Press Release: National Shrine Of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Celebrates Feast Day; Announces Series of Programs to Commemorate Milestones - Seton Shrine

Press Release: National Shrine Of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Celebrates Feast Day; Announces Series of Programs to Commemorate Milestones

The feast day mass on Jan. 4 will be televised live on EWTN and will launch a two-year campaign to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s birth and the 50th anniversary of her canonization. New programs will bring her extraordinary personal journey and her life-changing spirituality of trust in God’s healing love to new audiences.

EMMITSBURG, MD – Fresh off the opening of its new museum, the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton will celebrate the feast day of its patroness on Jan. 4, and the start of a two-year commemoration that will include her 250th birthday in August and the 50th anniversary of her canonization in 2025.

As part of this effort, the Shrine announced a series of programs aimed at evangelizing the life and spirituality of Mother Seton, the first native-born American to be canonized as a saint.

Among the programs:

  • Participation in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. The Shrine, located in Emmitsburg, will host walking pilgrims from the East Coast for two days of prayer, worship and acts of charity, June 5-6. The celebration will include a mass by Archbishop William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
  • We are pleased to note that the Eastern route of the Pilgrimage has been named after Mother Seton and placed under her patronage. The Shrine will be working with the Pilgrimage to spread knowledge of this quintessential American saint and build devotion to her during the two-month pilgrimage that begins in mid-May. The Pilgrimage will conclude in Indianapolis at the five-day National Eucharistic Congress that begins July 17.
  • A part of this celebration will be a new short film on Mother Seton’s devotion to the Eucharist that tells the story of how the Real Presence of Jesus Christ sparked her conversion to the Catholic Church. The film, which will debut June 6 at the Shrine, is a follow-up to the acclaimed “Seeker to Saint” series of videos that commemorated the 200th anniversary of her entry into heaven in 2021.
  • A series of projects aimed at bringing Mother Seton’s powerful spirituality of absolute trust in God’s Will to young people and all those who are vulnerable and suffering so they can rise from darkness into the light of abundant life. The Shrine began this work by sending a contingent that included Executive Director Rob Judge to the SEEK 2024 Conference organized by the FOCUS. Thousands of college students and young professionals are attending the conference in St. Louis.
  • Expansion of the Shrine’s Seeds of Hope program of retreats for the disadvantaged, as part of Pope Francis’ call for Shrines to reach out and evangelize to those on the fringes of society. The Shrine recently hired a full-time coordinator for Seeds of Hope and plans to eventually expand it to two retreats a month.

Additional initiatives tied to the anniversaries of Mother Seton’s birth and canonization will be announced later this year.

“Mother Seton’s faith, passion and vision drew thousands of young women to her mission and also inspired many young men to join the priesthood or dedicate themselves in other ways to serving,” Judge said. “And those women and men transformed America. The same thing can happen today.

“But she can’t show us the way if Americans don’t know or love her. The events leading up to the anniversary of her birthday and canonization are extraordinary opportunities for the Shrine and the Daughters of Charity and Sisters of Charity to bring her amazing story and her mystical insights to a nation that needs them now more than ever.”

The feast day on Jan. 4, will include Holy Mass at the Shrine’s historic Basilica at 1:30 p.m., celebrated by Bishop Bruce A. Lewandowski, C.Ss.R., Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore. The mass will be shown live on EWTN.

The Shrine is located on the very site that Mother Seton established the first Catholic school for girls and the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, first congregation of women religious founded in the United States, in 1809.

In September, the Shrine opened a $4 million museum and visitors center that uses rarely seen artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive experiences to tell the story of this saint, whose life story as a mother, wife, widower, teacher and Catholic pioneer remains particularly relatable to so many women and men today.

For more information about the Shrine, please visit

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md., is a place of God and of history, where visitors can walk in the footsteps of a saint. The Shrine offers pilgrims prayerful comfort from Mother Seton’s story and her intercessions as a friend in heaven. It is an active Basilica and has a wide range of historical buildings and programs that show what life was like when Mother Seton lived here more than 200 years ago. It was here that she founded the first community of religious women established in the U.S., created the first free Catholic school for girls staffed by sisters in the U.S. and fulfilled her mission of serving those in need. Today, her legacy includes several religious communities with thousands of sisters, who serve others through schools, social service centers and hospitals throughout the world. She was canonized in 1975. Her remains are entombed at the National Shrine that bears her name. For more information, please visit