Sisters celebrate jubilees

Community celebrates jubilees

August 26, 2022

The Benedictine community celebrated this year's jubilarians amid challenging covid restrictions. ... After evening prayer that included remarks by the prioress, four sisters renewed their vows. Sister Mary Grace Hanes renewed her vows on the 75th annversary of her first vows. Sister Mary Louis Eichenlaub celebrated 70 years. Sister Theresa Zoky renewed her vows after 60 years, and Sister Linda Romey after 25 years. Sister Cecilia Sullivan who was also celebrating 70 years will renew her vows at a later date. You can listen to the reflections of Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress, on the Gospel of John verses 15:1-7 below.

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SBEC volunteer Joan Vereb

A loss at St Benedict Education Center

August 23, 2022

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is our life,” wrote Omar Khayyam, Persian poet. German spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle offers, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.” This reality is evident in all our lives.   One recent expression of this is the death of Joan Vereb, volunteer at Saint Benedict Education Center, on July 9, 2022. Joan’s illness was quite brief. The news of her passing surprised and saddened those with whom she worked and the staff.

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Silent Peace Walk Anniversary

Silent Peace Walk Anniversary

August 20, 2022

Benedictines for Peace will celebrate the 5th Anniversary of its monthly Silent Peace Walks on Monday, August 29, 2022, from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm at 345 East 9th Street, in the neighborhood where the Benedictine Sisters have lived and worked for over 160 years. A social time with light refreshments, beginning at 6:15 pm, will precede the Silent Peace Walk. It will be held in the playground area of St. Benedict Center. (In case of rain, the social will not be held, but the Silent Peace Walk will be.)

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Sisters inspect demo electric car

Annual Community Gathering

August 18, 2022

At their annual summer meeting, the Benedictine Sisters heard from members of the Care for the Earth committee about ongoing and new efforts to respond to the climate crisis. Pictured here, sisters check out an electric car that was on site to give them a chance to see what the community hopefully will invest in sometime in the future. Other efforts include energy conservation, composting, recycling, and work on grounds maintenance, including the recent month-long visit by a herd of goats who cleared invasive species naturally.

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Volunteers from Harborcreek Youth Services

Human helpers join goats in clearing trails

August 11, 2022

Volunteers from Harborcreek Youth Services and their teacher, Ken Link, took advantage of newly-shorn brush to start clearing out areas where the hired goats had been eating. The 11 students spent a day working along side the creek, including lining trail edges with logs. ...and Danny, one of the goats who made the boys' work easier, escaped! "He's really afraid of people," goatherd Jen Zeitler explained, "so he wouldn't come to me. But eventually he realized he didn't want to be alone—he's a very loyal member of the herd, likes to be with everyone else—so he came back in."

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ALL STORIES ON OUR GOATS 2022 BLOG>>>

Jo Clarke, Anne McCarthy, Barbara Richardson, new Ambassadors of Peace

Pax Christi USA honors Erie Benedictine sisters and oblates

August 8, 2022

Erie Benedictine Oblate Jo Clarke, Sister Anne McCarthy, and Oblate Barbara Richardson were named Ambassadors of Peace at the Pax Christi USA 50th Anniversary Conference the weekend of August 5-7 in Washington, DC. ...Sister Mary Lou Kownacki served as the honorary co-chair of this year's 50th Anniversary celebration with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, retired Detroit auxiliary bishop. She was national coordinator prior to Sister Anne and was named a Pope Paul VI Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA in 2006.

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Benedictine Sisters Invite Goats to a Big Meal: The Last Word

Benedictine Sisters Invite Goats to a Big Meal: The Last Word

August 2, 2022

Erie News Now reporter John Last featured our goat guests on his "The Last Word" segment Monday, Aug. 1. He interviewed both Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, pictured here with John and the WICU camera technician, and Jen Zeitler, creator and owner of Let's Goat Buffalo. View it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztqRF8qd3pw

ALL STORIES ON OUR GOATS 2022 BLOG>>>

Gary Good is honored for more than 30 years of service

Thank you to our employees

July 27, 2022

"We know that we are blessed to have such a dedicated, reliable, committed and flexible staff," said prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt as she welcomed and offered a blessing for employees of the Benedictine Sisters gathered for the annual Employee Picnic. "Every year we look forward to this opportunity to show our appreciation for you and all that you do on a daily basis to help our home run smoothly. Today we honor you for your friendship and generosity."

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Supporting missions at home and abroad

Supporting missions at home and abroad

July 26, 2022

Individual Benedictine Sisters of Erie recently took part in mission appeals in the Diocese of Erie. Mission appeals that were common in parishes before pandemic lockdowns have started again. The Diocesan newsletter says that, "Missionaries visiting northwest Pennsylvania this year represent 18 countries ranging from Argentina to Zambia. Some also will highlight work being done not only in the United States, but also in the Diocese of Erie." The appeals help support the work of Sister Marian Wehler, OSB, and Mercy Sister Tina Geiger in Catholic Rural Ministries. Sister Theresa Zoky spoke on behalf of the U.S. Secretariat of the Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM), which is administered by the Benedictine Sisters. Sisters Jacqueline Sanchez-Small and Valerie Luckey travelled beyond the Diocese of Erie to speak at parishes in New Jersey on behalf of AIM.

READ IN DIOCESAN NEWSLETTER>>>

Sisters Kathy and Anne take invasive plants to the campfire pit

Goats make significant progress

July 22, 2022

The herd of working goats from Let's Goat Buffalo has only been at Glinodo for a few days, but the team has already made significant progress freeing the trees along Seven-Mile Creek from poison ivy, multiflora rose, and other invasive species....The multiflora rose bushes, stripped of all their invasive foliage, still tower up to 10 feet in the air, but they are much easier to remove now, since most of their thorns are gone and their leaves are no longer in the way. Sisters Anne McCarthy and Kathy McCarthy, who were walking by on their way to watch the sun set over Lake Erie, arrived in time to drag an extracted bush to the campfire pit where it will eventually provide fuel for making s'mores.

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Meet Jennifer, goatherd and monk-in-spirit

Meet Jennifer, goatherd, visionary, and monk-at-heart

July 22, 2022

The goat renting business is not something Jen consciously sought out. More accurately, it found her and, finding it gave her energy, she followed it. "And I had to have faith and trust in myself to know that if I took the risk and lost it all, I wouldn't have lost all my skills and knowledge and experience and background. We can always find solutions in times of crisis. And the idea that we're all that secure in any given situation is false," she explained. Pieces fell into place and guided Jen like breadcrumbs on a trail as she imagined what was possible.

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Thank you Sister Marian Wehler

Thank you Sister Marian

July 20, 2022

“It is so hard to let go when I feel so dedicated to this work [of prison ministry],” noted Sister Marian Wehler as she brings her work as a prison chaplain to an end. “I really received so much from the guys at Forest. They strengthened my faith. I don’t know if I could handle being in prison as they do. Many found God during their time as inmates. When they would tell me that they know I come not because I have to, but because I want to, it always warmed my heart. But I can only do so much. I need to let go of this important ministry as I am being called to attend to other needs in the area where I serve."

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They stop and lie down periodically to ruminate, explained Jennifer, the goatherd. (More to come on Jennifer and the other herders, including Fred Rogers, the border collie/poodle mix who is an able assistant.) While the goats ruminate, their digestive system goes to work and destroys any possibility of seeds passing through them and reseeding the same invasive plants they are ingesting. Quite monk-like...we, too, are grazing continually on everything our senses take in. And we ruminate, too. The trick for

On what do you ruminate?

July 18, 2022

Goats stop and lie down periodically to ruminate, explained Jennifer, the goatherd. (More to come on Jennifer and the other herders, including Fred Rogers, the border collie/poodle mix who is an able assistant.) While the goats ruminate, their digestive system goes to work and destroys any possibility of seeds passing through them and reseeding the same invasive plants they are ingesting. Quite monk-like...we, too, are grazing continually on everything our senses take in. And we ruminate, too. The trick for us is to choose our ruminations wisely so that we don't reseed the negativity that thrives in our world like an invasive species.

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Sister Linda Romey presents at the Colloquium in Atchison, KS

Benedictine Life: A Vision Unfolding Colloquium

July 18, 2022

More than a dozen Erie Benedictine sisters and several oblates participated in Benedictine Life: A Vision Unfolding, a two-day colloquium that took place at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS, the end of June. Sister Linda Romey was a co-planner of the event which was the culmination of a nearly five-year awareness-raising process designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Federation of St. Scholastica, the 17-member grouping of monasteries to which Mount St. Benedict Monastery belongs.

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Our goat collaborators begin their work at Glinodo.

The goats have arrived

July 17, 2022

Our temporary collaborators, a herd of goats, their goatherd, and their bus-barn arrived and staked out their first work area. As you can see, they wasted no time digging into their task of clearing the woods on the Glinodo grounds of inasive species. Over the next month, we'll introduce you to the goats and their goatherd as well as share more about why we made this choice and why as Benedictines it is important that we not only care for the land but do it in loving ways. Learn more about Let's Goat Buffalo here.

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From St Benedict Education Center to the Art House--succeeding one step at a time

From St Benedict Education Center to the Art House--succeeding one step at a time

July 15, 2022

Andre Carson, pictured here wearing the 2022 "Art and Sole" Inner-City Neighborhood Art House 5K run shirt, describes his movement from attending programs at Saint Benedict Education Center (SBEC) to working at the Art House as succeeding “one step at a time.” Andre began working in maintenance at the Neighborhood Art House in June, 2019. He is featured on the SBEC website.

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Sister Jacqueline clears invasive species from monastery grounds

The goats are coming!

July 14, 2022

Sister Jacqueline Sanchez-Small, (pictured here) who spent much of her novitiate (when the monastery was also under covid lock-down) in the woods clearing out multiflora rose vines and who is also a member of the community's Care for the Earth committee, began researching ways to save the forest without doing additional damage. Pesticides or heavy machinery were not the answer. While she could probably have recruited others to help her remove the plants, it is slow, heavy, and challenging work. But not if you're a goat....Thus, the Let's Goat Buffalo bus/barn plus goats and goatherd will arrive on Sunday, July 17....

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1000 Peace Cranes made at Art House on display

1000 Peace Cranes made at Art House on display

July 14, 2022

Sister Jen Frazer, the "intrepid reporter" for the Inner-city Neighborhood Art House, reports that she was recently at Blasco Library in Erie and found the 1,000 Peace Cranes that were folded by Art House students and friends earlier this year. [Related story here]. She says about the project, "It was a prayer for peace in Ukraine and in our own community - the whole world in the end. The end goal was always to have them somewhere for all to see and join to them their own prayers and wishes. And now, in the Peninsula Room at the Blasco Library, overlooking what was today a deep, deep blue bay, (for those of you not in Erie, our library sits on the shores of Lake Erie overlooking the bay) they are waiting for you."

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