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Attentive to the continuing call of the Spirit and the summons of our vow of conversion, we commit ourselves to daily Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio and Worship. As Benedictine women, we strive to listen to the message of the Gospel, the Rule and the Wisdom of one another as we respond to the challenges of our communal life, our Church and the needs of those around us.
We are guided by a Corporate Commitment.
A corporate commitment is a vision or goal that we agree to promote as a community and as individuals no matter where we are or in how many diverse ministries we might be engaged. The corporate commitment of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie is:
As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability and justice, especially for women and children.
Together with women religious throughout the nation we pray for our country and renew our commitment, through faithfulness to the Gospel and the Rule of Benedict, to help create a world rooted in love, acceptance, inclusion, peace and justice for all.
In keeping with our Corporate Commitment to work for sustainability and justice for all, especially women and children, and in being faithful to the Gospel of peace and justice we uphold and the Rule of Benedict that urges us to welcome all as Christ did, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie remain opposed to a border wall.
We object to the announcement of a national emergency that allows the transfer and irresponsible use of public funds to construct it. A border wall is unethical; it hurts people and damages the environment. The continued dehumanization of migrants, human beings in search of protection from violence and oppression, work and a better life is immoral.
We support building bridges that unite, rather than walls that divide—bridges paved in reverence and respect for all of God’s people, supported by principles of justice and equal rights for all, and painted with love and compassion.
The Benedictine Sisters of Erie welcomed two women into the postulate. Jennifer Koo, an accountant and business owner from Singapore and Jen Frazer, an artist and art teacher from the Boston, MA area became postulants in a ritual ceremony celebrated on Sunday, January 13. Sister Marilyn Schauble, Vocation Director, who journeyed with both women through their discernment, said: “It has been an honor to work with these women and today is a special day for them and for us.”
Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Director of Monastic Formation, now journeys with Jennifer and Jen as Postulant Director. She and the community offer support to the new postulants by their example of faithfulness as Jennifer and Jen continue to deepen their understanding of and commitment to the monastic way of life.
Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, captured the moment very simply: “Jennifer and Jen, we welcome you to this community. We thank you for responding to God’s call. May you serve God with the gifts you have been given so that in all things God may be glorified.”
Novice Kathleen McCarthy will be moving forward into the third stage of initial monastic formation: the Scholasticate. Each stage of initial formation is accompanied by continued vocation discernment. Discernment led Sister Kathleen to request first monastic profession and continue her journey of seeking God in community with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. With the blessing of Novice Director, Sister Marilyn Schauble, the Prioress, Sister Anne Wambach, the monastic council and community, Sister Kathleen will profess first monastic vows on March 15.
“We are so pleased to welcome and uphold Sister Kathleen as she prepares to move into the Scholasticate as a professed monastic,” said Sister Anne Wambach. Sister Marilyn Schauble added: “We are stronger because of Sister Kathleen’s presence and commitment.”
The first presentation in the 2019 Enrichment Series at Mount St. Benedict Monastery drew a group of people interested in hearing about “Climate Crisis and Humility: Benedict’s teaching as a guide.”
In her presentation, Sister Anne McCarthy, coordinator of Benedictines for Peace and staff member at Benetvision and Monasteries of the Heart, presented a fresh look at St. Benedict's 12 steps of humility as a foundation for deep transformation of consciousness and action.
Using the Rule of Benedict, Chapter 7 on Humility, Sister Anne outlined how Benedict’s steps of humility can lay the foundation for the personal transformation and spiritual growth that will allow individuals and groups to forge a new relationship with a planet in crisis. "By recognizing God as the ground of all being, knowing ourselves as a sacred part of creation, and acknowledging our role as co-creators, we will be more able to listen to the cry of the earth, learn from the earth, and be the voice for the earth through choice and advocacy. “If we can fall in love with all of creation we will care for it with passion,” said Sister Anne. “We must transform our consciousness to believe and act on love for creation, truly believing that everything on earth is filled with sacred presence.”
Edwina Gateley is a poet, theologian, artist, writer, and lay minister. She is a single mom and has been described as a modern day mystic and prophet. The Benedictine Sisters of Erie awarded the 2019 Prophet of Peace award to her for the extraordinary manner in which she uses her gifts for the good of others.
“Edwina’s efforts are clearly aligned with the community’s Corporate Commitment,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “She has given her life working for women and raising the issues of sexism and racism in church and society internationally, nationally, and locally.”
With prayer and praise Edwina was acknowledged as a woman whose commitment to justice, peace and women’s issues is reflected in the responsible and caring mission that she daily embraces. In accepting the award, Edwina said: “I have simply tried to bring God's face to the world . . .a big God who is something of everything God created . . . I am grateful to the Erie Benedictines who continue to share my journey . . . thank you.”
Click here to read the reflections and award presentation given by Sister Anne Wambach.
The mission of the Benedictine Sisters is reverence. Through common prayer, stewardship, hospitality, and mutual respect, we seek to find and honor God present in each person and in all created things.
We chose "reverence" as the spirit of our mission for its Latin roots that mean "to see again." Join us in taking a fresh look at life. Discover God in yourself and in the world around you.
From October 17-20, 2018, the Federation of St. Scholastica paid our monastery a canonical visitation. This assessment provided us collaborative feedback offering support, advice, and direction. The Federation Visitators confirmed that the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago continue to do extraordinary work. We are grateful to our Visitators and the Visitation Committee for their guidance and preparation.
In our most recent newsletter, Sacro Speco, we featured a timeline of all of the prioresses of the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago (1861-present) as well as the five living past prioresses and the current prioress. Our rich history is shared with many other monasteries in the Federation of St. Scholastica as some of our early members helped to found other Benedictine communities in the United States.
To view the Sacro Speco newsletter, please visit our website.
Alumnae- Our Development and Communications office continues to spearhead an opportunity for each Alumnae Class of St. Scholastica Academy Chicago to celebrate a Reunion weekend every five years after their graduation. In fall 2019 we will celebrate those alumnae from classes ending in ’_ 4 and ’_9. Our two academies have closed, but the Alumnae continue to support one another and our Benedictine community by attending Reunion weekend and our annual fundraising dinner (gala).
Archives- Sister Virginia Jung, OSB, Community Archivist has hosted a Chicago Open Archives event each of the past two years and continues to work with DePaul University student interns and other undergraduate and graduate students on various projects to enhance our Archives and to continue to preserve our history.
Oblates- Sister Benita Coffey, OSB, Director of Oblates, and Sister Mary Susan Remsgar, OSB new liaison to the Colorado Oblates, continue to foster Benedictine Spirituality with our 130 active Oblates of St. Scholastica Monastery, Chicago, IL who live locally in Chicago, IL or in Pueblo, CO.
Social Justice- Social Justice Promoter, Sister Benita Coffey, OSB, who is active with Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, planned and participated in the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: Responding with Love, Mercy, and Justice event at Catholic Theological Union in September, a discussion of current immigration and detention issues. Sister Patricia Crowley, OSB was a featured speaker at one of the breakout sessions; she addressed the birth of Bethany House of Hospitality and described how this organization cares for immigrant women seeking asylum. On September 21st, the community marked the 70th Anniversary of the UN’s International Day of Peace with an evening prayer vigil. And in November, our Sisters attended area-wide events commemorating the Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life victims at a local synagogue.
Vocations-Sister Belinda Monahan, OSB, Vocation Minister, spearheaded an important panel for young Catholics and Vocation directors. During the live-streamed event, You Talk. We’ll Listen, And Together We’ll Grow younger Catholics discussed the church’s challenges and gifts and described how ( the) vowed religious can better connect with them. Sister Belinda also has hosted monthly Discernment discussion groups for young women and continues to offer two Discernment Weekend Retreat opportunities for young women (18-50) who are discerning religious life.
Federation of St. Scholastica
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