Thursday, January 04, 2007

Elizabeth Ann Seton -- Renewer of Society -- Jan 4

Elizabeth Ann Seton began the parochial school system for Roman Catholics in the U.S. by starting a Catholic girls' school in Baltimore, Maryland after she had started one to support her and her children after her husband died. She also took vows and began the Daughters of Charity of St. Joseph in 1809. Many of the sisters in that order staff hospitals and other care facilities.

Despite being born into a life of wealth and prestige, Elizabeth Ann Seton shows for us the power of the transformed life, one lived out in sacrifice and devotion to Christ.

Her life of sacrifice can point us to Christ, who also lived a life of sacrifice insofar as he was completely devoted to the Father. Seton's life is one that points to a complete trust in God's providence, when after losing all she had, wealth, honor, and her husband, she continues to trust and work for God by establishing religious schools based on models of religious communities. When she began her first school, the school was a means to support her and her children. At the same time she was carrying out a ministry.

Near her death, she wrote the following statement of faith.

Link by link, the blessed chain
One Body in Christ -- He the head we the members
One Spirit diffused thru' the Holy Ghost in us all
One Hope -- Him in heaven and Eternity
One Faith--by his Word and his Church
One Baptism and participation of his sacraments
One God our dear Lord
One Father We his children--he above all through all and in all.
Who can resist, all self must be killed and destroyed by this artillery of love-- one, one, one. Who could escape this bond of unity, peace, and love? O my soul, be fastened link by link, strong as death, iron, and Hell as says the sacred Word.


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