Pentecost: Come, Spirit, Come

Pentecost: Come, Spirit, Come

May 22, 2021

For the early Christians—and for us now—it is a matter only of allowing the Sprit to transform us so that our life and the life of Christ do finally merge, do really melt into one another, do truly become one, are united both here and hereafter.

"Your sorrow will be turned into joy," Jesus promised. And for 50 days we have allowed ourselves to be caught up in the consciousness of it as incomplete, of course, but coming, clearly coming. We are indeed now risen with Christ. —The Liturgical Life by Joan Chittister

SBEC Summer Bash

SBEC Summer Bash Provides an Opportunity

May 19, 2021

Learning positive, healthy ways to interact with others seems to be a need in our society today. Look at the books and articles being written. Note the frequent speakers and guests on talk-shows and their topics. We are being taught how to communicate within our families, especially with our children, with friends and just about everyone else.

Participants at Saint Benedict Education Center have the same needs. The staff are particularly aware of the desire for positive, healthy engagement within the families of our clients.

Laudato Sí Week

Laudato Sí Week

May 17, 2021

Laudato Sí Week 2021 will be a time to celebrate the progress our global community on its journey to ecological conversion, as well as a time to reflect on what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us and prepare for the future with hope. In the words of Pope Francis: “I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis, the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue. Let’s take care of creation, a gift of our good Creator God. Let’s celebrate Laudato Sí Week together.”

This reminder is taken from Sister Joan Chittister's Vision and Viewpoint newsletter.

St Benedict Education Center

Do Words Matter? Job? Career?

May 11, 2021

In the recent past a visitor to Saint Benedict Education Center (SBEC) might hear references made to helping participants “get a job” or developing relationships with area employers. Department of Human Services (DHS) program guidelines set forth a short timeframe within which program participants were expected to get a job without considering that person’s skills, level of education, interests, or challenges. But -- How does one get a job at a living wage without a GED or high school diploma? How does one work full time while having to home school? How does one work an evening or night shift when no day care or transportation is available? These are just some of the questions we have tried to answer.

Reflections on God as love...on Mother's Day

Reflections on God as love...on Mother's Day

May 9, 2021

Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small offers reflections on the readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter, also Mother's Day.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus spells out quite clearly what that love is to be for us, telling us over and over, “Abide in my love.” “If you keep my commandment,” he says, “you will abide in my love.” This promise is an echo of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis, God makes the covenant with them, saying that if they keep the commandments, they will abide in the land God gives them. They will have safety there. They will have a sense of national identity there. There will be a secure future for them, there in the land that they are given, if they simply keep the covenant.

National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer

May 6, 2021

In his National Day of Prayer proclamation, President Biden begins, "Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance. Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans."

Erie Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister writes, "Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new."


Sisters Jacqueline and Mary tell the story of the trees.

Woods and environment topic of April Community Weekend

May 4, 2021

At their annual April meeting the end of last month, the Benedictine community focused on the past and present of their environmental effort. “We continue to miss our guests, especially our oblates who would have been with us for this weekend under normal circumstances,” said Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress. “We know that eventually we’ll be back together, but in the meantime, from wherever we are, all of us are doing our part to heal our earth.”...Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small and Sister Mary Hoffman spoke about the land and the trees. As part of her novitiate experience, Sister Jacqueline has been interviewing community elders. Sister Mary, more than 60 years older than Jacqueline, told her the story of the trees....

SBA Alumnae Bingo

SBA Bingo Brings Big Fun to the Polish Falcons

May 3, 2021

The SBA Cash Bingo has returned to the Polish Falcons Club on East 3rd Street. In case you missed the last cash bingo event in April, the next bingo event will be bigger than ever and holiday-themed. The SBA alumnae are planning a very special Christmas in July cash bingo on July 18. This annual Christmas-themed game ties in the best of the excitement of bingo and the delights of the winter holiday.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Earth Day at the Kids Cafe

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Earth Day at the Kids Cafe

April 27, 2021

To celebrate Earth Day this year, the children attending the Kids Cafe practiced the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. They created sturdy tote bags from gently worn t-shirts. The bags were an idea of the Kids Cafe’s cook, Carly DiFuccia, who suggested this year for Earth Day we “teach the children about recycling and reusing in order to save single use plastics from going to the landfill.”


The National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) issue statement

Benedictine Sisters support statement

April 23, 2021

The National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) issued a statement in response to the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd: We, the National Black Sisters’ Conference and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, stand together in our commitment to the sacred dignity of each human person as emphasized in Catholic Social Teaching. In the aftermath of the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, we recommit to working for real and sustained systemic change in the struggle to end institutional racism in every aspect of our society.

Artwork from the Neighborhood Art House Gallery, by Kerene, age 10

Celebrate Earth Day April 22

April 22, 2021

Erie Earth Day seeks to bring the Erie region together to highlight what we’re doing well and where we can improve. The Erie Earth Day 2021 website lists simple daily challenges, includes a schedule of local events, and ways to get involved. An "Anytime event" is The Green Connection Documentary Making a Change for Climate Change & Justice by Diane Christin - YouTube. Artwork from the Neighborhood Art House Gallery, by Kerene, age 10.

VISIT Erie Earth Day>>>

Not By Bread Alone New Podcast

Not By Bread Alone New Podcast

April 20, 2021

Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski's newest podcast, "Not By Bread Alone," includes a short interview with Cathy Bliss, a long-time member of the monastery's kitchen staff. Sister Carolyn explains that in the monastery, bread-baking is a staple. When Sister Irene Warchol, who served as the community's bread baker for decades, retired, Cathy was ready to step in. Listen to Sister Carolyn and Cathy chat about bread, baking and community.


NAH print

Art House Students Win Awards at the Barber National Institute's Art Show & Sale!

April 16, 2021

We have more good news from the Barber National Institute’s Art Show & Sale! Art House students were the recipients of two Best of Show awards and an Honorable Mention in the youth artist division. This is a big honor! Congratulations to Tania Butler, age 9 and Teajanae Johnson, age 14 & Yeslian Vargas, age 13 for their Best of Show awards, and to Aiva Sadler, age 13 for her Honorable Mention.


Student Artwork at the Barber National Institute's 2021 Art Show & Sale

April 15, 2021

The Neighborhood Art House has a longstanding tradition of entering artwork by Art House students in the Barber National Institute’s Annual Art Show & Sale. The event, held each spring, is a chance for regional artists of all skill levels, from students to professionals to display their work side by side. We have twenty framed pieces by students included in this year’s virtual art show, representing a range of media taught at the Art House.

Anne McCarthy

Sister Anne McCarthy to Participate in Panel

April 13, 2021

Erie Benedictine Sister Anne McCarthy, coordinator of Benedictines for Peace, will be one of four virtual panelists in "Faith and a Sustainable Economy for Middle America," sponsored by Evangelical Environmental Network and In Solidarity. The program will take place Thursday, April 15 at 10:30 a.m. ET via Zoom and pre-registration is required. Click here to register. Panelists will discuss the intersection of faith and the obligation to care for creation.

Oblates continue to gather via Zoom

Oblates continue to gather via Zoom

April 12, 2021

Oblates gathered virtually on Palm Sunday for teaching and reflection facilitated by Rev. Judith A. Davis, PhD, a Benedictine oblate. Long a lover and student of the arts, Judith illustrated how how the Stations of the Cross have been depicted by artists over the years. Judith, who calls herself "an artist, birder, mom, musician, priest and general Renaissance woman", shared a variety of artwork from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. There was time for prayer, for small group discussion and for questions and answers. Oblates from across the country and as far away as Ireland were gifted with Judith’s knowledgeable, warm, and easy style.

Painting Mini Masterpieces at the Art House

April 12, 2021

It's hard work to paint a masterpiece on a 3”x3” canvas! Art House teachers and students took on a challenging mission, to paint miniature versions of famous artwork for the Hoyt Art Center’s Mini Masterpiece Competition. The Art House was on spring break this week and we spent Thursday, April 8th recreating paintings of our choice as part of an out-of-the-ordinary workshop offered to all teachers and students.

Sister Susan pouring Paschal Candle

The Paschal Candle

April 9, 2021

Have you ever wondered about the three-foot-tall, white candle you sometimes see in the monastery chapel? Or in your parish church? It is called the Paschal Candle because, as Sister Mary Ellen Plumb explains, “it represents the ‘Pasch’ or light of Christ in the world.” During the Easter Vigil, on Holy Saturday night, a small fire is lit in a special stand that has been placed at one end of the darkened chapel. This “new fire” is blessed by the prioress and celebrant and then the Paschal Candle is lit for the first time. The single flame from the Paschal Candle is then shared throughout the chapel via tapers that each person is holding. “This ritual is powerful because the lighting of the Paschal candle claims our commitment to the belief that Christ is the Light of the World who empowers our own journey from darkness to light by faith. It is a symbol as well that we have a responsibility to be the light of Christ for others,” said Sister Mary Ellen.