Press Release: Academy Alive is Prepared to Welcome School Age Groups - Seton Shrine

Press Release: Academy Alive is Prepared to Welcome School Age Groups

Academy Alive brings history to life and is a weekend of family fun for all ages.


Nestled among Maryland’s mountains is St. Joseph’s Academy, ​Mother Seton’s historic 19th century boarding school. Jump back in time and meet the Seton Shrine’s celebrated Junior History Interpreters – girls ages 8-16 who portray real students of Mother Seton and her Sisters.

EMMITSBURG, MD (March 1, 2022) – The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is welcoming school age groups to the Shrine and celebrating the spring season with Academy Alive, its first large scale living history experience specifically created for schools and other large groups. Families and individuals are also welcome to attend this immersive living history event. 

We are excited to ring in the spring season with Academy Alive, a new and exciting living history experience,” said Rob Judge, executive director of the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.Through history interpreters in full period costume, including our Junior History Interpreters who portray Mother Seton’s students, visitors can experience what it was like during Mother Seton’s lifetime in the very same valley that she called home.” 

Academy Alive, previously called St. Joseph’s Valley Days, has been reconstructed into a brand new living history experience to accommodate school age groups and families. Over the course of a weekend, visitors will immerse themselves into spring at St. Joseph’s Academy with opportunities to interact with history interpreters portraying real people from Mother Seton’s world, including her students.  

The event will include historical interpretation, historic home tours, a petting farm, and other outdoor activities. In addition, there are unique indoor activities for visitors to participate in, including fiber arts, watercolor, pen and ink, and more. Visitors are also welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds. 

Academy Alive will be held on Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., doors open at 8:30am. Saturday, May 7 from 10a.m to 5 p.m, doors open at 10a.m. The last general admission for each day is 3:30pm. House tours run every twenty minutes. Tickets are now available at 

“Underlying all that we do at the shrine is the strong belief that Mother Seton does not belong to the past. She belongs to all of us today and all those in the future who seek greater meaning in their lives and a friend in heaven,” said Rob Judge.

The National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton is simultaneously continuing Mother Seton’s legacy by celebrating a new chapter after a year-long commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Mother Seton’s death. In addition to renewed living history experiences, other events and activities include a series of essays, an added at-home retreat and continued retreats, an emailed prayer program and the renovation of the shrine’s museum and visitors center. To learn more about the National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton, please visit  

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton  

Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native-born U.S. saint. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton promotes her life and legacy to inspire everyone. More than 200 years ago, she came to Emmitsburg as a bankrupt widow with five children, and went on to found the first free Catholic school for girls staffed by sisters in the U.S., and the first community of religious women established in the U.S. Today, her legacy includes several religious communities with thousands of sisters, who serve others through schools, social service centers and hospitals throughout the world. Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized in 1975. Her remains are entombed at the National Shrine that bears her name. For more information, please visit 

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Contact: Alyssa Zinar |  |  (610) 506-2533 (m)