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1774: We remember St. Elizabeth born in New York City

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Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born in New York City on this day in 1774.    Her life was very difficult as we can see in this story:   

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born to an eminent physician, Richard Bayley, who served as the first health officer of New York City. Her mother, Catherine, was an Episcopal minister’s daughter who died before Elizabeth’s third birthday, leaving three daughters. Her father remarried and had four additional children. At age 19, Elizabeth married a wealthy shipping magnate, William Magee Seton, with whom she had five children in quick succession. Seton’s health deteriorated after his financial holdings collapsed and he died of tuberculosis in Italy shortly before the couple’s 10th anniversary. Elizabeth’s eldest daughter followed her father to the grave nine years later.

Following these traumas, Elizabeth, who was raised an Episcopalian, received her first Holy Communion and became a Roman Catholic on March 25, 1805. Seton taught in order to support her family and believed in free education for all children, male and female. In pursuit of this goal, she founded the nation’s first Catholic school in Baltimore, which had been the capital of the Catholic colony of Maryland. The school, St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, would eventually become part of Mount Saint Mary’s University.

In 1809, Seton took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, along with the moniker “Mother Seton.” She then founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, also in Maryland. Her efforts to establish Catholic institutions in the new United States, protected by the Bill of Rights’ guarantee of freedom of religion, saw her beatified in 1963, and canonized in 1975. Seton Hall University in New Jersey was named in her honor.

She founded the first Catholic school in the US and became the first US-born saint beatified by the Roman Catholic Church.

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August 28, 2016 at 7:00 am

Sorry, Pope Francis, but they can

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January 16, 2015 at 11:30 am

My new AT post about Pope Francis

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January 16, 2015 at 7:30 am

The Christmas play in “The Bells of St Mary’s”

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December 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Catholics, Christmas music

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Happy # 474 to the Jesuits

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They have been a significant force in the Catholic faith for a long time, or 1540:

“The Jesuit movement was founded by Ignatius de Loyola, a Spanish soldier turned priest, in August 1534.

The first Jesuits–Ignatius and six of his students–took vows of poverty and chastity and made plans to work for the conversion of Muslims.

If travel to the Holy Land was not possible, they vowed to offer themselves to the pope for apostolic work.

Unable to travel to Jerusalem because of the Turkish wars, they went to Rome instead to meet with the pope and request permission to form a new religious order.

In September 1540, Pope Paul III approved Ignatius’ outline of the Society of Jesus, and the Jesuit order was born.”

Like any group, they are not perfect and there is always room to criticize.  At the same time, their contributions to mass education must be celebrated.   

Happy # 474 to the Jesuits!

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September 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

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