Elizabeth Bayley Seton Chronology
Born in New York to a prominent Episcopalian family; grew up during the American Revolution; was greatly influenced by her prominent father, Dr. Richard Bayley.
Married William Magee Seton, member of a wealthy mercantile family.
Became the mother of five children, Anna Maria, William, Richard, Catherine, and Rebecca.
Was a founding member and active participant of the Society for the Relief of Widows with Small Children, the first benevolent organization founded and managed by women in the United States.
Took care of seven of her husband’s young siblings upon the death of he father-in-law; family business declined into bankruptcy while her husband suffered from failing health.
Traveled with her husband and oldest daughter to Italy, where her husband died; during a five month stay there she was introduced to Catholicism through her hosts, the Filicchi family.
Made her profession of faith as a Catholic; suffered rejection and poverty due to her widowhood and her conversion to Catholicism.
Moved with her family to Baltimore where she started a school; began to gather a group of women who became the core of her religious congregation.
Moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland where she and her companions started the American Sisters of Charity; Elizabeth was chosen as Mother.
Approval of a Rule by Archbishop John Carroll led to the opening of a novitiate; first group of Sisters completed their preparation and made their vows as Sisters of Charity; St. Joseph’s Academy opened as well as a free school and orphan asylum.
Missioned three Sisters of Charity to operate an orphan asylum in Philadelphia; sent Sisters to New York in 1817 for similar work.
Died at St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg at the age of 46.