannis Port and then transporting it to Chicago. Sister Joan has been invited to participate in the intimate Hyannis...