About the Benedictine Sisters of Erie

Corporate Commitment

A corporate commitment is a vision or goal that we agree to promote as a community and as individuals no matter where we are or in how many diverse ministries we might be engaged. The corporate commitment of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie is:

As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability and justice, especially for women and children.

Charism Statement

A charism is a particular way in which people respond to God's call. A community’s charism embodies the way the members carry out their mission and ministries. The Benedictine charism is:

The Benedictine way is to seek God in the communal life and to respond in prayer and ministry.

Common Life

Community

Life as a Benedictine Sister of Erie is centered in community, following the Rule of St. Benedict under the guidance of the Prioress. We are vowed in the Catholic tradition promising with perpetual vows: stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life and obedience. A commitment to the common good and respect for each other support us in our search for God and nurture the bonds of community.

Prayer and Liturgy

As Benedictine women, prayer is central to our monastic life. The community gathers three times a day for the Liturgy of the Hours, the basis of our communal prayer. The festive marking of Sunday, along with the great feasts and seasons of the liturgical year, includes the celebration of Eucharist as well. Daily lectio divina, occasional reconciliation services, and various annual events complete the community’s liturgical life.

Ongoing Formation

How does one keep fresh and alive the energy and joy of responding to one’s call to monastic life? The community’s commitment to continuing education – to our On-going Formation Program – is one way. This program is implemented through a series of regularly scheduled community meetings. The meetings focus on areas that will aid in our growth and development as human persons and monastic women in church and society.

Ministry

Ministry is an integral part of monastic life. Inspired by the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict we respond to the needs of God’s people. We steward the gifts, talents and skills that have been given to us and extend them through service. Community and non-community ministries alike provide the opportunity for meaningful work that is consistent with our monastic commitment to glorify God in all things.

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See our Guest Accommodations Page to schedule a visit.

Community Life

Handmade Valentines for the guests at Emmaus

When is the last time someone gave you a handmade valentine?

This Valentine's Day, each guest of Emmaus Soup Kitchen received a unique valentine, courtesy of listeners of the 106.3 WCTL radio station.

For the fourth year in a row,...

Benedictine Sisters of Erie respond to senseless act of gun violence in Florida

On February 14, 2018, our nation witnessed, yet again, a horrific mass shooting. We, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, are grief-stricken by the senseless loss of life and severe injury to the minds, hearts and spirits of the many who were part of...

Discover your Inner Artist

The Discover Your Inner Artist series returns with Acrylic Painting on Friday, March 2, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Tap into that “inner artist” under the direction of artist and Neighborhood Art House teacher, Mary Kay...

Lent and the culture of encounter

Lent begins. The annual 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The journey to Easter and the expectation of resurrection.

“If you were to enter the monastery chapel you would know a new season has begun,” said Sister Anne...

Valentine's Day: How would it be if just for today . . .

St. Valentine was a Roman Christian who, according to tradition, was martyred during the persecution of Christians in the third century. Prior to his death, Valentine was imprisoned but he continued to witness to Christianity.

One day, a...

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Community History

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie trace their beginnings to the Benedictine nuns at St. Walburg Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany, founded in 1035. Sisters from there first came to St. Marys, PA in 1852 to educate the children of the newly arrived German immigrants.

On June 21, 1856 Mother Benedicta Riepp and five sisters from St. Marys arrived in Erie at the request of the Erie bishop. Sister Scholastic Burkhard was appointed first superior by Mother Benedicta thus establishing the first community of women religious in the Erie area.

In 1859 three sisters from Erie were sent to Covington, KY to begin a community and in 1861 three more traveled to Chicago to establish another community. Both communities continue today. Read more