September 1, 2021 | Local News

Sr. Elizabeth Grace Rhodes, SV, bows her head in prayer after receiving Communion at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro on Aug. 14, 2021, during a family and friends celebration of her Aug. 6 profession of final vows. ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD | WKC

Created for this from the beginning

Family of Sr. Elizabeth Grace Rhodes celebrates her final vows


Sr. Elizabeth Grace Rhodes, SV, is “sincere in her desire to serve the Lord,” said Fr. Mike Williams in his Aug. 14, 2021 homily at St. Stephen Cathedral during a friends and family celebration of the religious sister’s profession of final vows, which took place Aug. 6 in New York.

The local celebration included Mass – celebrated by Fr. Williams and concelebrated by Fr. Daniel Dillard and Fr. Corey D. Bruns – and a reception in the cathedral undercroft downstairs after the liturgy.

Sr. Elizabeth Grace, SV, professing her final vows to Mother Agnes Mary, SV, on Aug. 6, 2021 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. COURTESY OF THE SISTERS OF LIFE

Fr. Williams, who knew the sister back when she was Megan Rhodes growing up on her family’s farm in Whitesville, said she has always been “humble, generous and kind.”

He urged Sr. Elizabeth Grace, who belongs to the Sisters of Life religious order based in New York, to remain humble in her vocation, and believe “that everything we do comes from the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.”

“Once the devil convinces us that this is about us, he’s got us,” said Fr. Williams.

Fr. Williams reminded those gathered that it is their responsibility to pray for the sister, that she will “serve God completely and sincerely.”

Following the Mass, Sr. Elizabeth Grace’s mother, Monica Rhodes, told The Western Kentucky Catholic that she is “truly thankful for all God has done for us.”

“We were told that when she (entered the Sisters of Life) that abundant graces would follow, and they certainly have,” said Rhodes, who with her husband, Russell, raised nine children – of whom Sr. Elizabeth Grace is the third – attending St. Lawrence Parish in Philpot.

In fact, Sr. Elizabeth Grace’s younger sister, Molly, now known by her religious name of Sr. Felicidad, recently professed perpetual vows with the Hijas del Amor Misericordioso (“Daughters of Merciful Love”) in Madrid, Spain.

“It’s been so wonderful,” said Rhodes.

For her part, Sr. Elizabeth Grace told the WKC she is filled with gratitude “to God and everyone who’s made an impact in my life,” on the occasion of professing her final vows.

“I’m only able to say ‘yes’ because of all those people who have given of themselves,” she said of her friends and family, many of whom were present at the Aug. 14 celebration. “It is a gift to see, visibly, all these people I hold in my heart.”

Sr. Elizabeth Grace will help open a new mission this fall at St. Agnes Convent in Phoenix, Ariz., where she will participate in university evangelization at Arizona State University and accompany vulnerable pregnant women.

“I am one of five sisters going out there,” she said, explaining that they will serve as “little mothers to the college kids.”

The sister turned 33 on Aug. 6 – the day of her profession of final vows, as well as the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord – and remarked how “hugely a grace” it was to “lay down my life on my birthday.”

She said she was struck by the realization that God had planned this for her life from the beginning; speaking to God, she said “From all eternity, knowing you created me for this – and I am so happy to give this to you.”


Learn about the Sisters of Life

  • The Sisters of Life are a Catholic religious community of women consecrated for the protection of human life.
  • To learn more about their ministry, visit

Originally printed in the September 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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