MOTHER SETON / SISTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. JOSEPH

 

Houston flooded and Trump trying to build a Trump Tower during the campaign. Big news items this morning. Yet I open with Mother Seton and the Catholic nun order she began, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

I saw a notation this morning that on this date in 1774, Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born. The founder of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Returned me to the warm days of my youth. My teenage days. High school. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph taught me. Henceforth to be referred to as Sisters of Charity.

My high school was in Utica, NY. Stood in the back of a large lot next to St. John’s church on John Street.

The building tiny. Three stories high. The height larger than the width of the building.

Today, the school is gone. The land the school stood on a parking lot for St. John’s Church.

The heads of Sisters of Charity were capped with big white head coverings. Looked like wings. Body attire, dark blue ankle length dresses. Tied around their waists, extremely large and heavy appearing rosary beads.

The Sisters lived in an old Victorian building one block away. Today, a deserted lot.

The Sisters were excellent teachers. Disciplinarians. In teaching and personal matters. A sister would not hesitate storming into the boys’ bathroom if she thought there was smoking going on.

I got caught. On more than one occasion. Learned from one nun as she twisted my ear: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

Didn’t do much good. I still smoke.

One of the nuns had a distinct impact on my life. Sister Gertrude. A short stout elderly woman. A craggy beautiful face.

She discovered my love for history. Did everything to encourage it. She is also the reason I went to Manhattan College. She pushed Manhattan. Her cousin was a Christian Brother and Director of Athletics.

We had to study Latin. I took three years. Thought it was stupid. During my life time, I discovered those three years of Latin did more for me than any course I studied at any age.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley was born an Episcopalian. Married at 19. Became known as Elizabeth Seton. Bore 5 children. Her husband died ten years after their marriage.

Elizabeth was broke. Her husband had become ill some time before he died. Their money was gone. The family was stuck in Italy where they had gone believing the Italian weather would be good for her husband’s health.

Some Catholic Italian friends helped. She was impressed with their kindness and charity. Studied the Catholic religion. Became a Catholic.

Catholicism was neither popular nor respected in those days. Even her Episcopalian family deserted her.

Elizabeth returned to the United States. The Baltimore area. She became involved with helping the poor and needy. Especially women.

She founded the first Catholic school in the United States. Turned out to be the beginning of the parochial school system in the United States.

A group of women flocked to Elizabeth to assist her in the good works being performed. Elizabeth felt they should become an established nunnery order within the Catholic church. She pursued and accomplished the goal. Elizabeth founded the first female apostolic community in the United States. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

In 1975, the Pope recognized her commitment and success to humanity. She was ordained a Saint of the Catholic Church. The first American born to be so honored.

As to Harvey, a catastrophe of epic proportions. I am impressed, as I am sure you are, with the neighborly assistance being provided. Neighbors helping each other. Strangers helping each other.

Makes for a good feeling after Katrina. People are pitching in and helping each other rather than complaining.

The number of dead known is 3. Some say really 5. I believe the number will be much more once the waters recede and authorities are able to conduct a detailed search.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Trump Company was seeking to do business with Russia in late 2015 and into early 2016. Campaign time.

It is claimed the construction of a massive Trump Tower was contemplated. Purportedly, there is a letter of intent signed by investors and Trump and Company re the projected structure.

Tunney Morgan Hunsaker. What a name? His claim to fame is that he was the first person Cassius Clay fought professionally.

Hunsaker had a mixed career. Seventeen wins, fifteen losses. He went on to become a long time Police Chief for Fayetteville, West Virginia.

He and Clay remained friends their entire lives.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

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