Michelle Basista and Sister Stephanie Schmidt draw winners.

Winners of 2022 Annual Draw

July 13, 2022

Congratulations to the six winners in the 2022 Benedictine Sisters Annual Draw. Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress (right) mixes the tickets before pulling the winners on Sunday, July 10. Development Associate Michelle Basista assists her. The campaign, "Play It Cool in 2022," raised funds for the Benedictine community to help support their ministries in Erie, their hospitality at the monastery, and care for the sisters who are no longer in active ministry. Thank you to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winners. If you'd like to make a donation now, click here.


Reflections on the Feast of Benedict: Prioress Stephanie Schmidt

Reflections on the Feast of Benedict: Prioress Stephanie Schmidt

July 12, 2022

Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, offers reflections during the community's celebration of the Feast of Benedict. The gospel reading for the Liturgy of the Hours on the feastday was Matthew 13:1-3 and provided the ground for Sister Stephanie's reflections. Listen here.

Sisters Linda Romey, Stephanie Schmidt, Anne Wambach, and Kath Horan

Federation of St Scholastica Chapter

July 7, 2022

Sisters Linda Romey, Stephanie Schmidt, Anne Wambach, and Kath Horan represented the Benedictine Sisters of Erie as delegates to the Federation of St. Scholastic General Chapter held at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS, in June. One of the outcomes of this Chapter was the renaming of the Federation to Monastic Congregation of St. Scholastica. After studying research and documentation, the delegates agreed that the name change would more accurately reflect Benedictine women's monastic identity. 


the 2022 SBA Alumnae Association Summer Luncheon

2022 SBA Alumnae Association Summer Luncheon

July 6, 2022

Make your reservation for the 2022 Saint Benedict Academy Alumnae Association Summer Luncheon on August 21, 2022!


Amanda Bolaños, Joan Chittister writer-in-residence

Amanda Bolaños, Joan Chittister writer-in-residence

July 5, 2022

Benetvision has welcomed Amanda Bolaños, the first of the 2022 Joan Chittister Writers-in-Residence, who has arrived for her month-long residence at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery. Amanda is a doctoral candidate at Duke Divinity School who recently completed a Masters of Theological Studies degree. During her time as a writer-in-residence, Amanda will be working on a project about Dorothy Day and feminism, which she hopes to develop into part of her dissertation. The Joan Chittister Writer-in-Residence program funds a month of dedicated writing time on issues relevant to Sister Joan’s body of work. To stay current on Joan Chittister's writing and speaking as well as opportunities such as writer-in-residence, subscribe to the Vision and Viewpoint newsletter.


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.


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.



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."


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>>>



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. 


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. 


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.”


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.

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.”


Sister Stephanie Schmidt offers a petition at the Gathering in Prayer Against Racism and Violence vigil

There is an evil lurking...

May 27, 2022

Benedictine sisters, oblates, and volunteers were among the 200 persons listening as Bishop Dwane Brock repeatedly asked them, "Who is my neighbor?" in his reflection on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He spoke at the May 26 "Gathering in Prayer Against Racism and Violence" vigil that was hosted by Sacred Heart parish and organized by the Office of Social Justice & Life, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Erie. While the original purpose of the vigil was to remember the victims of the racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, it was expanded to include prayer for the victims of the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 


Violence and White Supremacy Cannot Stand

May 18, 2022

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie join with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in condemning the racial hatred and gun violence we witnessed in Buffalo, NY. "Our hearts are breaking as we once again come face to face with the racial hatred and gun violence that infect our land. The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious extend their condolences to the Buffalo community and all who lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors and we say once more violence and white supremacy cannot stand. And we know that is not enough!"


Sisters Linda Romey, Rosanne Lindal-Hynes, Anne McCarthy and Kathy McCarthy

Sisters and Oblates support Art & Sole

May 18, 2022

A number of Benedictine sisters and oblates were among the more than 70 runners and more than 40 walkers in the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House Art and Sole 5K on May 14. Sisters Anne McCarthy, Anne Wambach, Kathy McCarthy, and Rosanne Lindal-Hynes and Oblates Mary Hembrow Snyder and Priscilla Richter were walkers along with runners Sister Linda Romey and Oblate Victor Rutkoski.


Sister Stephanie Schmidt presents the Prophet of Peace Award to Bruce Wayne and Brother Daryl Craig

2021 Prophet of Peace Award to Blue Coats Peace Initiative

May 13, 2022

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie honored the Blue Coats Nonviolence Initiative with their 2021 Prophet of Peace Award, presented in May 2022 due to covid postponements. In presenting the award to Brother Daryl Craig, co-founder of Blue Coats, and member Bruce Wayne, who is a daily presence at Emmaus Soup Kitchen, prioress Sister Stephanie Schmidt said, “We are honored to have Brother Daryl, Bruce, other members of Blue Coats, and their families with us tonight. The presence of the men and women who are Blue Coats among us has shown us the impact of meeting each person with respect and dignity. They have shown us that peacemaking is possible.” Many Emmaus volunteers joined the honored guests and sisters in the monastery chapel for prayer and the award presentation.