Archbishop Leonard P. Blair conferred the monastic rite of blessing on Mother Abbess Lucia Kuppens May 10 at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem.
Mother Abbess Lucia succeeds Mother Abbess Emerita David Serna.
An abbatial blessing does not confer any new authority upon Mother Abbess Lucia, who was elected by her community on Feb. 1. Rather, it is an opportunity for the community and its new abbess to gather with the archbishop, who is the head of the local church, and the faithful of the wider community to pray for God's blessing.
Mother Abbess Lucia is the third abbess of Bethlehem’s Benedictine community that was founded in 1947 by Mother Benedict Duss, who was the first woman religious in America to receive the abbatial blessing.
From left are Mother Prioress Olivia Frances Arnold, Mother Abbess Lucia, Archbishop Blair and Mother Subprioress Margaret Georgina Patton. (Photo submitted)