Ring Out Your Joy

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie celebrate the Reaffirmation of Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. We ring out our joy with praise and thanksgiving.

News and Events

Internship is life-changing experience for Princeton graduate student
July 29, 2015

Jacqueline Small, a Master of Divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary, chose to spend her summer in a monastery—working with Joan Chittister and sharing life with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. A summer internship is required of all seminary students and last year Jacqueline wrote Benetvision, “I have followed Sister Joan Chittister’s work for quite some time, and I would love the chance to lend a hand with some aspect of her work…. I am seeking a place where I can spend the summer being useful, where I can deepen my faith as a Catholic and my commitment to social justice.”...

The Closing of St. Mary's Church after 175 Years
July 28, 2015

Several Benedictine Sisters were among those who attended the final mass on the occasion of the closing of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Erie. “I have so much history here in this church,” said Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski. “I was a lay teacher at the parish school; I discerned my vocation here and celebrated my profession here as well.”

Known as St. Mary Church before merging with Immaculate Conception Church in 2009, it will continue as part of St. Stanislaus Parish. Monsignor Bernard Urbaniak, pastor, extended a heartfelt welcome to all who will become a part...

2015 Employee Picnic on a Perfect Summer Day
July 26, 2015

It was a perfect summer day for the Employee Picnic. Employees and their families joined the sisters for the annual appreciation event. Food, fun and friendship were shared; games and swimming were enjoyed. “Our employees are very special people and we are happy to tell them how much we appreciate them with this picnic,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “They do so much for us and we are very grateful.”

One of the highlights of the event is the Chinese Auction. Each employee gets several tickets to distribute among the items they like best; every employee gets one ticket on...

48 Programs and Counting
July 25, 2015

Since 2001 Benedictine Sisters Mary Hoffman and Phyllis Schleicher have sponsored spirituality programs for the women of the rural area of the Diocese of Erie as part of their Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM). "One of the goals of CRM is to nurture and support parish communities spiritually and holistically," said Sister Phyllis. "These reflection afternoons bring together women from all of the parishes so that faith can be shared and support can be given locally. The burden of travel is eased for the participants."

Women from the 13 parishes and missions of the Bradford Deanery (...

Sherry Lyons, Murder Victim, Remembered at TBTS
July 23, 2015

More than 150 people gathered. Sherry Lyons was remembered. Sisters, friends and neighbors joined together. Prayer. Holy Ground. Testimonials. One spirit. Local news coverage. This sums up the most recent TAKE BACK THE SITE (TBTS) vigil hosted by the religious women of Erie and their associates and oblates.

Held in front of the home where Sherri Lyons was found murdered just a month ago, the vigil was an effort to reclaim that spot as a place of peace...

REALLY LIVE the Rest of your Life
July 22, 2015

James Nagle is an actor, playwright, storyteller, and professional clown. Using his special talents Nagle brought Thomas Merton, monk, prophet, poet and spiritual writer to life in Mount St. Benedict Chapel. “Jim is a very special man in many ways,” said Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Monastic Formation Director. “He is committed to using his gifts and helping people realize that they are unconditionally loved by God.”

Nearly 200 people, including sisters and guests, were treated to Nagle’s one-person play portraying the life and spiritual journey of Thomas Merton: Thomas Merton...

Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski Hosts "Celebrating SOS"─30 Years Strong
July 21, 2015

Seasons of the Spirit (S0S), first known as Spirit of the Seasons, a retreat program at the monastery, recently celebrated 30 years of offerings. “That’s right,” said Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski, SOS retreat facilitator. “Women and men have been coming and forming a weekend community of seekers to reflect upon their own journeys with insights from creation-centered spirituality rooted in the distinctive Benedictine tradition for 30 years.”

Through the years Sister Carolyn and Benedictine Oblate Carol Posch Comstock have provided opportunities for prayer, meditation and solitude...

Happy Birthday to . . .
July 21, 2015

Emmaus Board member and soup kitchen volunteer Martha Hilbert celebrates her birthday in the month of March. But recently she celebrated it again with guests at Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

For four years and counting Martha’s birthday gift from her son, John, daughter-in-law, Nancy and grandchildren Johnnie, Tim and Olivia is an ice cream sundae day at the Soup Kitchen. The family provides all the ingredients for her birthday present- Connie’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream (locally made and Martha’s favorite), whip cream, sprinkles, maraschino cherries, peanuts and chocolate and caramel...

TONIGHT: Enrichment Series Celebrating the Centenary of Thomas Merton's Birth
July 20, 2015

A one-man,
one-act presentation
of the spiritual journey
of writer-monk

to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Thomas Merton

Presenter: James Nagle

Jim Nagle’s goal in life is to help people realize that they are loved unconditionally by God. How does he do this? Mainly through the arts and his life. This pilgrim and dreamer who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, has celebrated life as a teacher, a poet, a playwright, a story-teller, an actor and a clown (in all 50 states). He performs Thomas Merton Alive at Fourth and Walnut: the...

NAH 20th Anniversary: A Wonderful Celebration
July 17, 2015

If the steady stream of guests was any proof then the NAH 20th Anniversary event was a great success. “The weather was perfect, the activities were engaging, the music of Tennessee Backporch was wonderful, and who doesn’t like ice cream and cake?” exclaimed Sister Annette Marshall, Neighborhood Art House (NAH) Executive Director. Former students, teachers, family, friends and neighbors joined the sisters in the celebration last Sunday afternoon.

NAH has been a presence in the inner city of Erie for 20 years. During that...

Sisters Participate in Session on Understanding Cancer
July 15, 2015

“What a wonderful teacher,” said Sister Rita Zattosky of Sarah Humphrey, RN, BSN. Sarah, the Wellness and Community Education Coordinator at the Regional Cancer Center, gave an hour long presentation titled “Understanding Cancer” as part of ongoing education for the sisters as arranged by Mary Rita Groucutt, RN the community’s Director of Health Services.

“Almost two-thirds of all cancers can be prevented,” said Sarah. She explained what cancer is, what research has shown to be the causes of cancer, and ways to prevent cancer. Sarah suggested a number of healthy lifestyle choices...