Beloved nun of Transfiguration Monastery (Ellwood City, PA) reposes in the Lord

Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, January 17, 2024

Photo: Photo: On January 6, the feast of Theophany, a long-time nun of the Transfiguration Monastery (Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America) in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, reposed in the Lord.

The beloved Mother Elizabeth (Lutz) spent 43 years as a nun at the monastery after converting to holy Orthodoxy at the age of 53, the monastery reports.

Mother Elizabeth joined the monastery when its founder Mother Alexandra (Princess Ileana of Romania) was still alive and serving as abbess. From her first days in the monastery, she served as Mother Alexandra’s aide and driver until the latter’s repose in 1991. Mother Elizabeth took her monastic vows under the mantia of Mother Alexandra on November 21, 1984, receiving the name Elizabeth after the Grand Duchess and New Martyr of Russia.

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The monastery reports:

She was a member of the monastery’s Executive Committee and Spiritual Council since 1987, assisting Mother Abbess Christophora in administrative decisions and spiritual oversight of the sisterhood. She was gifted with a keen sense of spiritual discernment, a motherly instinct, as well as clever wit.

Other obediences at the monastery included serving in the altar as ecclesiarch, tending flower gardens, caring for the cemetery, nursing sick sisters, and, her greatest pride, emptying trash baskets several times a day throughout the monastery complex. This activity kept her active and mobile to the very end. She was also a faithful correspondent, keeping in touch with her own children, grandchildren, and a number of spiritual daughters.

The monastic sisterhood will remember Mother Elizabeth for her dedication, encouragement, and way with words. Her hearing and eyesight failed greatly in later life, but she continued to faithfully attend all the divine services and always knew what each sister was up to, both day and night.

The report also notes that she was a talented writer and pianist. A book she wrote and illustrated for her own children, Micha Mouse, was recently published by the monastery. She is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Her funeral was served on January 8. She was buried in the monastery cemetery.

May her memory be eternal!

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