Book sale at Benetvision

Book sale at Benetvision

July 1, 2022

Erie Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister’s newest books including Awakenings: Prophetic Reflections, and The Monastic Heart: 50 Simple Practices for a Contemplative and Fulfilling Life, as well as classics like In God’s Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics, are on sale now at Benetvision. All titles are available at a discount while supplies last. While you're shopping, consider offering a donation to the Joan Chittister Fund for Prisoners to help send spirituality materials to those in prison.

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The Mount Summer 2022

New issue of The Mount

June 30, 2022

Cover art "Love is hard work" by Corita Kent sets the tone for the Summer 2022 issue of The Mount. After an introduction to the theme by Prioress Stephanie Schmidt, an interview with Sister Margaret Ann Pilewski highlights a life given to love of teaching children and art. Abbot John Klassen of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, is our guest columnist for this issue. Marathon runner Oblate Victor Rutkoski shares his story of going the distance--literally as a runner and also in his 52-year marriage to Nancy, also an oblate. Read a short biography of each of our five 2022 jubilarians. This is also our Annual Report issue, let us thank you again for your ongoing and generous support.

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Sisters Judith Sutera and Stephanie Schmidt

Annual Community Retreat with Abba Anthony

June 28, 2022

Sister Judith Sutera, left, led this year's annual retreat at Mount St. Benedict Monastery--the first in-person retreat in three years. Sister Judy's topic was, "Through the Desert with Abba Anthony" and she pulled from her extensive knowledge of monastic history and spirituality as she connected the life of this 5th century desert hermit to the journey of the sisters and oblates gathered for the week of retreat. She began the week by introducing Abba Anthony, the first hermit. "I came to appreciate his story as the seed of our understanding of monastic spirituality," she said. "He is the archetype for monastics."

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Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister speaks at a forum hosted by the Australian church reform group Catalyst for Renewal in Sydney on May 31. (Photo credit: Catalyst for Renewal/Darcie Collington)

Hope from Joan Chittister

June 20, 2022

"It's time for prophetic voices everywhere to get into the conversation, study the issues, stay with the problem, to speak out. The question now is whether there'll be prophets enough among you, here, in this group, in this generation to help the world and the church sort and sift ideas that others want to suppress. Prophets of real faith must go on raising their cries!" Challenging words from Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister to an audience of Catholic activists in Sydney. The "troublesome" American nun is in Australia for a major speaking tour at a crucial time for the Catholic Church in this country. I spoke to her in Sydney a few days before her talk here and asked if she sees herself as a troublemaker. READ NCR STORY>>>

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Bishop Tom Gumbleton and Sister Mary Lou Kownacki in the foreground.

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki honored

June 17, 2022

Sister Mary Lou Kownacki is serving this year as an honorary co-chair of the Pax Christi USA 50th Anniversary Committee with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired Detroit auxiliary bishop. During the organization’s national assembly in Washington, DC, this August she will receive special recognition for her many years of dedicated leadership. This Pax Christi archive photo was taken May 5, 1987, at the Nevada Test Site where two bishops—Tom Gumbleton and Charles Buswell, and 96 others—including Sisters Mary Lou Kownacki and Anne McCarthy—crossed the line barring entrance to the nuclear test site on the fourth anniversary of The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter on war and peace. 

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2022 Benedictine Sisters of Erie Golf Tournament

2022 Benedictine Sisters of Erie Golf Tournament

June 15, 2022

Plans for the 2022 Benedictine Sisters of Erie Golf Tournament are in full swing! Our fourth annual golf fundraiser is Monday, August 15, at Lake Shore Country Club. It's our largest annual fundraising event. Funds raised help us to continue our good works, care for the most vulnerable in our city, and advocate for a more just world, as well as attend to the ongoing needs of the monastery. Please join us in raising funds to support the Benedictine Sisters of Erie’s mission and ministries. Opportunities to offer sponsorship support start at only $50 and, if you're a golfer, foursomes are $600--register soon as we are nearly sold out. 

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Benedictine Oblates Neil and Margie Himber, pictured here on the left and the right.

Indifference is not an option

June 6, 2022

“Indifference is not an option,” say Benedictine Oblates Neil and Margie Himber, pictured here on the left and the right. “Margie and I feel compelled as disciples of Jesus, and followers of the Rule of Benedict, to take responsibility for the quality of life in our local community, our church and the world at large,” explains Neil. “In his 2016 World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis challenged us to overcome indifference to win peace. He states, ‘indifference shows itself in lack of concern for what is happening around us, especially if it does not touch us directly. Some people prefer not to ask questions or seek answers; they lead lives of comfort, deaf to the cry of those who suffer.’ So, we feel we must get involved and work for the common good.”

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Art House students discover birds through art

Art House students discover birds through art

June 4, 2022

This spring, Presque Isle Audubon partnered with Sister Pat Lupo at the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House to host a three-session series on the topic of birds for an afterschool program. We had children of various ages from around the city participate in the program. It was a great opportunity to bring the joy of birdwatching to the next generation of environmental stewards.

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From TERN OF EVENTS, The Presque Isle Audubon Society Newsletter, June/July 2022
by Andrew Sipple, Chair of the Education Committee

Sister Dianne Sabol with first hydroponics harvest.

Hydroponics at the monastery

June 3, 2022

Sister Dianne Sabol and Oblate Margaret Kloecker have installed a small hydroponics garden—a system that grows plants in water infused with mineral nutrients rather than in soil—at the monastery. “We wanted to experiment with this technique for growing plants hoping that we might be able to expand it in the future,” explained Sister Dianne. “So far, we are really pleased with the results.”

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Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism

Under the leadership of Siobhan O’Neill Meluso, Communications Coordinator for the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, a group of communicators from Benedictine women’s monasteries have produced a video, “Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism,” that illustrates 10 Benedictine values with photographs provided by 21 monasteries. Judith Sutera, OSB, a Benedictine scholar and historian from Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS, was instrumental in preparing the script. The technical expertise of Amanda Hackett, Communications Coordinator, Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict (St. Joseph, MN), and Susan Damon, Development Associate, Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, TX, created the video including an instrumental track of the handbell choir of the Sisters of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN, arranged by Christine Manderfeld, OSB © 1997. Other committee members were Jan Gull, Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, IL, and Linda Romey, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA.