“Does the life of our Jesus animate
us? Do we indeed give Him the
true service of the heart without
which whatever else we give has
no value?”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

 

“When so rich a
harvest is before
us why do we not 
gather it? All is in
our hands if we
but use it”

St. Elizabeth Seton

 

Love, Laughter and Learnings: A tribute to Seton Hall

As Sisters and employees prepare to move from Seton Hall on the Mount St. Joseph campus, it seems appropriate that we offer the building a special send-off. Over its 93-year history Seton Hall has been ‘home’ to many: Sisters, employees, former Sisters, alums of the College of Mount St. Joseph, retreatants, teachers from the Mount Campus School and Mount St. Joseph guests. As we anticipate the building leaving us early in 2021, we share the following personal memories and experiences of those living, working or visiting Seton, as well as the love, laughter and learnings she provided. May reading and viewing the memories offered touch your heart, evoke a prayer or spark a feeling of gratitude. We plan to continue this series until the building comes down next year. Keep the memories coming!

Over the years Seton Hall on the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse campus has served numerous roles for its occupants.

Jean Miller, SC

When I think back to life in Seton Hall, I go to the roof. Many times the roof was like a place of contemplation. It was a place to dream of touching the stars at night, to enjoy the breeze from the river, to feel the quiet from the day’s activities, to look up in any direction and know you are a small portion of our Milky Way. Sometimes it was the moon that stole the show; while other times it was the North Star and the Dipper or Orion (Hunter) or one of the 88 constellations appeared.

There was the opportunity to experience the neighboring states. That happened mostly on July 4 with firework displays from Indiana and Kentucky competing with our exhibitions coming from different parts of our city. Of course, we won the competition for noise, colors and enjoyment. Sometimes we shared food, conversation and laughter with each other and grew in relationships. At times people on the pathway below joined the conversation from that distance after we called their names to awaken them to the people on the heights.

The roof was that place to experience life beyond us, from another perspective or feeling; life at another level, being alive in a new way in the cosmos.

The stunning view from the rooftop of Seton Hall.

Annie Klapheke, SC

Although I am newer in the Community, and do not share in the long history of Seton Hall’s life, its walls still hold significance for me. It evokes memories of the days when I was first getting to know the Community. I slept overnight in Seton when I came for weekend visits, attended Congregational Days as a discerner, prepared for my entrance into the Community and participated in my first eight-day retreat. Like a couple whose first date location reminds them of their budding relationship, the humble rooms and lounges of Seton remind me of the days when I first started falling in love with both the Community and the call to religious life. 

Annie Klapheke (right) spent many evenings relaxing and enjoying community life in Seton Hall.

Joyce Brehm, SC

Long before the pandemic I had adjusted my working hours in the Archives to sometimes work weekends or evenings. Often I would be in the basement Repository by myself. Especially at night, this space seemed like it would make a great haunted house. Even during daylight hours it was often frightening to our DePaul Cristo Rey High School students. One day I was in the basement by myself. I was working on inventory. I had a picture about 2’ by 3’ wrapped in bubble wrap. It was a bubble wrap that was old, yellow, brittle and had the large bubbles. I needed to throw it away, but it was a huge bundle of plastic. I knew plastic bags could be recycled, but not this huge bundle of bubble wrap. I wasn’t about to spend the rest of my day sitting there popping the plastic bubbles. I took the long stretch of bubble wrap and spread it across the floor. I ran over it with my motorized chair. I wouldn’t have been able to do this in any other space. It sounded like firecrackers and machine-gun fire. It could have frightened anyone within hearing distance of me. I went back and forth, and before I was finished I was laughing out loud. This was great fun.  

Seton Hall Basement

Members of the Sisters of Charity Archives spent many house in the Seton Hall Repository, located in the building’s basement.

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