At each door of the monastic Church there is a holy water font where we dip our fingers and then make the sign of the cross over ourselves. Holy water is clean, fresh water which has been blessed by a priest or bishop especially for use at baptism of new members. However, all Catholics use it as a reminder of their own baptism where they were admitted into the Christian Church.
The plaque over the font says "Ave Maria". This is latin for "Hail Mary" which is the first line of the Hail Mary prayer. This is a reminder of the greeting which St. Elizabeth proclaimed when she greeted her cousin and recognized that Mary was carrying the Messiah in her womb.