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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Community Life

STAY IN THE LOOP continues strong

The STAY IN THE LOOP loom knitting trio (Sisters Karen Oprenchok, Marilyn Schauble and Jean Wolbert) is going strong. Already for this season, they have completed 378 hats and several scarves with donated yarn for those in need. And not a moment...

2018 Emmaus Coat Drive and Giveaway

At the annual Emmaus Coat Drive and Giveaway, a three-year-old girl who regularly attends the soup kitchen with her family got a full winter outfit: jacket, boots, mittens and a hat. She was thrilled. And so were her parents because they also...

Highlights from the 2018 Oblate Weekend

“It’s been a week since the 2018 Oblate Weekend but the memories are full of energy from a gathering that was memorable,” said Sister Dianne Sabol, Oblate Co-Director. She and Sister Ann Hoffman, also an oblate co-director, worked with a group of...

Emmaus Ministries celebrates a Dedicated Volunteer Nurse

Every day guests at Emmaus Soup Kitchen can be assured of a hot meal, but on Wednesday they get something special – medical assistance. And on Sunday, October 28, at Lakewood United Methodist Church, the Emmaus family joined in celebrating the “...

All Saints—All Souls

Who are your saints now? Who are the people you look back on with respect and awe? Live in a way that the memory of you will live on in the people left behind. [From A Monastery Almanac by Joan Chittister, OSB]

 

 

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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