The Gift of Community

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie celebrate faithfulness to the monastic way of life. Every day becomes a new opportunity to seek God together in community. We uphold one another and all with kindness and care, in peace and joy. With the Gospel as our guide and the Rule of Benedict to direct us, our hearts overflow with the inexpressible delight of love as we follow the path of God with the light of life within us.

News and Events

Read the latest on the Fire and Re-Opening of Emmaus Soup Kitchen
October 6, 2015

The fire at Emmaus and the reopening of the soup kitchen were featured in three recent Erie Times-News stories.

To read about the fire from the viewpoint of the firefighters, click here .

To read an extensive front page story about Sister Mary Miller at the reopening of the kitchen, click here.

To read the kind words from...

Enrichment Series: A reflection on Laudato Si’, the Environmental Encyclical of Pope Francis
October 5, 2015

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie will continue their Enrichment Series with a presentation on Pope Francis’ environment encyclical, Laudato Si’—On Care of Our Common Home, Wednesday, October 7, 7 p.m. at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, Erie. The presenter is Benedictine Sister Dorothy Stoner, with responders: Benedictine Sister Katherine Horan, representing the environment community, and Marco A. Monsalve, CEO of McManis & Monsalve Associates, representing the business community. The event is free and open to the public.

See more information...

October Begins with Pumpkin Carving at NAH
October 2, 2015

October brings thoughts of Halloween and for the children at the Neighborhood Art House (NAH) that includes pumpkin carving. “It’s always a treat to see the excitement and amazement when a pumpkin becomes a jack-o-lantern,” said Sister Margaret Ann Pilewski, NAH Program Director.

Working in small groups under the supervision of teachers or volunteers, the children first transferred their designs to the pumpkin surface, then used pumpkin cutting tools to carefully turn a large vegetable into a piece of sculpture. “The end results are beautiful,” said Sister Margaret Ann. “View the...

Soup Kitchen Fire Update
October 1, 2015

A fundraising event at Connecting Hands is one example of the outpouring from people and organizations to Emmaus Ministries following the fire last week that severely damaged the soup kitchen and living quarters of three Benedictine Sisters of Erie. "It’s like a cornucopia of goodness," said Sister Mary Miller, director, "an outpouring of care and concern. Churches have taken up special collections, social service agencies have shared emergency funds, individuals have donated, but even more important, so many have reached out personally with touching phone calls, texts and...

A Beautiful Testimony to the Vision of Active Nonviolence
September 30, 2015

“It was a powerful, beautiful testimony to the vision of active nonviolence,” said Janice Etchison, oblate and member of the Benedictines for Peace (BFP) planning group, as she talked about “On the Move.” Hosted by BFP, “On the Move” was an effort to celebrate the reality that working together will strengthen efforts to create a nonviolent, sustainable world for current and future generations. It was the second annual effort held in conjunction with Pace e Bene’s...

Community of Life 2015
September 29, 2015

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie announce the annual Community of Life program for November, 2015. This is an opportunity for you to submit the names of the loved ones that you would like remembered during the month of November, the month in which All Saints and All Souls are celebrated. The program allows the opportunity for the sisters to pray in a special way for all those who have died. The intentions of the living are remembered as well.

Those enrolled in the Community of Life will be upheld in the sisters’ community prayer each day and daily by an individual sister. “Upholding...

Annual Benedictine-Benetwood Dinner
September 28, 2015

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie had the pleasure of welcoming their neighbors from Benetwood Apartments for what has become an annual event: Evening Prayer and dinner ─ a simple celebration of friendship, faith, food and fun.

“This is one of my favorite events,” said one of the guests. “It’s always nice to connect with the sisters I know.” Colleen, who often joins the sisters for prayer shared, “The dinner was delicious. It is a special evening for all of us.” Another guest admitted that she was looking forward to dessert: “I’m sure it will be lemon meringue pie. That’s what we...

Panel presentation at Mercyhurst University celebrates Year of Consecrated Life designated by Pope Francis
September 27, 2015

“Why did you enter religious life?” was the first question Erie Benedictine Sister Charlotte Anne Zalot answered as she began her presentation, held this week at Mercyhurst University’s panel discussion “Religious Life: Crossroads or Crisis,” in observance of the Year of Consecrated Life designated by Pope Francis.

One of four panelists, Sister Charlotte, who has been a religious for 44 years, displayed a tattered photo of herself as a young child with a sister in full habit. She said, “I was enamored with her smile, her kindness, her reaching out to a shy little girl. I distinctly...

Heading to Philly to Experience the Pope first-hand
September 26, 2015

With Pope-passes and excitement in hand, Sisters Katherine Horan (left) and Ann Hoffman are heading out of Erie to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis. Sisters Christine Kosin and Dorothy Stoner will jump in the car as well.

“I am very excited to be able to make this trip,” said Sister Katherine. “We were fortunate to be able to get passes for two different events: the Festival of Families and the Papal Mass. I’m not sure how close we will be able to actually get to the Pope but it will be memorable to be present.”

Sister Ann Hoffman added, “I can’t wait to be part of this...

Morning Fire at Emmaus Soup Kitchen
September 25, 2015

“My heart is broken,” said Sister Mary Miller, Director of Emmaus Ministries, upon reaching Emmaus Soup Kitchen to find flames and smoke pouring from the rooftop and front of the building. “Who will feed our guests today?”

A fire was reported at the site around 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. It was brought under control in 45 minutes as a result of the quick-acting efforts of the Erie Fire Department.

Sister Lucia Marie Surmik, who resides with two other sisters on the second floor of the building, discovered the smoke and flames when she went downstairs to do laundry. She quickly...

Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith
September 24, 2015

This intimate biography of Joan Chittister is beautifully written by prize-winning journalist and National Catholic Reporter editor-at-large Tom Roberts.

“I love the stellar witness of this woman! A more faithful, authentic, sustained voice calling for full inclusion of women in the Catholic Church cannot be found. And what a fascinating bud-to-flower woman's life story lies within these pages. I read it deep into the night, long after good sense told me to go to sleep. That's Chittister for you—waking us up and keeping us awake to the radical call of the Gospel.” — Sister Helen...