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Events Around Erie

Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds: A Meditation

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ─William Sharp

See the beauty, hear the silence and enjoy the peace of Winter Snow on the Monastery Grounds.

News and Events

Emmaus, Sixth graders and Cookies
February 22, 2017

Instead of going to the movies together or going to the roller rink, on a recent day when school was dismissed early, thirteen sixth grade girls from Our Lady’s Christian School gathered to bake cookies for the guests of Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

“The girls chose Emmaus Soup Kitchen because they knew the Emmaus guests would really appreciate fresh baked cookies,” said Sue Zimmerman, mother of a sixth grader at Our Lady’s Christian School, who organized the gathering. “Middle school is a time of transition and I felt the need to bring the girls together for team building activities....

Build Bridges, Not Walls
February 20, 2017

A number of national groups (LCWR, USCCB, Network, etc.) and advocates for social justice are calling for immigration vigils this week during congressional recesses. The theme of Build Bridges Not Walls echoes the entreaty of Pope Francis who has said: "In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls but to build bridges. To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness.”

This theme will likewise be used for prayer circles outside congressional offices throughout this week. Joe Haas, with Refugee Resettlement...

A Cardboard House?
February 15, 2017

Dear Friends of Emmaus,

the homeless man
takes off his shoes before
his cardboard house
--Penny Harter

This poem is about dignity. Human dignity. Here the homeless person keeps his sense of worth and honors the place where he lives, albeit a cardboard house.

At the soup kitchen, we try to replicate the spirit of this poem. We want our kitchen to be a sacred space where hungry, homeless, and hurting people find a home.

That’s why we deliberated so long to rebuild the kitchen that was severely damaged by fire over a year ago. We had many options...

Highlights from a Memorable Evening
February 14, 2017

“I'm completely humbled and overwhelmed. To have the Erie Benedictines, to whom I've looked up to since I was in high school, call me a ‘strong woman’ seems like a dream,” said Kelly Armor, recipient of the 2017 Prophet of Peace Award.

The annual award was given at a special Evening Prayer held at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery on February 10, with a dinner following. The slide show, which can be viewed by clicking on the arrow, shows the highlights of a wonderful evening that celebrated a woman who knows that to dare more means to receive more and who understands that love has the...

Valentine's Day: How would it be if just for today . . .
February 14, 2017

St. Valentine was a Roman Christian who, according to tradition, was martyred during the persecution of Christians in the third century. Prior to his death, Valentine was imprisoned but he continued to witness to Christianity.

One day, a prison guard, a good man who had adopted a blind girl, asked if Valentine’s God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his entire family saw this and believed and all were baptized. Upon hearing this, the Emperor, who was furious that Valentine continued to inspire converts, even in prison,...

Getting Ahead
February 13, 2017

“The program works like a round table think tank to discuss common social issues we’re dealing with,” says Sister Miriam Mashank to an Emmaus Pantry guest, describing the employment preparation program, Getting Ahead. “We focus on these three topics: What is poverty? How did I get into poverty? and How do I get out of poverty?”

This week, she’s sitting behind a small desk at the Emmaus Pantry talking with guests about the opportunity to sign up for the ten-week pre-employment training program sponsored by Erie City Mission. Getting Ahead only runs three times a year, accepting 15...

Scholastica: She could do more because she loved more
February 10, 2017

February 10 is the church calendar day dedicated to Scholastica, the sister of Benedict. It will be a festive day at the monastery as we mark the solemnity of a Benedictine woman saint of whom Pope Gregory the Great wrote: “She could do more because she loved more.” At heart, the celebration of Scholastica is a celebration of the monastic way of life. For us it is a cause for great rejoicing as well as remembering—we remember who we are and what we are about and we renew ourselves so we can continue to bring the gift of monasticism to the Church and to the world.

Read the...

Project Miriam
February 9, 2017

With pamphlets, DVDs, prayer cards and medals of Benedict in hand Sister Marilyn was ready to tell her vocation story and the story of the Erie Benedictines to a group of high school and college-age women who had accepted the invitation to attend Project Miriam, A Vocation Dinner.

Sponsored by the Erie Diocese and facilitated by Father Michael Polinek, Diocesan Vocation Director, the event provided the opportunity to learn more about religious life. Held at Villa Maria Academy, the evening was attended by approximately 36 young women who enjoyed a simple supper of soup, sandwiches...

Midnight Snacks
February 6, 2017

“I’m off to the grocery store to get something for the guests of Emmaus Soup Kitchen,” Marcia Frisina told her husband Dom, “but I’m still not sure of what I’ll get.”

When she got to the store and walked the aisles, she decided that bags of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with carrot and celery sticks might be nice. So she bought enough to make 105 bags worth, brought the supplies home, and made the sandwiches. Her husband packed the bags.

About a week prior, Marcia came to Emmaus for the first time to deliver felt scarves that she and her grandchildren made for our guests...

Reaching 100 is not always a reason to celebrate
February 2, 2017

Usually when the 100 milestone is reached—whether it is a person’s birthday, the anniversary of a business, the foundation of a community or school—it is a day to celebrate but not so today. The Take Back the Site Vigil being held this afternoon is the 100th since the effort to reclaim a site of violence for nonviolence began in 1999.

In a special article by Ron Leonardi in today’s Erie Times News Sister Marlene Bertke, who was instrumental in launching and organizing the program whose idea originated with Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, shared this about today’s vigil: "This person's...

What does the World Day for Consecrated Life mean for the Erie Benedictines?
February 1, 2017

For 20 years the Church has marked February 2 as a day of prayer for women and men who have consecrated their lives through the profession of vows and as a day to pray for vocations to the consecrated life.

In the Church calendar February 2 marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, also known as Candlemas Day—the blessing of candles symbolizing Christ, the Light of the world. This day is an invitation for all, not just those who live the consecrated life, to receive the light of Christ and to become the light of Christ in the world.

The Benedictine way is to seek God...