The Life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Born Elizabeth Ann Bayley in New York City, Mother Seton is a saint of firsts: first American-born saint, leader of the first Catholic girls’ school (and the first free Catholic school of any kind) in the United States, and foundress of the first American order of religious sisters — the Sisters of Charity.

Elizabeth was born into a prominent Anglican family and was married in the Anglican Church.  With her sister-in-law, Rebecca, she tended to the poor around New York, earning a reputation for her compassion and mercy.  In 1803, she traveled to Italy with her ailing husband in the hope that the climate would aid his recovery.

William Seton died in Italy later that year, but in her grief Elizabeth discovered a new love: the Catholic Church.  She scandalized her Protestant family and friends by being received into the Church in New York City on Ash Wednesday, 1805.

Finding NSt. Elizabeth ann Seton2ew York no longer hospitable to her Catholic zeal, Elizabeth suffered through some trying years before finding a haven in Baltimore.  I twas there that she channeled her passion for service into girls’ education.  She also pursued her dream of religious life, fashioning a rudimentary habit in the style of nuns she had seen in Italy.  Other women were drawn to her, and in 1809 the Sisters of Charity was born, based on the example of St. Vincent de Paul.

Mother Seton died in 1821 in Emmitsburgh, Maryland, where her school still sands.  In her refusal to let the social pressures of her station restrain her witness to the Catholic Faith — in word and deed — she is a wonderful example for us in a secularizing world.

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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

What wisdom Holy Mother Church has in dedicating the first day of the year to Mary, Mother of God!

Mary is the Mother of God and she is our mother, too. Her fiat is the genesis of every fiat given to God. And every fiat given to God is enriched by hers. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council state it simply, succinctly, and profoundly: she is our Mother in the order of grace.

This poem, written by Giovanni Domini (1356-142), expresses the maternal beatitude we find so dear. May it elevate our hearts in gratitude to God for the gift of the Blessed Virgin. And may it elevate our hearts to the reality of our salvation which comes through the gift of her Son, Jesus Christ Savior of the World. Read the rest…

Manchester and the Rosary: A Call to Arms

“In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.” — Jer. 31:15 

In my bifurcated mind in that most horrific moment, I wondered who was slaughtering an animal in our back yard until I realized the piercing cries were coming from myself – a mother’s intense grief in learning that her only son had been killed in a vehicular accident shortly after his return from Iraq. It was then the Scripture passage quoted above entered into my left-brain to inform my right – “This is what it means in Scripture when its says Rachel wails for her children who are no more.” I am Rachel.

Manchester_Evening_News_Arena_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1931437Today, all of Manchester, as well as the greater part of the civilized world, mourns the loss of the young girls and teens who were brutally injured and savagely murdered by the attack of a suicide bomber who, I feel certain, was aimed at taking out those who would bring the next generation to life.  Read the rest…

Star Wars or Heaven’s Plan?

Star Wars or Heaven's Plan-update

Today is National Star Wars Day and many of the film’s fans will be offering the movie’s famous greeting ,“May the force be with you,” or its pun for the day, “May the fourth be with you.” Judging by world conditions and the strife that abounds both at home and abroad, we could use some force and power to bring relief, order, and justice to our beleaguered globe. Read the rest…

Our Pilgrim Journey

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Through the grace of God, we recently completed our first Women of Grace® Pilgrimage and I must tell you it was a beautiful and blessed time in the Lord! As a matter of fact, we have made the pilgrimage available to you through my Facebook page. So if you are a “friend” on my personal page, I invite you to go on it and watch the videos. If you scroll all the way down to the first video, either from March 6th or 7th,  you can watch all the videos in succession and through our final day on March 13 in Lourdes, France. Read the rest…

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Mother Angelica

 

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This week we join the entire EWTN Family in remembering and celebrating the most extraordinary life of Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation on this, the one year anniverary of her death.
EWTN will have a special week of programming honoring Mother Angelica’s life, remembering her legacy, and praying for the eternal repose of her soul.
For your convenience, we offer you these helpful links so that you may fully participate in all of these events:
Mother Angelica’s Memorial Website:
EWTN Family Celebration in tribute to EWTN Foundress, Mother Mary Angelica:
Schedule of Event Programming:
EWTN Channel Finder:
EWTN Youtube Channel:
Rest in peace dear Mother Angelica, good and faithful servant and bride of Christ.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.  And let the perpetual light shine upon her.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.In His Service,
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Johnnette S. Benkovic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City of Refuge

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“Seek refuge in Mary because she is the city of refuge. We know that Moses set up three cities of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed his neighbor. Now the Lord has established a refuge of mercy, Mary, even for those who deliberately commit evil. Mary provides shelter and strength for the sinner.”

                                                                                          – St. Anthony of Padua   Read the rest…

Our Lady of Expectation

Magnificat-SMALLThe little known feast of Our Lady of Expectation occurs on December 18, a week before Christmas and a time the Church refers to as “the Week of Expectation.”  It originated in Spain at the Tenth Council of Toledo (AD 656) and was granted to the faithful who felt that because the Annunciation always falls during Lent, there is insufficient time given to celebrate the exalted state of Our Lady’s divine maternity. The Feast of Our Lady of Expectation arose as a substitute and came to be known as a “mini-Annunciation.” Read the rest…