Anne-Marie Welsh

ERIE — As with nearly everything else in this time of pandemic, the annual Mass offered for deceased women religious, clergy and members of the Serra Club will look a bit different in 2020. Rather than a large gathering of mostly sisters at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in Erie, the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico will celebrate the Mass across the street at St. Mark Catholic Center.

Sister Bernadette Bell, RSM, takes a photo of the
leadership of
several communities of women religious
at last year's Mass for
deceased women religious,
clergy and Serrans. Pictured left to
right are: Sister
Mary Drexler, SSJ; Sister Ann Wambach, OSB;

Bishop Lawrence Persico; Sister Phyllis McCracken,
SSJ; Sister
Nancy Fischer, SSJ; and Sister Mary Ann
Bader, RSM.   Photo/
Anne-Marie Welsh

          This means that for the first time, the Mass will be livestreamed, allowing people from across the diocese and beyond to participate virtually. The Mass will be streamed Nov. 2 at 7 pm on the Diocese of Erie's Facebook page and made available through a banner on the diocesan homepage at

          Sister Nancy Fischer, SSJ, director of the Office for Religious, pointed out the Mass will take place on All Soul’s Day this year.

          “We are happy to have this Mass with Bishop Persico on All Soul’s Day,” she said. “That is the day the church remembers those who have gone before us, and reminds us that even though they have passed from this world, we share life with them through the communion of saints.” She said the liturgy is for the consolation of those present as well as “the passing of these wonderful women and men who have served our church and our world so faithfully. We remember and honor these great servants.”