Sister Elizabeth Mathai, O.S.B., made her perpetual monastic commitment on April 11, 2015. The solemn ceremony took place at Holy Name Monastery with Mass celebrated by Abbot Isaac J. Camacho, OSB. Sister’s celebration began with the entrance procession and the ancient monastic tradition of statio which provides a moment of silence and recollection to center hearts and minds on the solemnity of the occasion. Statio also serves as a way for the monastic community, the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, to lead the Scholastic, Sister Elizabeth, into the celebration and thus ritualizing the community’s promise to accompany her on her lifelong journey of seeking God.
In her reflection, Scholastic Directress Sister Mary Clare Neuhofer remarked that “the Sisters felt the text of the Profession Litany (which they had sung) really described Sister Elizabeth. We experience her as a joyful person, a prayerful person – one who is humble, one who lives by faith and is firmly grounded in love and peace.”
As part of the ceremony, the traditional Benedictine ring blessed by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress, was placed on Sister Elizabeth’s finger – a symbol of her total commitment to God and to the Benedictine life.
A profession candle was also presented to Sister Elizabeth to reflect a deepening of the commitment made at her Baptism where a candle was given to represent the life of the new Christian receiving the light of faith. The profession vow document was then signed at the altar by Sister Elizabeth which emphasizes the Word of God as the root of Benedictine life.
The joy of this very special event was evident when the over 60 attendees including the Benedictine Sisters, St. Leo Abbey monks, family and friends gave loving congratulatory hugs to Sister Elizabeth.
In her remarks, Sister said, “Today I joyfully give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love in my life and for His call. I give thanks for the love and support of those who have journeyed with me: my family, friends, those whom I have met in my ministry and especially, the Sisters of Holy Name Monastery.”