Saint Emma Monastery
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The current Prioress is Mother Mary Anne Noll OSB.
After World War I, the Abbey of Benedictine Nuns of Sankt Walburg in Eichstätt, Bavaria experienced a rapid increase of vocations. At the same time, Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, was in debt, in part due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
It was decided that a group would be sent from Bavaria to Pennsylvania. Mother Leonarda Fitz OSB and 10 sisters from Bavaria arrived in Western Pennsylvania on the feast of St. Walburga (February 25), 1931. They proceeded to establish their community at St. Emma and assist the Archabbey through their efforts.
After the onset of World War II, Mother Leonarda received instruction "to look out for yourselves". Mother Leonarda took this to mean "buy your own property". Under the direction of Mother Leonarda, the property for St. Emma Monastery and Retreat House was purchased from John Robertshaw Sr. in 1943. In 1944 they bought an adjacent farm also owned by the Robertshaw family.
When the Diocese of Greensburg was created in 1951, the first bishop, Rev. Hugh Lamb, lived at St. Emma's while making the initial arrangements. St. Emma also served as the Chancery for the first year.
The retreat house was built in 1954. The first monastery wing was built in 1960, and the second wing in 1963.
In 1961, the Sisters began to pray the Divine Office in English.
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