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


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 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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Community Life

Annual Appreciation Dinner: Thank you to the Fairfield Hose Company

In a show of gratitude the Benedictine Sisters of Erie hosted members of the Fairfield Hose Company for dinner and an evening of Benedictine hospitality. Established in 1945, this...

Erie Insurance Charity Challenge Golf Tournament benefits Emmaus Ministries

For the third year in a row, the “Maple Donuts” golf team competed in the Erie Insurance Charity Challenge Golf Tournament in support of Emmaus Ministries. The tournament was held in mid-September at the Kahkwa Club.

The team, led by Maple...

SBEC "Slumber Party"

If you planned to attend the regularly scheduled Tuesday afternoon Social Service Speaker program a couple weeks ago you might have been surprised to pass someone in Winnie the Pooh pajamas who accompanied you to a “Slumber Party”, instead....

AIM USA Board Goes the Distance

Sister Ann Hoffman, Executive Director of AIM USA (Alliance for International Monasticism) and her staff, Sisters Therese Glass and Christine Kosin, who work under the direction of a Board of Trustees, hosted the Board’s 2019 annual meeting at...

A staff member and a volunteer give a new twist to their Emmaus ministries presentation

For the past few academic semesters, Emmaus staff member Breanna Mekuly and weekly volunteer Cindy Liotta, both Oblates with the Erie Benedictines, gave presentations to religion classes at Mercyhurst University on the topic of “Food Insecurity...


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