Supporters broke ground Friday on what will be a multi-million-dollar renovation of the visitors center and museum at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Mother Seton, the first American-born saint, established the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in Emmitsburg in 1809, according to a news release from the shrine. The religious sisters inspired by the saint serve in schools, hospitals and social service centers across the globe.
“This new museum and visitor center is important because it will enable a whole new generation of people, young and old, to learn about our great saint, Mother Seton, and what was important to her in life,” said Rob Judge, Seton Shrine’s executive director.
The historic site houses an active Basilica, and Mother Seton’s remains are entombed at the shrine. Roughly 60,000 people visit the Seton Shrine annually.
The renovation will feature artifacts, new technology, video and modern storytelling, according to Judge. The effort marks the first major renovation to the museum in 40 years.
To fund the project, the Seton Shrine launched its first capital campaign and raised more than $10 million, Barbara Bozzuto, a 200th Anniversary Campaign co-chair, told supporters gathered on the campus Friday.
Of that number, $4 million is planned to go toward renovations. The remainder will support other shrine initiatives, such as the Seeds of Hope Retreats program.