In Her Footsteps


Many thanks to our good friend Bishop Edmund Whalen for celebrating Mass at St. Peter’s, Barclay Street, on the Jan. 4 feast day of St. Elizabeth Seton, and to Father Jarlath Quinn, pastor, for inviting and assisting him (story, Page 4). Bishop Whalen’s heartfelt and eloquent homily spoke of Mother Seton as “our friend, our fellow New Yorker,” who, amid hardships and losses, focused her life on the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. She followed her heart’s desires with courage, became a Catholic and began the Sisters of Charity in 1809—the first community of religious women founded in the United States. Bishop Whalen encouraged all to reflect on and imitate her humility, simplicity of life and charity.

In any other year, you can be sure that many Sisters of Charity, with our Associates, Companions and colleagues in ministry, would have been present at this joyful celebration. Though Covid restrictions prevented us from attending in person, we are grateful for the opportunity to share in the liturgy via livestream.

During this year that marks the 200th anniversary of St. Elizabeth Seton’s death, we pray not only for the city that she loved but for all who call it home regardless of race, color, creed or country of origin. We also invoke her prayers for the nation whose birth pangs she witnessed as we seek to heal our divisions and rebuild a society where all are valued and where true justice prevails.

Sister Donna Dodge, S.C.
Sister Donna Dodge, S.C., is president of the Sister of Charity of New York.