About Our Parish

Who is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton?                                

 

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American born saint, was canonized in 1975. She was born in New York in 1774 into a socially prominent Episcopalian family. At the age of 19 she married William Seton, the son of a wealthy shipping family. The shipping business failed, leaving them in near poverty. Then William contracted tuberculosis.

In 1803 they went to Italy in order to help William recover in a milder climate. However, William's health deteriorated and he died. The Filicchi family, former business associates, welcomed Elizabeth warmly. They introduced her to Catholicism and she began to attend Mass with them. This began a process of questioning that would eventaully lead her to become Catholic.

When she returned to New York, her family disapproved of her conversion, shunning her socially and financially. She started a boarding house and school to support herself and her five children but it failed when her friends would not help her.

Elizabeth met a a priest, Fr. William Dubourg, and asked his help so that she could continue teaching. He and Bishop Carroll of Baltimore invited her to open a small school. Elizebeth founded a religious order, the Sisters of Charity, and moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland. It was there that she began a parish school considered to be the beginning of the Catholic school system in the United States.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, our parish patroness, was a remarkable woman by any standard. She was strong, tender, sensitive, and determined. All who knew her called her Mother Seton. The experiences of her life as a wife, mother, teacher, convert, foundress of a religious order, and community member made her a model for our spiritual life today. Elizabeth died on January 4, 1821.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humble Beginnings

 

On April 9, 1976, Bishop James A. Hickey (Cardinal Hickey) established the parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for the townships of Columbia Station and Eaton. It was Monday, June 7, 1976 that Fr. David Liberatore assumed pastoral dutiies. The congregation came together to celebrate Mass for the first time on July 4, 1976 in Columbia Middle School. In September of that year a Saturday evening Mass in Columbia Town Hall was added. Then in October of 1977, all was moved to Bronson School.

Growing Through Change

 

At this time the parish decided to  build a center fulfilling a fourfold purpose: worship; education; fellowship; and administration. Armed with architectural plans, a loan, and generous pledges of parishioners, the land was cleared and the cornerstone was laid on December 17, 1978.

On September 16, 1979 the building was dedicated. Since then the religious education program for the children has been moved to the Columbia Middle School. In 1987/1988 a pastoral residence and meeting room was built by the parishioners.

Like it's patroness, the family of SEAS continues to gather together to walk with the Lord, reach out to others, develop spiritually, and celebrate together as family.

 

 

 

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