New Horizons
On this Feast of St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter, one of the original stones on which the Church was built, we give thanks for the call of Katie Healy, for her dedication to building the Church in her own day and for her family who fostered her faith in God and in community.

May Katie's particular gifts of music and hospitality find their fulfillment in her monastic call which gives great place to these charisms, so dear to the heart of St. Benedict and Lady Abbess.

May Mother Placid, “Queen of the Crowns ”, stay close to Katie as she enters her novitiate so that Katie's love of creating beauty will find endless possibilities, as did Mother Placid, especially when faced with the humble means waiting to be made known...

Mother Abbess' Prayers of the Faithful for Clothing Mass
Sister Gregory
Take on the yoke of the Lord, and bear His burden, which is sweet and light. R. Amen
Prayer for Bestowal of the Scapular

KatieOn November 30, 2013, Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, the Abbey celebrated the Monastic Investiture of postulant Katie Healy who was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Gregory. Father James Nolte of the Springfield, Massachusetts Archdiocese and Father Robert Tucker, Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Litchfield, concelebrated the morning Mass. Recognizing Katie's gift for music and awakening response to Gregorian Chant, Mother Abbess chose St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church, as Katie's namesake and patron.

A native of Canton, Connecticut, Katie brings the gifts awakened and nurtured by her family and formed through her education to her monastic life. She comes from a very musical family. Her mother Chris is a founding member of the Sound of New England Chorus which tours internationally and her sister Meredith plays the euphonium in the U.S. Air Force Band. Katie received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Birmingham-Southern College.

Katie's father Tim is a deacon at St. Patrick's Church in Collinsville CT. Katie's family fostered a social consciousness of a preference for the poor in her; she was encouraged at a young age to volunteer at organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Hospice. While pursuing two graduate degrees, A Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and a Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame, she continued her volunteer work in various music and charitable ministries. She developed a working relationship between the Notre Dame Master of Divinity students and the Catholic Worker in South Bend, Indiana and led the music ministry and retreats for persons with intellectual disabilities at the Friends of L'Arche Community. Five of her fellow students from the Master of Divinity Program at Notre Dame came to the Abbey to celebrate this joyful day with her.

EmbraceIn his homily Father James highlighted the vocation of the Apostles Andrew and Peter, poor Galilean fishermen, called to step out of their boats into the unknown as they walked with Jesus. He recounted a moment in Katie's life when mysteriously the seed of her call to Regina Laudis was planted in her heart. At the age of 15 she came to the Abbey's annual fair and wore a flowered crown made by Mother Placid. That crown, which she has kept to this day, made her feel like a “princess in Eden” and gave Katie a taste of “ a place in the world, but out of the world opening a vista and a cry for transcendence” to which she would respond many years later. During her postulancy Katie feels she finds Christ in creating beauty through flower arranging, singing, and in hospitality. Even in the initial phase of formation in her monastic life, Katie recognizes that her drive for social justice may be fulfilled within a monastic context.

The social action in which I engaged before coming to the Abbey often felt like a series of stopgap responses to the overwhelming suffering in the world. In contrast to this reactive response, I join this community to take a proactive stance, drawing on the joy and love I experience here and seeking to extend it to the world.

Gallery of Monastic Investiture of Sister Gregory