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News and Events

Benedictine Ministries Collaborate
June 23, 2017

During the summer, students enrolled in a day program at the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House are welcomed to a free lunch at the Kids Cafe. Both ministries are run by the Erie Benedictine Sisters but often the Art House and Kids Cafe cater to different children in the neighborhood.

“I’ve been going to the Art House since I was seven,” a young child said while eating her sloppy-joe sandwich, orange slices and celery. “But I have never been to the Kids Cafe to eat before today!” Then looking around, she said, “I like...

Will you join us in signing the pledge?
June 20, 2017

June 18, 2017 marked the 2 year anniversary of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common home, Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on ecology that calls all people to uphold our responsibility to care for the environment. In commemoration of this anniversary the Global Catholic Climate Movement has launched its new Laudato Si’ pledge.

The pledge is being signed by Catholics around the world to say we will work to be more carbon neutral in our own lives and to encourage our international leaders to take climate action now. We need an urgent and holistic response...

Northwest Pennsylvania 2-1-1
June 19, 2017

There are all sorts of emergencies that we are prone to call 9-1-1 for: fires, accidents, urgent health issues. But who does one call for basic human need crises—like a lack of food and shelter?

Pennsylvania recently began a 2-1-1 national call center initiative that, according to their website,, “seeks to provide an easy-to-remember telephone number, chat, text, and a web resource for finding health and human services – for everyday needs and in crisis situations.” All one needs to do is call or text the number 2-1-1 or visit the...

New video highlights Benedicta Riepp Monastic Experience Program
June 16, 2017

The Benedicta Riepp Monastic Experience Program invites women to explore their life questions by living with our monastic community for 6-12 months. Since the program began in 2000, nearly 20 women from around the U.S. as well as England, Mexico and Australia have shared life with us as “Rieppers,” our familiar term for these live-in seekers.

Two past participants, Joanne Cahill and Alyssa Harpst, are featured...

Special Visit from ICM Scholarship Recipients
June 15, 2017

In 2016 Inter-Church Ministries of Erie (ICM) established a “Moral Leadership Award” in the name of Sister Mary Louis Eichenlaub to honor her 20 years of service on the ICM board. As Diane Edwards, ICM Executive Director said so well: “Sister Mary Louis is an example of dedication and commitment. It is with great gratitude that we honor her in this most meaningful way.”

The award, established in conjunction with ICM’s 40th Anniversary (1975-2015), provides educational scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have...

Brown Bag Lunches for Emmaus Guests
June 14, 2017

What does golfing and making brown bag lunches for complete strangers have in common?

“You know how you feel out on the golf course?” Marcia Frisina asked her husband, Dominic.

“Yes,” he replied. “I feel wonderful.”

“Well,” Marcia continued, “that’s how I feel when I’m preparing food for the guests at Emmaus Soup Kitchen.”

Because of this, she and Dominic made 137 brown lunch bags filled with PB&J sandwiches, carrots, celery sticks, pretzels, and candy for Emmaus Soup Kitchen guests.

Pictured: Marcia and Dominic Frisina with their donation.


Shaped by the end you live for
June 13, 2017

What a gem! If you ever have the opportunity to hear and experience Bonnie Bowman Thurston, poet, author and theologian, be sure to grab it. Bonnie, with the eye of the scholar and the heart of a poet, led the community’s annual retreat which was held this year from June 5-10. The theme, Thomas Merton on Monastic life: “Shaped by the end you live for” could not have been more fitting and Bonnie could not have been a better retreat leader.

Bonnie Thurston, a Merton Scholar and the founding member and a past president of the International Merton Society, as well as a New Testament...

Gifts of a Scarred Soul eRetreat
June 12, 2017

Who hasn’t experienced a struggle that seemed insurmountable? A brokenness of soul that seemed crushing? Each of us has stories of pain and grief, depression and despair, hopelessness and sorrow. Some of them we survived well. Some of them we didn’t.

Joan Chittister will provide tools to help you analyze your own stories of struggle in this eRetreat at Spirituality & Practice. She will suggest the gifts that each struggle can give as you move toward hope and transformation. "Most of us live everyday between struggle and hope," she writes, "and the way we deal with struggle has...

Sisters in Erie reclaim sites of violence, make them holy ground
June 6, 2017

Tom Roberts from the National Catholic Reporter came to Erie to interview folks here about the Take Back the Site vigils which began in 1999. The online story has been published and can be read in its entirety at Global Sisters Report and can be read by clicking here.


An evening to remember
June 5, 2017

The eve of Pentecost. Excitement in the air. First profession. Spirit-filled and memorable.

“I ask that I may continue to seek God in this Benedictine community through first monastic profession,” expressed Novices Dina Lauricella and Karen Oprenchuk and the ritual began at Pentecost Vigil Prayer on June 3. Prioress, Sister Anne Wambach, accepted their request and questioned them about their intentions to commit themselves to God in and through the community of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. She also asked the community to express their willingness to continue to support Sisters...

Handmade Quilt
June 5, 2017

“I hope this quilt brings someone in need comfort and warmth,” said Margie Santo, who mailed four quilts to Sister Rosanne, the women’s advocate at Emmaus.

Margie who designs and makes all the quilts by hand, asked that they be shared with someone in need. “That’s easy,” said Sister Rosanne. “The women I meet with often ask for blankets for their children and now I can give them a beautiful quilt.”

Margie assured Emmaus that she has more designs, fabrics, and plans in the works and that Emmaus is on her giveaway list.

Read this story and more on the...