Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today we celebrate one of the great women of American Catholic history. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in 1774 in the colony of New York and raised in the Episcopal Church. When her husband fell ill, they took him to Italy for the climate and it was there that she was first exposed to the Catholic Church. After his death she returned to the still relatively new born country and came into full communion with the Church.

It was a French Sulpician priest who first sparked her interest in the thing she would later be most renowned for, education. So this former Anglican who would be the first saint born in what would be the US, owes her faith and fame to the Italians and the French.

Just one more example of the mysterious and sometimes circuitous ways of God.

She is the patron saint of Catholic Schools so let us pray for our schools as they search discover how best to carry out their mission in the 21st Century. We see the old model failing around the country, as diocese after diocese closes school, may God, through the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann grant us the wisdom and courage to discern and follow a new path to success.

Here is the link to the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.