“Elizabeth Seton and her Sisters of Charity began Saint Joseph’s Academy and Free School at Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1810. This was the first free Catholic school for female education staffed by religious women in the country. The school was governed, financed, administered, and staffed by the Sisters of Charity. […] Saint Joseph’s Academy became known throughout the United States for its high standards and educational excellence. At a meeting of the hierarchy of the United States in 1852, Robert Seton (1839-1927) recalled the reputation of his grandmother. He quoted Francis Patrick Kenrick, Archbishop of Baltimore, as having said to his peers: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this boy’s grandmother, Elizabeth Seton, did more for the Church in America than all of us bishops together’.* The Seton legacy of education testifies to her lasting contribution.”
– Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, DC
McNeil, B. A. (2006). Historical Perspectives on Elizabeth Seton and Education: School is My Chief Business. Journal of Catholic Education, 9 (3).
*Seton, R. (1923). Memories of many years, 1839-1922. New York: Kenedy. p. 60
Fast forward to today, to a lovely article on the Archdiocese of Baltimore website: Talking to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton about the start of the new school year by Rita Buettner. She writes:
“…I really want to start the school year off right, so we packed a bag of juice boxes and snacks, climbed into the car, and headed off to the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.
While the boys played cards in the backseat, I told them about my last trip to that shrine.”
Read the rest →
From the same article:
A Prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at the Start of a School Year
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, you were a teacher who helped your students grow in their love for Jesus every day. Please ask Him to watch over our children as they begin their studies this year, to give their teachers the wisdom, strength, and patience they need in their classrooms, and to help us— their parents— to know how to support them as they become the people God wants them to be. Amen.
Note: September 14 was the anniversary of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s canonization.