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Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism
Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism

Across the nation, many schools are kicking off the new year with much excitement and enthusiasm. At Seton, we have more than our usual excitement, as we celebrate together the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism. Students, staff, parents and our Board of Directors have all been inspired by this banner year. Why? What's it all about?

Elizabeth Seton High School is joining the followers of Vincent de Paul in celebrating the gift, the "charism," that God gave Vincent de Paul to serve those in need. With this charism, Vincent was able to see Jesus in those in need, and to respond to them as his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Vincent's charism attracted many followers; among them were the Daughters of Charity who fed the hungry, cared for the orphans, and educated children. Today, the Daughters of Charity continue the service they began in 1959 at Elizabeth Seton High School. We are committed to education, advocacy, and bringing the joy of our faith to others. With us, is a very devoted and dedicated staff without whom it would be impossible to do the work, to minister to the needs of others, or to show the love that is needed. Beyond our staff, it is our hope that everyone in our school community, including our alumnae, donors and friends, will see themselves as part of this charism as we are all called to care for people in need and to be an example of Jesus Christ.

Many things have been planned for this anniversary year, owing to the generosity of The Tom & Glory Sullivan Foundation, who funded a grant for the school to be able to share this charism in compassionate and caring ways. Parents, staff, students, and our Board of Directors have all been part of kick-off activities. A school-wide calendar and a Vincentian folder given to students and staff are a reminder of the prominence of this year in our lives; weekly videos with Vincentian saints, quotes, and history, as well as remembrances of Daughters of Charity who have served at Seton, will further spread the joy of the charism.

The school community will also study together social justice issues that the Vincentian Family addresses around the world. Prominent speakers in the field with firsthand experience will educate the staff and the students so as to better understand the realities of those who suffer. On October 3rd, the school will welcome Sr. Carol Keehan, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, will speak about Access to Basic Health Care as a right of all peoples.

Sister Ellen Marie, President, expresses her gratitude to all those who are prayerfully and genuinely joining the Daughters of Charity in not only celebrating this 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism, but also in allowing it to impact their lives. Vincent often said to the first sisters, "What a happiness, my daughters, to serve the person of Our Lord in His poor members! He has told you He will regard these services as done to Himself." May we all find this very profound happiness as we embrace the grace of this year!