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Monastic Life Is...

Winners of the 2024 Benedictine Sisters Annual Draw were chosen Sunday, July 7. Antoinette B, Erie, was the $2000 winner. Sharon T, Shoreham, Vermont, won $1000 and Jennifer O of Wadsworth, Ohio won $500. The three $100 winners were Virginia V, Erie, Michael G, Fairview, and Helen D, Erie. Congratulations to our winners! Thank you to everyone who participated in this success fundraiser--your contributions amounted to $45,000 that will be used to support the work of the community, help care for the monastery, and provide for the sisters. Pictured are Sister Linda Romey, coordinator of communications and development, Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress, and Heather Cloutier, database administrator.

Congratulations to Sister Val, one of the Erie Reader's 40 under 40 Class of 2024. We join the Reader in celebrating 40 inspiring creative thinkers and leaders in Erie including Sister Val, Director of Emmaus Ministries.

The St. Benedict Academy Class of 1979 celebrated their 45th reunion in Erie on June 30. Twenty-one classmates gathered to celebrate each other as they reminisced about their years at SBA and caught up on each other's lives. Classmates came from Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, and Cleveland to join those who are local.

Anne McCarthy, OSB will present a webinar through John Dear’s The Beatitudes Center for Christian Nonviolence, on the teachings of Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, the poet, activist, and founder of Benedictines for Peace who died in 2023. For a registration fee of $30, learn about her spirituality of nonviolence, which was not overly pious, but seriously practical. Her Benedictine monasticism flavored her approach to nonviolence so that her pursuit of nonviolence led to new projects, programs, movements and visions that brought beauty and hope to the lives of children and to deserted places.

The Benedictine Sisters were among the vendors who attended Erie Pride on the Bay (formerly Erie PrideFest) at Liberty Park on June 29. Rainy weather made for a late opening and a tornado warning early in the afternoon forced everyone to evacuate. The Benedictines were there as a supportive, spiritual presence to attendees. Because of the weather, Michelle Scully, Program and Events Coordinator for the community (shown here checking the path of the rain) and Sister Linda Romey scaled down initial plans and only offered buttons and stickers to those who managed to visit the table during the short time the event was opened. The crowds were large in spite of the continual and at times heavy rain.

Sister Linda Romey, back left, joined other members of the Erie Spiritual Coalition (ESC), (clockwise) Kristen Weeks, Stephanie Ciner, and Susannah Faulkner, for door-to-door canvasing on Erie’s east side. The canvassing work of the ESC is intended to raise awareness of tenant rights and gather signatures on a petition to create a Tenant Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is comprised almost entirely of existing rights but it gathers them in one document so that renters and landlords can know their rights and the city can then make sure those rights are honored and enforced. The document will be presented to City Council with a request that it pass the Bill of Rights.

Where Hope Is: Stories of Benedictine Influence, a new interview-based theater production by playwright Jenn Bokoch Gillett, debuted on Sunday at the Hirt Auditorium, Blasco Memorial Library in Erie. The play reflects a snapshot-in-time—1960s to the 1980s—of the influence of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. Jenn created the work from a dozen conversations selected from more than 60 interviews she conducted with Saint Benedict Academy (SBA) alumnae, Benedictine sisters, and a handful of others whose lives were shaped and are still being shaped by the sisters.

New podcast from Sister Carolyn. Listen now.