December 31st is a worldwide day of retreat for the Daughters of Charity. It is a day to review the past year and prepare our hearts for the next year. There is something about being in retreat--together, but separate--with 19,000 other women who share your values and life vocation! The anticipation of Mother Seton's big feast day on January 4th causes me to take to prayer how I personally and we, the Daughters of Charity, are called to be pioneers and prophets.
January 4th we celebrate the opening of the bicentennial year for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In 1809 Mother Seton moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland from Baltimore, MD. It is in Emmitsburg that she began her community that was the seed for the presence of 6 communities in the U.S.
Mother Seton really lived an amazing life! She was a woman of great courage and faith. She was a pioneer of her time--not just because she lived in a rural area either. She saw how important education was for all the children and found a way to educate the poor girls that otherwise would not have been able to attend school. Today we are still seeking ways to educate persons who are poor to help them rise up out of poverty. She was quite the prophet of her day--promoting change for those most in need.
Her faith was rock solid! She experienced great loss in her life and was ostracized by others close to her because of her conversion to Catholicism. Yet, she didn't waver. She stood strong and moved forward in faith and conviction. What a great example to follow!
I hope through the many bicentennial events this year that we will be inspired to holiness and to be prophetic people who aren't afraid to try new things!
Here are a couple websites you can go to to check out events for the year: http://www.setonlegacy.org/ (Emmitsburg, MD) and www.setonbicentennial.org (New York area).