S. MICHAEL HUTCHESON
“We seek as a household to uphold the dignity of a family,” said Lucy DeMatties, senior household coordinator of Fiat Sanctae Familiae, “because we are part of the family of God.”
Fiat Sanctae Familiae, located in St. Thomas More Hall, was founded in 2004. The household members are devoted to conforming themselves to God’s will and to defending the sacredness of marriage and the sacredness of the family.
The Latin word “fiat” in the name “Fiat Sanctae Familiae” refers to obedience; it is the same word that Mary used to surrender to God’s will at the Annunciation, according to DeMatties. Therefore, the women of Fiat Santae Familiae draw their inspiration from the obedience of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who were willing to fearlessly conform themselves to God’s plan. “Acknowledging that we are part of God’s family means doing his will,” said DeMatties.
The household also has a devotion to St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who was both a mother and doctor. When her fourth pregnancy became complicated, she was willing to die so that her unborn child could live.
The women of Fiat Sanctae Familiae look to St. Gianna as an example of what a Catholic wife, mother and professional should be when she lives her life in accordance with God’s will. According to the household covenant, St. Gianna’s “‘fiat’ to God illustrated what God can accomplish in us when we cooperate with his grace.”
“She really encompasses all the roles for women,” said DeMatties.
In addition to their holy hour every Monday evening in the St. Thomas More chapel, Fiat Sanctae Familiae has a devotion to the Fiat Chaplet, which they pray every Wednesday night at 9.
The chapel focuses on three sets of three mysteries, with each set relating to a particular act of surrender to God.
During the chaplet, the ladies of Fiat household meditate on three joyful mysteries in honor of Mary’s fiat, and then they recall Jesus’ submission to his Father’s will through three sorrowful mysteries. Finally, they reflect on three glorious mysteries as reminders of their personal duty to say yes to God’s call.
The women also focus on deepening their relationship with each other. Every Friday after Mass, the household sisters have what DeMatties referred to as “a little family dinner,” where they talk about their week and share their concerns with each other.
“We have a very authentic sisterhood,” she said. “We’re not afraid to talk about the things we struggle with.” The household also meets at least every month for a large, all-day activity together, whether that be a movie night or a paintball fight.
Fiat Sanctae Familiae’s intent process also serves to strengthen the household’s sense of “authentic sisterhood.” The intent receives a “big sister” in the household who can teach her about the household and its commitments and help her to grow in her faith, much like one family member would help another to grow closer to Christ.
Thus, by praying together, bonding together and looking to the Holy Family and to St. Gianna as models of authentic obedience and faith, the women of Fiat Sanctae Familiae strive to exemplify authentic Catholic sisterhood and fulfill their vocations to the fullest extent possible.
In the same way that Mary surrendered herself to God’s will, Jesus handed himself over to death and Joseph placed his complete trust in the Father, so too do the sisters of Fiat Sanctae Familiae devote themselves to doing the will of God.