Formation Friday – Vincentian Mothers

by | May 8, 2014 | Vincentian Family

VinFormation offers resources that celebrate Vincentian mothers spanning 3 centuries – not only of Elizabeth Seton but also Louise de Marillac before her and after her Catherine Harkins, the first American Lady of Charity.

Vincentian women

Elizabeth was mother to five children of her own and seven of her husband’s orphaned siblings. There were students who leaned on her for maternal guidance, as did a religious community that grew to worldwide proportions. Many people of her own time and since have felt her nurturing comfort.

She was a mother in every respect, loving her own children, her extended family, her spiritual daughters, her students and persons in need, with maternal care. Yet, this woman whose stature became larger than life was also, simply, a mom.

Like moms today, she admonished her son William, who was in the Navy, with a 19th-century version of “don’t forget to call home,” writing, ” do remember your own mother is your best friend. Give her the fullest account of all that happens to you.” Later she entreated, “O my child — what would I not give to hear from you,” and ” to tell you how much I wish to hear from you is impossible.” Remember Mother Seton and your own mother on Mother’s Day.

The first presentation was inspired by an article of  Elizabeth Scott Shatto written with assistance from the Daughters of Charity and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

See a presentation highlighting other  Vincentian mothers

Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), wife, mother, widow, and grandmother, and leader in charity, overcame the social stigma of her birth out-of-wedlock in seventeenth-century France to became a cofounder of the Daughters of Charity (1633), an active Lady of Charity, and the patron of Christian Social Workers (1960).

Catherine O’Regan Harkins-Drake (1834-1911), first American Lady of Charity was a wife, mother, widow, and grandmother, who became a leader in charity, overcame the social stigma against women in nineteenth-century America

A more recent FamVin News item prepared by Regina Bechtle has not yet been turned into a presentation.