We rejoice that yesterday February 1 our new Abbess, Reverend Mother Lucia Kuppens, was elected. She is the 3rd Abbess of the Abbey of Regina Laudis and will probably be the last Abbess who knew our Foundress, Mother Benedict Duss. Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford, celebrated Mass and presided over the election which took place in the Abbey Church Jesu Fili Mariae.
|Mother Abbess Lucia (right) with Mother Abbess Emerita|
Mother Abbess is originally from Boston, but having attended college in Conn. she lost her "accent". She was a freshman at Conn. College (then for women only) when she first visited Regina Laudis. She was particularly struck by the Abbey´s strong sense of community and 1,500 years of tradition. “Regina Laudis had something solid and deep,” she once said. “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.”
She has a PhD in Literature from Yale University, writing her dissertation on the breakdown of male and female relationships in Shakespeare’s plays. One of my fondest memories was a course she taught to us on Flannery O'Conner.
Mother Abbess Lucia also served as the Abbey's Librarian and Econome (head of kitchen). She has been the Abbey Cellarer for over ten years and has been in charge of the Abbey's renovation and expansion project
The lovely writer, Harriet Scott Chessman (who was a graduate student with Mother), wrote of Mother Abbess: She is one of the kindest, wisest, and most compassionate people I have ever known, and also one of the most modest, private, and contemplative.
The joy she once saw in others is certainly radiated in her!