“Our call then is a call to people to seek a greater vision of life then they have yet achieved. It is a call to recognize that we all regulate human life at all times and in an infinite number of ways. Therefore, we must be aware of the awesome responsibility imposed on each of us. Only as we become aware of that reality , can we begin to recognize those patterns which annihilate human life. For, without that recognition, we cannot fulfill our ultimate responsibility to redeem life which is the Eucharistic mission of all people.”
The Advocate Community (Regulation of Human Life within the United States Constitution, presented at the 41st International Eucharistic Congress, 1976)
Lucy'll do it!
The response of Mother Subprioress' law partners when they were faced with a particularly difficult case...
It would be fair to say that the Abbey of Regina Laudis could not function without our Subprioress, Mother Maria Immaculata. Ann Lucille Matarese was born into a loving family in Hartford Connecticut with roots in the region of Basilicata, in the province of Matera in southern Italy. She brings the inheritance of her culture: stubbornness and a healthy distrust, to her role of protecting and advocating for the monastic community and the Catholic Church.
Lucille Matarese graduated from the University of Connecticut with high honors and distinction in the field of Government and International Relations. She received the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Connecticut Law School and as a law student was a member of the Law Review and on the board of student editors for the Connecticut Bar Journal. After graduating she practiced Law in the Hartford area and was a partner in the Law Firm O'Keefe and Matarese from 1963- 1971. She published numerous articles in the Connecticut Bar Journal.
Lucille Matarese was elected to serve as a Member of the Connecticut State House of Representatives from the 3rd Assembly District from 1967—1969.
Immediately upon entering the Abbey in 1971, Lucille was called upon to bring her expertise in law to the redrafting of the Constitutions of Regina Laudis which were approved by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in 1973. On the Feast of the Holy Innocents 1973, Lucille was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Maria Immaculata.
Throughout her time in the Novitiate and later as a Professed Member of the community Mother Maria Immaculata has carried major responsibilities as a member of the Council, Chief Financial Officer responsible for accounting and insurance matters, Legal Advocate, and teacher of Canon Law and the Vows Class for community members. For many years she has been a Formation Mother and has cared for our men's guest house, St. Joseph's. In 2001 Mother Maria Immaculata was appointed Subprioress by our newly-elected Abbess, Mother Abbess David Serna.
Mother Subprioress is a founding member of the Advocate Community which began in the 1970’s when she, then a lay woman, with a group of fellow lawyers and other Catholic professionals came together out of distress over the attitudes towards human life prevailing in the United States. Desiring to direct their professional expertise to defend the wholeness of human life at every stage and in its full dignity, they recognized the need for a clear and constant spiritual direction. They turned for help to Regina Laudis and the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist in Meriden CT.
In 1976 at the 4th International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, the Advocate Community presented the seminal work of one of its founding members, the late Edward F. Hennessey, Esq., Humanae Vitae and the U.S. Constitution. The community affirmed its dedication to the the protection of human life, as expressed in the 1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life):
...the call to regulate human life issued by Pope Paul in Humane Vitae was a call for regulation at the level of God law as well as at the level of man-made law.
Today, the Advocate Community includes Mother Subprioress and members of the Benedictine and Franciscan Communities, who work in complement collaboration with one another and the lay Advocate Community members.
When we can coax Mother Subprioress out of her Financial Office, the community relishes the meals she makes with other Italians in the community. No one makes a better antipasto. She loves Italy especially the eternal city Rome, because it is the heart of the Church for which she has fiercely advocated and committed her life.
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