About SBA

St. Benedict Academy

The purpose of the Saint Benedict Academy Alumnae Association is to promote and maintain the bond of the members, support the ministries of the Benedictine Sisters, promote Catholic education and support and encourage its members in their involvement in service to ministries that promote Benedictine Values and traditions.

We are committed to carrying out the philosophy of our Benedictine Education-to develop to our full potential, to build community wherever we are, and to offer our gifts for others so that in all things God may be glorified.

We learned to appreciate ourselves as independent and unique women, to stand alone when necessary, to live with purpose, to work as part of something greater than ourselves.


Classes who are planning reunions next year are eligible to receive a $35 check to help defray mailing costs. Also provided will be an updated class list from our database as well as a set of labels. Please provide us with any information regarding your reunion that you would like posted on this website. We would also appreciate and follow up stories and photos you might wish to share. All we ask is that you provide us with new or updated addresses for the database. It is one of the best ways we have to keep in touch with friends and classmates.

Please contact Ann Comstock. Call 814-899-0614 ext. 2573 or

SBA School Song

SBA School Song

School Song
(until 1945)

A cheer for SBA
for dear old SBA.
Let’s sing her memory
in joyful song.

A cheer for SBA
for dear old SBA.
The school we love
The school we love.

Throughout our future lives
We’ll ever honor thee.
Inspired by thy light
shall be our loyalty
Shall be, shall be our loyalty.

A cheer for SBA
for dear old SBA.
We’ll voice our song
thy praise prolong.

School Song
(after 1945)

A cheer for dear St. Benedict’s
And many happy days
With friends we never can forget,
Who join us in our praise;
Where e’er we go in future days
Thy honor we’ll proclaim;
Inspir’d shall be our loyalty
And glory to thy name.

St. Benedict’s, St. Benedict’s
We’ll always hail thy halls;
We’ll always come to thee again
When Alma Mater calls.

We thank thee for thy guiding care
And all we’ve learned from thee
To fill our hearts with higher power
And opportunity;
To make the best of everything,
Meet troubles with a smile,
To hold aloft our highest aim,
And hail thee all the while.

Our Mission and Purpose are accomplished through:

• COMMUNICATION with our membership:

All Alumnae receive our Association’s newsletter in The Mount magazine. The Saint Benedict Academy Alumnae pages are updated periodically.

• COMMITMENT to Catholic Education:

Twenty $250 parochial educational scholarships are awarded each year to relatives of members.  Recipients are determined by lottery at the annual spring brunch.

• SUPPORT of the Benedictine Sisters in their inner-city ministries:

Events are held each year by the Alumnae Association at which time members of the association are asked for donations that support the association goals and the inner-city ministries of the Benedictine Sisters.

• PARTICIPATION in annual Alumnae events:

The Spring luncheon; the alumnae liturgy at Mount Saint Benedict followed by Brunch; the annual purse bingo; the Christmas party; plus additional events planned throughout the year.

History of SBA

The year was 1869.

Immigrants were streaming into the United States—poor, Catholic immigrants who needed an education in order to move into the mainstream of society. There was no Catholic secondary education for women in Erie.

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie saw a need and responded. They began St. Benedict Academy, the first Catholic high school for women in the city.

A story-and-a-half frame house provided the first "school" where Sister Edith Schlaudecker, a strong, determined woman, directed the new students. Two students appeared on the first day of school, and with tuition set at $1 a month for day students, the uncertainty with which the future was faced can well be imagined.

Undaunted by this meager beginning, a lively faith prompted the Sisters to continue teaching the curriculum offerings: Christian Doctrine, English, Sacred History, Drawing, Music and Embroidery.

The dedication of the new three-story building for boarders and day students took place on December 8, 1870, less than two years after the first day of school.

Until 1920, the Academy accommodated boarders as well as day pupils, and the curriculum provided for the eight grammar grades and a three-year commercial course.

Improvements were made at various intervals: the training of the sisters to meet professional standards; the addition of a fourth year to the curriculum and first class accreditation for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction (1922).

St. Benedict Academy

SBA Happenings

Walking through Santa's Workshop with SBA Alumnae
Walking through Santa's Workshop with SBA Alumnae

COVID does not have the upper hand on the St. Benedict Academy Alumnae Association. When the annual Christmas party, the Association's biggest and most popular event, had to be cancelled because of COVID, some creative alumnae took to heart these words of the school song, "To make the best of everything, Meet troubles with a smile" and came up with a safe and creative alternative: "Walking through Santa's Workshop."

A key piece of the Christmas Party is the basket raffle--so co-coordinators Darlene Kerstetter '82, and Val Purzycki, '88, organized a basket raffle minus the party. "We...

Read more

SBA Alum Association Newsletter

Executive Board

President:  Darlene Kerstetter ‘82
Vice President:  Sue Chase ‘82
Secretary: Sheila Warner ‘73
Treasurer:  Ann Comstock '64
Sister Rosanne Loneck, '61
Katie Young ‘87
Sister Mary Ellen Plumb, '71
Valerie Purzycki ‘88
Sue Zill ‘65
Cheryl Zingelewicz ‘65

Let us pray

For our deceased alumnae:


Anna Marie Gorka Neimeic
Class of 1954
Catherine Ignasiak Stumpo
Class of 1967


Norma Jean Mikula Kalie
Class of 1960
Eugenia (Jean) Kubeja Hughes
Class of 1942
Mary Ann Heibel Wilkinson
Class of 1963
Louise Joann Felder Liegl
Class of 1955
Carmelita Hogan Munsch
Class of 1953