Monasteries of the Heart

Retreat Leaders

Would you like some help in starting an on-site Monasteries of the Heart community? Are you looking for a retreat on Monasteries of the Heart? A Day of Reflection? Four Benedictine Sisters of Erie are now available to help your group as needed.

All we ask is that you pay travel, housing and food expenses. Of course, if you can afford it, a small donation would be appreciated.. Click for an inquiry form.

Sister Mary Ellen Plumb

Mary Ellen Plumb, OSB, has spent her professional life in secondary education as a Social Studies teacher, Director of Campus Ministry, Director of Discipline and Counselor. In these roles, she spends a good part of her time facilitating the spiritual and communal development of young people on high school and college levels. She has served as a retreat leader and motivational speaker on a wide range of topics that strive to inspire young people and mentor new teachers. As a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, she has served as Director of Monastic Formation, Novice and Scholastic Director, and Oblate Director. Presently, she serves as a member of the Benedictines for Peace Steering Committee, as well as a member of the community's Liturgical Life Committee and Monastic Formation Committee. She has served as national chairperson of the American Benedictine Formation Conference and Director of the Benedictine Summer Workshop and Retreat for Sisters preparing for perpetual monastic profession.

Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski

Erie Benedictine Sister Carolyn Gorny-Kopkowski has led retreats for the past 28 years, traveling abroad and in the States, as well as building a strong retreat base in Erie, PA. In addition to focusing retreats and days of reflection on books by Joan Chittister, she offers retreats on creation centered spirituality, Native American spirituality, and women in transition. She also offers retreats for special focus groups such as people with addictions, the physically challenged, the elderly, and people in the bereavement process. Among other positions, Sister Carolyn served as Novice Director and Sub-prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. She received her Master’s Degree in Creation Spirituality from Mundelein College, Chicago, IL.

Sister Anne McCarthy

Benetvision staff member, Anne McCarthy holds a MA in Theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville in monastic studies and completed Shalem Institute’s program, “Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats.” She has experience in the last ten years leading retreats for a variety of community on themes of nonviolence, the journey from fear to love, monastic spirituality, and a retreat modeled on the spiritual exercises of St. Gertrude. The retreats are experiential, holistic and can be silent, contemplative retreats. Long involved in peace and justice ministry nationally and locally, Anne serves on the board of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue internationally and in the US. She lives at Mary the Apostle Catholic Worker in Erie.

Sister Marian Wehler

Erie Benedictine Sister Marian Wehler brings a wealth of experience to any group. She currently is co-director of Catholic Rural Ministry in the Oil City, PA deanery of the diocese of Erie where she offers retreat and reflection days for parishes, youth groups, prisoners and an outreach program to the poor. Prior to that she was Director of Religious Education in a diocesan parish. Certified by the Nat. Assoc. of Catholic Chaplains, she has been a Pastoral Care Director and chaplain in both a hospital and nursing home. She spent seven years as a missionary in Tanzania, East Africa and worked with the Alliance for International Monasticism to help establish a Commission for African Women, a partnership between U.S and African Benedictine women. She is in the process of completing the Spiritual Guidance Program offered by Shalem Institute.