Tag Archives: Abbey of Regina Laudis

Coat of Arms of Abbess Lucia Kuppens

Mother Lucia Kuppens coat of armsToday (May 10, 2015), Mother Abbess Lucia received the Abbatial Blessing from the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford. She was elected as the Third Abbess of the Abbey of Regina Laudis on February 1. She is one of two Benedictine abbesses in the USA.

Present for the Mass and the monastic rite were the new Abbess’ parents, siblings, many guests of the abbey including monks and nuns from other abbeys and monasteries from the area. For the first time in the history of the abbey, the abbess received the crosier (something the founding abbess and the second abbess requested but didn’t receive). The gesture has profound meaning in the life of this great Benedictine community of women.

This image iterates the Abbess’ coat of arms.

Archbishop Blair prayed:

Almighty God and Father, you sent your only Son into the world to minister to mankind, and, as the good shepherd, to give his life for his sheep. Suppliant, we beseech you to bless and strengthen your servant Lucia, chosen to be abbess of this monastery. Grant that through the shining example of her monastic way of life, she may show herself to be what she is called; and let her know that it is her duty rather to profit her sisters than to preside over them. Therefore, under your inspiration, let her exercise the greatest solicitude; and let her always temper and arrange all things so that all, continually advancing in the love of Christ and fraternal charity, may with enlarged hearts hasten along the way of your commandments. Deign to fill her with the gift of your Spirit, O Lord, that she may be inflamed with love for your glory and the service of the Church and unceasingly impel her sisters likewise. Let her prefer nothing whatever to Christ, that when He comes on the last day, she may merit to attain your kingdom together with her sisters. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen

New Abbess of Regina Laudis

Today, began a new transition in the life of the Benedictine community of the Abbey of Regina Laudis with the election of Reverend Mother Lucia Kuppens as the Third Abbess. The new abbess succeeds Mother Abbess David Serna. An announcement is made here.

The Most Reverend Leonard Paul Blair, STD,  Archbishop of Hartford, offered Mass and presided over the election.

Mother Lucia, a Boston native, is a 1973 graduate of Connecticut College and she earned a PhD from Yale in English Literature having written a dissertation on Shakespeare’s portrayal of male and female relationships in a process of dis-integration. she entered the Abbey in 1979. Of recent time, Mother Lucia has been the community’s cellarer and the project manager of the abbey’s renovation and expansion project.

Mother Hildegard (formerly of Regina Laudis and now at the daughter house, Our Lady of the Rock Monastery on Shaw Island, WA) relates something Mother Lucia once said:  “Regina Laudis had something solid and deep. Its members radiated a joy that was increasingly hard to come by as the experiments of the ´60s began to fade, and idealism turned to cynicism.”

Blessings to Mother Lucia and the Benedictine nuns.

Regina Laudis at Phase II of renovation project

Regina Laudis monasteryJean Dunn of Voices News wrote an article giving an overview of the New Horizons Renovation Project at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis (Bethlehem, CT).

Founded in 1947, the Abbey of Regina Laudis has been living in buildings cobbled together from factory and farm buildings; the 37 nuns live very simply. Hence this is the first comprehensive renovation of the monastery buildings.

The Benedictine nuns began their renovation project in 2011 and now they’re doing phase 2.

The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows: Dolores Hart gives personal insight

Mother Dolores with John Paul.jpg

You know from a previous post here that Mother Dolores Hart, OSB, nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis (Bethlehem, CT) published her autobiography, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows (Ignatius Press, 2013). The book is co-authored with lifelong friend Richard DeNeut. There was a book signing this past Sunday.

After a career in acting, Mother Dolores entered Benedictine life Regina Laudis Abbey in 1963. The abbey was founded in 1947.

Joseph Pronechen of the National Catholic Register interviewed Mother Dolores at the Abbey. One of the things worth hearing from Hart is:

The one thing is the Gregorian chant, and what a gift it is to be able to sing and to pray at the same time. I think that I would hate to see people lose that part of the Tradition of the Church, because the chant goes back over a thousand years.

Mother Dolores has been featured on the Communio blog in the past. See a post here and here.

The Ear of the Heart by Mother Dolores Hart

M.Prioress BookLaunch Poster.jpg

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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