The bicentenary of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

At the time of Mother Seton’s canonization when Paul VI called for the preservation of her fruitful heritage, her spiritual daughters in the Sisters of Charity were the face of the Catholic Church in America. There was probably no image more synonymous with the American Church at the time than the “parochial school nun.” When she was raised to the altar in 1975 there were nine thousand Sisters of Charity directing schools from colleges to day nurseries and other charitable works from hospitals to infant asylums. Now the ranks of the Mother Seton’s congregation has been reduced to 2,000 mostly elderly sisters.