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Sister Mary Miller Way

Sister Mary Miller Way

In honor of her years of dedication serving the Erie Community, the SONS of Lake Erie sponsored a resolution, passed by Erie City Council, dedicating East 11th Street between German and Holland Streets in Erie, Sister Mary Miller Way. A dedication ceremony was held on Monday, May 13, on the corner of East 11th and Holland.

Sister Valerie Luckey, Director of Emmaus, said, “We are so grateful to the SONS for seeing this resolution through and for honoring our beloved Sister Mary. The care she so lovingly showed so many on this very street will be remembered for generations. This dedication will help to comfort our hearts as we honor the anniversary of Sister Mary’s passing, just one year ago and remember all the lives she touched.”

Sister Mary died on May 14, 2023 after a short illness. During her 42 years leading Emmaus, its outreach grew from a soup kitchen that served a daily meal to Erie’s hungry to a multi-faceted ministry of service to the poor, Emmaus Ministries. Sister Mary oversaw the expansion and improvement of physical facilities in addition to an increase in programs including the Emmaus Food Pantry, Sister Gus’ Kids Cafe, and Emmaus Grove: The Erie Urban Farm School. The most recent Emmaus project was the establishment of The Studio at St. Mary’s: Space to Create that opened in the former St. Mary’s school building that also houses the Kids Cafe. The artistic space in the inner-city upholds the Emmaus mission of providing “bread for the body, care for the soul.” It also won a 2017 Greater Erie Award from Preservation Erie for the building renovation that added stability, spirituality, and beauty to the neighborhood.

Sister Val said that although they hope for a day when their services are no longer needed, some guests of Emmaus have been relying on the soup kitchen for decades, and as long as there is a basic need for food, Emmaus will continue to welcome all who come.

Emmaus Soup Kitchen first opened its doors in January 1974 on East 16th Street at Immaculate Conception Church in Erie and is recognizing 50 years of service to Erie’s poor this year.