January 2001, Volume 6, Issue 6   
Rev. Mark Connolly
Thought for the Month
A Fine Wine
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
The Flight of Youth
Saint of the Month
As I Grow Old
Life's Book
From Rabbi Ben Ezra
What God is Like

Elizabeth Seton,
Saint of the Month

Elizabeth Ann Seton – the first American ever to be canonized – was born into a distinguished family on 28 August 1774. Although a stepbrother became Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore, most of her family were devout Protestants.

Elizibeth Ann Seton
  Image referenced from

Elizabeth married at the age of twenty and became an active philanthropist. In 1797 she was one of the founders of a society designed to help poor widows with small children. Her own husband died in 1803, leaving her with five children.

Two years later Elizabeth horrified her Protestant relatives by becoming a Catholic. But the rector of St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, asked her to start a school there. This marked the beginning of the Catholic system of parochial schools in America.

In 1809 Elizabeth invited four friends to found a new religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph. They opened a school for the poor close by Emmitsburg in Maryland. By 1812 the small community had grown to nineteen and was accepted as an official order, with Elizabeth Seton as its first superior. She took her vows as a nun in 1813. Her inspiration spread and when she died nearly two dozen sister communities had been founded.

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