Daughters of Charity celebrate yearlong 2009 bicentennial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

In a yearlong celebration titled The Seton Legacy of Charity, the Daughters of Charity, Emmitsburg province, will kick off the bicentennial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Jan. 4, 2009.

Hundreds of visitors are expected to attend retreats, tours, liturgies and sessions to learn more about St. Elizabeth, the first native-born saint of the U.S. who founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, the first community of religious women in America.

The bicentennial year will close Jan. 4, 2010.

The past 200 years have witnessed the formation of six branches of the order, and the works of charity touching innumerable people. Followers of the saint have founded countless schools, health care institutions and social works, here and abroad.

The official observance will occur July 31-Aug. 2, 2009. Among the many activities are the premiere of a documentary about the saint and a live re-enactment of the early sisters arriving in Emmitsburg on a Conestoga wagon pulled by six horses, as they did 200 years earlier.

The Seton Legacy Garden will be blessed. Symbolically, the garden’s beautiful pathways extend behind the saint’s home, and her notable quotes are inscribed on bricks, pavers, benches and markers.

The 2009 celebration will provide “a wonderful opportunity to learn what a special person St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was,” said Sister Vincentia Goeb, director of heritage ministries and a Daughter of Charity.

2009 events for The Seton Legacy of Charity

For costs, times, registration and other event details, visit www.setonlegacy.org or call 301-447-6606.

Jan. 4: Opening of the bicentennial year

Feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; 2:30 Mass; unveiling of collage; lighting ceremony. Public invited.

Feb. 9-15: Seton Legacy Guided Retreat

Retreat with sisters, colleagues and benefactors who share the mission of charity.

April 30: Middle School Leadership Day

Middle school ambassadors focus on Mother Seton and current social justice issues; day ends with liturgy and commissioning of students.

May 1-3: Partners in Ministry Retreat

Retreat designed for sisters, colleagues and benefactors.

May 15-20: Seton Legacy Retreat Pilgrimage: Footsteps of Elizabeth Ann Seton

Reflective tour of Emmitsburg and Baltimore sites; virtual visit to New York and Leghorn, Italy.

May 23: Medal Award Ceremony

Presentation of the Seton Medal to individuals. Open to public.

July 10-12: Partners in Ministry Retreat

July 10-12: Vincentian Experience 4: Elizabeth Ann Seton Pioneer and Prophet Event for college-age students interested in serving Christ in the poor and making a difference; Summit Lake Campground, July 10 p.m.-July 12 noon.

July 22: Mass of Thanksgiving for Sulpician community and Daughters of Charity

July 31-Aug. 2: Bicentennial Celebration Weekend

Opening ceremony, events marking journey of Elizabeth Ann Seton to Emmitsburg, day pilgrimages from Baltimore, bus tours, walking tour, premier of Seton Legacy DVD, blessing of Bicentennial Garden, liturgies, breakout sessions, live reenactment procession; basilica, gifts shops, and visitor center open

Nov. 1: Pilgrimage for high school students

Candlelight pilgrimage from Mount St. Mary’s University Grotto of Lourdes to Seton shrine; liturgy

Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Seton Legacy Guided Retreat

Conferences on life and spirituality of the saint, common prayer, liturgy, quiet reflection, sharing. Open to sisters and public.

Jan. 4, 2010: Bicentennial year closes with liturgy and celebrations recap

Catholic Review

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