Emmaus Ministries

A commitment to the forgotten and the faceless of society – a Christian presence and outreach in Erie, Pennsylvania since 1974.


EMMAUS MINISTRIES: A Commitment to the Forgotten and the Marginal
— to the faceless of society who get left out and left behind without support at times of crisis

— to the single mother whose life is a constant struggle to provide simple necessities for her children

— to the child lost in poverty whose present is barely human and whose future is already lost

— to the elderly whose basic needs are too great for a check that is too small

— to the working poor who work in the lowest of low paying jobs and never get ahead

Contact Information

Emmaus Ministries, Inc.
345 East 9th Street
Erie, PA 16503
Phone: 814-459-8349
Fax: 814-459-8066
Sister Mary Miller, OSB
Margaret Kloecker
Rita Scrimenti
Jane Wagner
Valerie Luckey
Catherine Simon
Emmaus Soup Kitchen
218 East 11th Street
Erie PA 16503

Sister Gus' Kids Cafe
310 East 10th Street
Erie PA 16503

Breaking the Bread

There are people  
in the world so hungry,
that God cannot
appear to them
except in
the form
of bread.
Mahatma Gandhi 

From the Director

Sister Mary Miller

Sister Mary

People come to Emmaus for food…right? Of course, they do, but there’s much more to the story.




For the Record

In Memoriam: Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB

Sister Mary Lou

Emmaus Ministries celebrates its founding mother, Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, who died surrounded by so many who loved her on January, 6, 2023 at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, Erie, PA. In 1974, Emmaus Soup Kitchen opened through the Pax Center, a Christian Community for Nonviolence, which Sister Mary Lou began in 1972.

An unwavering commitment to the poor was a foundation of Sister Mary Lou's life. To read more about her prodigious life and legacy, see her obituary at...

Thanksgiving Dinner At The Soup Kitchen

A guest enjoys lots of turkey!

“Robert! I can’t believe you’re here! It’s been a year since I’ve seen you!” cried a volunteer as she welcomed a man into the Emmaus Soup Kitchen on a snowy afternoon.

“I wouldn’t miss having Thanksgiving dinner with all of you,” the man said, laughing.

This kind of conversation will be happening in family homes across the country Thanksgiving Day, and it was not at all out of place at the soup kitchen’s early Thanksgiving dinner, held on November 17. 

Emmaus has served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with...

Annual Coat Drive at Emmaus

A guest with her new coat

As the seasons change and Erie’s harsh winter weather creeps in, guests at Emmaus know that they can count on the annual coat drive to help keep them warm and dry. The event, an effort of many generous hearts, has been organized by Kelley Glass, Andrea Hallman, and their friends, in memory of Kelley’s father, for twenty-seven years without fail.

This year, the giveaway was held on one of the last summery days of October, with a display of coats, sweaters, and boots available outside, in front of the Emmaus Grove. Guests at the food pantry,...

Walking Together on the Road to Emmaus

Volunteers and Donors

Emmaus depends on many volunteers and donors at the food pantry, soup kitchen and Kids Cafe.Call 814-459-8349 if you would like to volunteer. Click here to make a donation.

Meet Jasmine Flores, City Councilwoman and Kids Cafe Alum

Jasmine with Staff

Soup's On: An Emmaus Journal

By the Emmaus Ministries staff

December 17, 2021

From Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, Emmaus Communications Assistant


Remember Emmaus with a Memorial

We are grateful to family members who ask that memorials be made to Emmaus on the death of loved ones. Visit our secure site to offer a memorial.

+ Carol Bianchi Tipton

+ Irene S. Fendya (vol)

+ Theresa Ann (Santor) Feyas

+ Mary Pat Sullivan (vol)

+ William Michael Litzinger (vol)

+ Joan Marie Vereb (vol)

+ Marilyn Markham Regnier

+ Edward John Selleny

+ Kenneth G. Hardner (vol)

+ Frank Victor Kneidinger Jr.

+ Rita E. (Zukowski) Pilarski

Fulfill the Emmaus Wish List

You can always help us stock our shelves at the soup kitchen with ground coffee, instant tea and instant lemonade, jelly/jam, peanut butter, maple syrup, mayonnaise/miracle whip, soup, and canned fruit. We ALWAYS appreciate diapers (all sizes) and baby formula.

The Kids Cafe Store is in need of the following items:
Body Soap
Hair care products and accessories (especially for afro-hair or hair with tight curls)
Underwear (boys and girls; children's sizes 6-18)
New Sweatpants (unisex; children's sizes 6-18 and adult size small)
New Sweatshirts (unisex; children's sizes 6-18 and adult size small)
Girl's Jeans/long pants/leggings (children's sizes 6-18 and adult sizes small and medium)
Shoes (children’s sizes 1Y-6Y)
Pencil Sharpeners
Fidget toys (pop-its)

Attention Bakers!!! We welcome homemade treats for our guests. If you're a baker, know that our Emmaus guests appreciate cookies, cakes, pies…sweets of any kind.

Call 814-459-8349 for more information or to schedule your donation.

Pray with Emmaus

Please join with the Emmaus community in reciting this prayer daily.

Prayer of St. Vincent DePaul

You will find that charity
is a heavy burden to carry,
heavier than the kettle of soup
and the basket of bread.

But you must your gentleness
and your smile keep.

Giving soup and bread
isn’t all that you can do.

The poor are your masters-
terribly sensitive and exacting
as you will see.

But the more demanding they seem
the more unjust and bitter
the more you must give them your love.

Emmaus Ministries