The Ladies of Charity was built on the foundation of service to the poor and the marginalized in our communities. Our mission is to continue, expand and improve our charitable and spiritual works according to the directives and in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Louise de Marillac and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton through personal service to those in need.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR SPIRITUAL MODERATOR, SR. JOANNE DONOVAN
200th Anniversary of the Death of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4, 2021
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is of special significance to the Ladies of Charity in America because she founded the Sisters of Charity in 1809. Why is Elizabeth of such significance? Because Catherine Harkins, the foundress of the Ladies of Charity here in the United States, was guided by the Holy Spirit through the Sisters who taught her in Pottsville, PA between 1834 and 1836.
Elizabeth was born in 1774 into a wealthy Episcopalian family. Her father, Richard Bayley, was a physician and her mother died in childbirth leaving three children. Eventually the youngest child died. Elizabeth was the second child. Her father remarried in hopes of provding a mother to his surviving children. The new Mrs. Bayley would visit the poor in their homes to distribute food and needed items. She would take Elizabeth with her on these rounds of charity. Elizabeth was never fully accepted by her stepmother, adding to her loneliness and sadness after the death of her mother. Elizabeth often turned to God, speaking to Him as a friend. While Elizabeth experienced great sadness, she also was of a lively disposition. She fell in love at the age of 19 and married William Magee Seton.
Although Elizabeth was very busy raising five children, she continued to show concern for the poor of the city. Eventually she organized a group of women. These women were informally called “Ladies of Charity” because of their inspiration by the works of St. Vincent DePaul.
In 1802 Elizabeth’s William was diagnosed with tuberculous. Elizabeth, William and their oldest daughter traveled to Leghorn, Italy in an effort to help Williams’ illness. After a month of quarantine William died. Elizabeth and Anna Maria stayed for several months with the Filicci family. Elizabeth became attracted to the Catholic faith of this family. Upon her return to the United States, Elizabeth struggled with her decision as to whether to join the Catholic faith. She met with great opposition and anger from family and friends. After being shunned by many family and close friends, she and the children moved to Baltimore, MD where people were more open to Catholics and where she started a small school. Other women soon came to join her. This group formed the first American community of Catholic sisters. Eventually the sisters moved to Emmitsburg, MD where they opened a small school which is considered the beginning of the Catholic school system in the United States.
During her lifetime Elizabeth Seton carried out many roles: wife, mother, widow, convert, single mother, foundress, educator and advocate for the poor. She is a role model and has the privilege of being the first American-born saint of the Church.
Sister Joanne Donovan, DC
BEST POSSIBLE LENT
Sr. Joanne Donovan and Ann Rose invite you to tap into one of the following options to make this your best possible Lent. Prepare yourself for the wonders of Easter.
- DYNAMIC CATHOLIC
Best Lent Ever with Matthew Kelly
Feed Your Soul with Prayer This Lent. Nothing will transform your life so
completely, absolutely, and forever like really learning how to pray.
That’s why this year’s BEST LENT EVER journeys through Matthew Kelly’s
latest book, I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life’s Essential Daily
Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through all forty days of
Lent, you will receive a daily email with a short video to help you
reconnect with yourself and your God.
If you are interested in purchasing I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide
to Life’s Essential Daily Habit or using the BEST LENT EVER JOURNAL,
please contact Ann Rose as she may be to get copies for you at no cost.
- ASCENSION PRESS
Lenten Companion – A Personal Encounter with the Power of the Gospel by Father Mark Toups
Father Toups, an experienced spiritual director, leads readers inward to invite the Lord to heal those areas where they need it most. Readers will receive daily guidance as well as supplemental videos, to help enter more deeply into Lent and remain focused throughout the season.
The book costs $12.99 and can be ordered online through Ascension Press (see the above link)
Please follow this link if you are interested in viewing the videos: https://ascensionpress.com/pages/the-ascension-lenten-companion-year-bleaders-resources
- LITTLE BOOKS from Saginaw, Michigan Diocese This is the little black book that many parishes have been known to offer during Lent. They contain reflections beginning from Ash Wednesday through Easter
The cost is $4.00.
You may either call the number below or write to request a copy:
P.O. Box 6009, Saginaw, Michigan, 48608-6009