Thank you to Fairfield Hose Company

Thank you to Fairfield Hose Company

October 20, 2022

The annual thank you that the Benedictine Sisters offer to members of the Fairfield Hose Company Volunteer Fire Department and their families was once again a shared meal in the monastery dining room. During the pandemic, the sisters sent thank-you gifts to the firefighters. This year they were able to host a spaghetti dinner with ice cream sundaes for desert, the traditional favorite. The Fairfield Hose Company arrived ready not only to enjoy the dinner but also to educate the sisters on fire safety and what goes into the work and commitment of volunteer firefighting. The sisters prayer of thanks for the dedication of these men and women and the sacrifices they make is ongoing.

"Transition" Art Show Opening: Mixed media. Emerging in the sands of time

"Transition" Art Show Opening

October 19, 2022

Sister Margaret Ann Pilewski will host the opening of her new art show, “Transition,” this Sunday, October 23. The show features 52 new pieces born of Sister Peggy’s reflections on the current transitions in her life. “After 27 year of teaching and administering at the Art House, which followed years of teaching, I turned to a new season, a season of focusing on my art,” she explained....“Transition” will be in the Chapter 57 Gallery through Sunday, November 20. The Chapter 57 store is open every Sunday after liturgy until noon. (Closed October 30) Or, other days and times by appointment, call 814-440-3114.

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Sister Placida celebrates 105th birthday

Sister Placida celebrates 105th birthday

October 17, 2022

Sister Placida Anheuser celebrated her 105th birthday with her sisters on October 15. We are grateful for her long years, her sharp and inquisitive mind and her adventurous spirit. Above, she blows out her "105" candles and makes her wish! Below, she reads a birthday card from her sisters.

Sister Beth Adams prepares ground while Sister Ann Hoffman sows wildflower seeds.

Wildflower pollinator garden growing at the monastery

October 10, 2022

“If you want birds and butterflies, you’ve got to have something for them to eat,” explained Sister Annette Marshall, chair of the Benedictine Sisters Care for the Earth committee. She and others have noticed a decline in birds around the monastery and began research in how to reverse the trend. “We learned that if we created a native wildflower garden it would attract pollinators. Bees and butterflies need these native habitats to pollinate plants. This in turn attracts birds who feed on the insect larvae. Besides that, a wildflower garden would also provide a beautiful area for we humans to enjoy, too.”

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Sister Kathleen proclaims her monastic profession.

Sister Kathleen McCarthy makes final monastic profession

October 5, 2022

The Erie Benedictine community welcomed Sister Kathleen McCarthy to full membership when she celebrated her final monastic profession during Evening Praise on Saturday, October 1, at Mount St. Benedict Monastery. Listen to Sister Stephanie's reflections.

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Sister Cecilia celebrates 70 years

Sister Cecilia celebrates 70 years

September 24, 2022

Sister Cecilia Sullivan pronounces her monastic vows at evening praise on September 17, 70 years after she initially made them. She was one of five 2022 jubilarians but was unable to participate with the others when she came down with covid a few days before the August celebration. In addition to celebrating her 70 years of monastic profession, the community also celebrated her 90th birthday which also came while she was out of circulation while she recovered. The first jubilee story, including Sister Stephanie's reflections, is here.

2022 Prophet of Peace: Candace Battles

2022 Prophet of Peace: Candace Battles

September 22, 2022

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie honored Candace Battles with their 2022 Prophet of Peace Award during Evening Praise at the monastery on September 21. Prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt recalled her early connection with Candace as she introduced the award. “Candace has been serving our community, especially women and children, for so many years. She was always there to assist a mother in need when I called on her to help the women in the House of Healing program more than 15 years ago," she said. Sister Stephanie then acknowledged her current efforts with Our West Bayfront, and many other organizations, boards, and programs that have benefitted from the love and generosity Candace has offered the Erie community.

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Sister Pat Hause and Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress

Sister Pat Hause retires from Benetwood

September 21, 2022

“It’s been an incredible 23 years,” said Sister Pat Hause at the celebration of her retirement as manager from the Benedictine Sisters’ Benetwood Apartments in Harborcreek. She is pictured here, on the left, with Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress. Community is a good descriptor for life at Benetwood, one of the few stand-alone facilities of its kind in Erie. Board president Gery Nietupski, Law Offices of NietupskiAngelone LLC, says, “Sister Pat has been key in creating and sustaining that sense of community over the years, both among the residents and also with the board. Leading the Benetwood board has been one of the most positive board experiences I’ve had.”

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The clearing continues at Glinodo

The clearing continues at Glinodo

September 21, 2022

Students participating in Gannon University Gives Day on Saturday, September 17 continued the clearing effort begun by 11 goats in July. "We had the generous help of 20 water polo players who worked on the trails at Glinodo, laying wood chips, clearing brush, lining the trails with logs, and uprooting multiflora rose bushes," said Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, member of the Care for the Earth Committee and instrumental in the Glinodo effort to clear the woods of invasive species. "In just three hours, they made huge progress: the trail is now accessible all the way down to the beginning of Kraus Path. We’re really grateful for their help!"

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New issue of Emmaus newsletter highlights love

New issue of Emmaus newsletter highlights love

September 17, 2022

The newest issue of The Companion, newsletter of Emmaus Ministries, is out. As director Sister Mary Miller says in her opening letter, "In this issue of The Companion, you'll read about some of the many ways that Emmaus lives out the calling to be a soup kitching that is 'all things' for our guests." She refers to the newsletter's cover quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux: "I will become love, and then I will be all things."

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Judie Pentz photo by Erie Reader Erin Phillips

SBA Alum featured in Erie Reader—Remnants, Art, and Heart

September 16, 2022

Judie (Plizga) Pentz, '60, owner of The Remnant Store on East 11th Street, a block from the former St. Benedict Academy building, was recently featured in an article, Remnants, Art, and Heart, by Erin Phillips in the Erie Reader:  "'You do what you can do for people and I think it comes back to you,' says Judie Pentz, owner of the Remnant Store, a fabric shop at East 11th and German that has been in operation for nearly 60 years. Beyond selling fabric remnants, she has created an anchor in a neighborhood that is often overlooked by those who don't happen to have a heart as big as hers." The article also features a new mural along much of its front facade, part of the "Purposeful Placemaking" project through Erie Arts.

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AIM Board meeting at monastery

AIM Board meeting at monastery

September 12, 2022

The Alliance for International Monasticism, US Secretariat (AIM-USA) held their annual board meeting at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery September 6 and 7. AIM USA represents 140 US and Canadian monasteries who are linked to 450 monasteries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. It's an organization whose reason for being is to build relationships among monastics around the world who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. The organization works to promote solidarity and cooperation among the monasteries around the world.

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Communion of Saints, Community of Life

Communion of Saints, Community of Life

September 6, 2022

It is through our prayer, our awareness of God-with-us, that we come to know this communion with the entire people of God. It is in this awareness that we can say with St. Paul, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” –Romans 8:38-39 

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and send us the names of those for whom you'd like us to pray.

A different reflection on work

September 5, 2022

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki concludes her most recent Old Monk post with these words, "So maybe that’s my final lesson. Maybe I still need to realize that purpose is illusive, that too much of life is preoccupied with “working for a purpose” and that at the end purpose can’t be grasped. Maybe my purposeless wild cosmos and canaries get it: We’re here for play, for wonder, for awe and mystery." 

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New Mercyhurst University students offer a hand at Glinodo

New Mercyhurst University students offer a hand at Glinodo

August 28, 2022

In the weeks after Let's Goat Buffalo herded up their invasive species-eating goats, the restoration work has continued along Seven-Mile Creek on the Benedictine Sisters' Glinodo property. The most recent collaborators were 36 new Mercyhurst University students who embarked on their first service learning project August 22 at Glinodo.

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Sisters celebrate jubilees

Community celebrates jubilees

August 26, 2022

The Benedictine community celebrated this year's jubilarians amid challenging covid restrictions. ... After evening prayer that included remarks by the prioress, four sisters renewed their vows. Sister Mary Grace Hanes renewed her vows on the 75th annversary of her first vows. Sister Mary Louis Eichenlaub celebrated 70 years. Sister Theresa Zoky renewed her vows after 60 years, and Sister Linda Romey after 25 years. Sister Cecilia Sullivan who was also celebrating 70 years will renew her vows at a later date. You can listen to the reflections of Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress, on the Gospel of John verses 15:1-7 below.

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SBEC volunteer Joan Vereb

A loss at St Benedict Education Center

August 23, 2022

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is our life,” wrote Omar Khayyam, Persian poet. German spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle offers, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.” This reality is evident in all our lives.   One recent expression of this is the death of Joan Vereb, volunteer at Saint Benedict Education Center, on July 9, 2022. Joan’s illness was quite brief. The news of her passing surprised and saddened those with whom she worked and the staff.

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Silent Peace Walk Anniversary

Silent Peace Walk Anniversary

August 20, 2022

Benedictines for Peace will celebrate the 5th Anniversary of its monthly Silent Peace Walks on Monday, August 29, 2022, from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm at 345 East 9th Street, in the neighborhood where the Benedictine Sisters have lived and worked for over 160 years. A social time with light refreshments, beginning at 6:15 pm, will precede the Silent Peace Walk. It will be held in the playground area of St. Benedict Center. (In case of rain, the social will not be held, but the Silent Peace Walk will be.)

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