St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first Catholic saint born in the United States and founder of Catholic schools, is the focus of a Footsteps of the American Saints patch program from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, that all children can earn. The patch program is open to both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of all levels.
What I appreciate about these religious activity scout patches is that not only do you learn the biography of a saint, but you also learn about her values and do service for our community.
I’ll admit I knew little of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, other than her name was on many Catholic churches, before my daughter came home talking about the saint and the theme of “instructing the ignorant” for her Little Flowers Club at church. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a widow and mother of five, who, undeterred by circumstances of life, established the nation’s first Catholic school and persevered in her faith.
My daughter wrote this story about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for her Little Flowers Club at Church, intended to be narrated and for younger girls to act out.
You can also find more involved skits for older readers here.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Elizabeth Ann Bailey was born in New York City, USA, in 1774. Her family was not Catholic. They were Episcopal, which a lot like the Catholic faith but is different in some ways. Elizabeth’s parents were very wealthy. They taught her to live her faith and be kind to the poorest of the poor.
When she was 3 years old, her mother died and the only family she was left with was her father. When she was a teenager, she would go out to help all poor people, no matter what race or religion.
When she was 19, she fell in love with a man named William Seton. They got married and had 5 children, 3 girls, 2 boys. Mr. Seton died in Italy from a disease called tuberculosis, which caused him to cough up blood.
When she was in Italy, Elizabeth stayed with a Catholic family who taught her and her daughter their Catholic faith. The Catholic faith became important to Elizabeth. When she came back to New York, she told her friends she wanted to become Catholic. Her friends laughed at her and said, “No way can you become Catholic. You can’t become Catholic.”
Her friends ignored her and wouldn’t help her out. She had to trust God to take care of her children.
Elizabeth moved to Maryland to start a new charity to help her family thrive. She started a Catholic school for girls, the first-ever Catholic school in the U.S. She also started a group called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s.
Elizabeth Ann Seton died in 1821. In 1963, she was named a saint. She is the first saint born in United States. Her choice to follow God’s will led to great good for all of us.
(adapted from Holy Spirit Interactive)
If something should happen that changes our lives from happy to difficult, let us turn to God like Elizabeth Ann Seton did and ask for His help. God can help bring out our hidden talents and we are then able to do things we never dreamed possible.
There are also some great activities to learn about colonial life as well as the life and faith of Elizabeth Ann Seton on the Seton Shrine website. Interested in learning more about other Catholic saints? Read more about other Catholic patch programs for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts