200th Capital Campaign - Seton Shrine

A New
of  Charity

$10 Million 200th Anniversary Capital Campaign

AS WE CELEBRATE THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY of Mother Seton’s entrance into eternal life, the Seton Shrine has a unique opportunity to reintroduce her to America. In these challenging times, people need her—and all that her Shrine represents—more than ever before. In this anniversary year, we are renewing our mission for the future—a bright future for the National Shrine of our beloved St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. To assure the promise of that future is fulfilled, the Sisters and the Shrine’s National Leaders Council have launched a $10 million 200th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

This historic campaign—the first in the Shrine’s long history—addresses three very special and meaningful initiatives.

These investments will ensure that future generations have the opportunity to know and love Mother Seton, and benefit from her intercession, and her message of God’s healing love.


Museum & Visitor Center
Seeds of Hope Retreats
Sustainability & Innovation Fund

200th Anniversary Capital Campaign Video



The mission of The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is to bring Mother Seton’s intercession and her message of faith and hope to a world in need of God’s healing love.

For more than two centuries, God has been at work in the hills of Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Here, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and her spiritual daughters, who would become America’s first new congregation of women religious, built a home and a school.

Here, America’s first native-born saint struggled and suffered, worked and prayed, lived and died.

Here, the religious community she established, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, trained women to nurse the sick, teach the poor, mother the orphaned, and, above all, follow Christ.

Here, tens of thousands of pilgrims regularly seek comfort, wisdom, and peace. Here, those living in poverty are welcomed, fed, and loved.

Here, miracles happen. Bodies are healed. Faith is restored. Relationships are repaired.

Here, men and women continue to learn about the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton—wife, mother, convert, teacher, foundress, and saint—and her courageous witness to Christ in the midst of a culture yearning for mission and purpose.

“In Elizabeth Ann Seton, we have a saint for our times… we have a woman of faith, for a time of doubt and uncertainty… a woman of love, for a time of coldness and division… a woman of hope, for a time of crisis and discouragement. Thanks be to God for this saintly daughter of New York, for this valiant woman of God’s Church.”



THROUGH THE GENEROSITY of our donors, the Seton Shrine will be able to greatly enhance the visitor experience for the tens of thousands of people who visit each year.

Mother Seton’s story can inspire people to follow God and bring Christ to the world. The Seton Shrine’s primary means of telling Mother Seton’s inspiring story is its museum and visitor center, and they haven’t been renovated in almost 40 years.

This component of the campaign will enable us to reconfigure the original provincial entrance into the new visitor center entrance. It will become the gateway into the new museum, replete with state-of-the-art galleries featuring interactive exhibits which will share the story of Elizabeth Ann Seton from childhood to sainthood.

Of the many thousands of visitors who come through the Shrine each year, many are young people. A modern museum with state-of-the art technology and engaging storytelling techniques will bring new vibrancy to Mother Seton’s story.

It will strengthen devotion to Mother Seton and inspire even more people to spread her message of faith and hope.

That’s why $4 million of our $10 million campaign goal will be used to create a brand-new Museum within a totally renovated Visitor Center.



Watch the Museum and Visitors Center Video


At the heart of our Seeds of Hope Retreats program is a core message: “No matter who you are, or what you’ve been through, you are loved, and you are not alone.”

The Daughters and Sisters of Charity love the poor. That’s why they were so encouraged and excited when a few years ago Pope Francis called on Shrines to open their doors wide to the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the forgotten.

The Seton Shrine took this challenge to heart and created a retreat experience specifically for those living on the margins of society.

It’s called Seeds of Hope. And it’s filling a need that is so often overlooked.

There are many wonderful ministries that provide housing, food, clothing, and health care. But there are few that directly address the faith and spiritual needs of those experiencing poverty and suffering from life’s difficulties.

That is why a million dollars of our $10 million campaign will be used to expand this groundbreaking and essential ministry of the Seton Shrine.


Watch the Seeds of Hope Retreats Video



Elizabeth Ann Seton is a Saint for Our Time. The Seton Shrine is bringing Mother Seton’s message of faith and hope to millions.

Mother Seton was an innovator. And every one of her innovations—in education, ministry to the poor, religious life and spirituality—started with her “yes” to God.

It was her “yes” in 1809 that brought her to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she established a school and a community of women religious.

The Seton Shrine is a special place. And Mother Seton’s spirit of innovation—her willingness to say “yes” to God—is very much alive here.

Through print and digital devotions, virtual exhibits and tours, online reflections, podcasts, and a new phone prayer line, our ministries bring God’s healing love to so many who need it.

The Seton Shrine’s mission to bring faith and hope to countless people across our nation is critical. And it requires resources and funding. That’s why half of our $10 million campaign goal will be used for our Sustainability & Innovation Fund.

It will allow the Shrine to say “yes” to God, just like Mother Seton did, and continue innovating with living history, online digital content, inspiring retreats, special exhibits, powerful encounters with God in the Basilica, and of course the dynamic daily tours of the historic grounds and houses, and all the wonderful places at the Seton Shrine where Mother Seton worked, prayed, and lived.



Watch the Sustainability & Innovation Fund Video



National Leaders Council

THE SHRINE’S NATIONAL LEADERS COUNCIL is a devoted group of community, business, and philanthropic leaders from around North America that champions the mission of the Shrine through its philanthropic work. This distinguished group is chaired by Luci Baines Johnson from Austin, Texas.

The Daughters and Sisters of Charity

AT THE SETON SHRINE, we honor and celebrate those who have continued Mother Seton’s story—the Daughters of Charity here in America and the many Sisters of Charity congregations.

From the time of Mother Seton until today, these Sisters have toiled without fanfare in schools, parishes, hospitals and clinics, social services centers, and impoverished neighborhoods—serving Christ in the poor and suffering.

This campaign is about the days ahead and how, with your help, we can share the story of Mother Seton and her Sisters in new and innovative ways.

Thanks to your support, this campaign will offer faith, hope, and comfort for those living in poverty, the tens of thousands of seekers, pilgrims, and tourists who visit the Shrine every year, and the millions we reach through our media and devotional outreach.


Luci Baines Johnson, Austin, TX (Chair)

Mary Bossart, Rockville Centre, NY

Barbara Bozzuto, Baltimore, MD

Vincent Caponi, Indianapolis, IN

Thelma Daley, Pikesville, MD

John Doyle, Richmond Heights, MO

Joseph Doyle, Atlanta, Georgia

Steve Dufilho, San Antonio, TX

Liz Foshage, CPA, Ballwin, MO

Lindsay Gallagher, Baltimore, MD

Bill Greenhut, Milton, FL

Sr. Louise Grundish, SC, Greensburg, PA

Robert Henkel, Longboat Key, FL

Ellen Kelly, Dunellen, NJ

Cathy Kreitz, Austin, TX

Seamus Lamb, Coral Gables, FL

Peter Leibold, Falls Church, VA

Jack Logue, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Estella Martinez, Rowlett, TX

Anne Merwin, Wilton, CT

Sharon Monahan, Gettysburg, PA

Cecilia Muela, Austin, TX

Mary Noel Page, McLean, VA

Larry & Marilyn Prybil, Lexington, KY

Gloria Reyna, Austin, TX

Sr. Sharon Richardt, DC, Baltimore, MD

Michele Ridge, Erie, PA

Maureen Scalia, McLean, VA

Gene Smith, San Rafael, CA

David Vela, Bryan, TX

Tom VanOsdol, Jacksonville, FL

Terri Von Dohlen, Austin, TX

Madelaine Willi, Rockville Centre, NY

Monsignor James Watkins, Washington, DC

Ellen Yankellow, PharmD, Lutherville Timonium, MD



Sister Donna Geernaert, SC (Chair)

John Fieseler (Vice Chair)

Ray Speciale, Esq., CPA (Secretary-Treasurer)

Lorraine F. Carrano

Sister Christina Maggi, DC

Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, SC

Sister Catherine Mary Norris, DC

Sister Maureen Shaughnessy, SC


Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati,
Mount St. Joseph, OH

Sisters of Charity – Halifax,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception,
St. John, NB, Canada

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth,
Leavenworth, KS

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth,
Nazareth, KY

Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy,
Charleston, SC

Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth,
Convent Station, NJ

Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul,
Bronx, NY

Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill,
Greensburg, PA

Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish,
Nova Scotia, Canada

Sisters of St. Martha of Prince Edward Island,
Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Les Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur,
Dieppe, NB, Canada

Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise,
St. Louis, MO

Daughters of Charity Province of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,
Los Altos Hills, CA