In the Gospel today, Our Lord begins to invite men to become His disciples. Two disciples of John the Baptist who heard John the Baptist refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God, are interested in knowing where Jesus was staying and so Jesus invited to them to “come and see”. Then Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter, also become His followers and Jesus changed the name of Simon to Cephas, which means Peter.

There are times in the Old Testament and New Testament when men and women chosen by God for a new mission, receive a new name. For example Abram to Abraham, Sari to Sarah, Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul. Today, many men and women religious receive a new name when they become a novice.

When young girls would be interested in becoming Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say to them, “Come and See”. She understood those who discern a vocation must come and see in order to help them understand if Jesus is calling them to religious life.

Today, we celebrate, the feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was a wife, widow, mother of five, and became the foundress of a religious order of sisters, called the Daughters of Charity.

Born in New York, Elizabeth’s mother died when she was only three yrs. old. As a child, she was inclined to contemplation of God, and her greatest joy was “reading prayers”. In 1794, she married William Seton. When William’s father died, the young couple took care of William’s seven half brothers & sisters. After William’s business failed, he became ill with consumption. And to prevent his death, they sailed to Italy, and stayed with the Felici family. After their arrival William died, leaving Elizabeth, a widow, with five children.

The Fellici family were devout Catholics. Elizabethwas Episcopalian. Shewas captivated by their kindness and generosity. They had a private chapel, which contained the Blessed Sacrament. She was drawn to the tabernacle, where she discovered her Lord waiting for her. Her great desire Jesus in the Eucharist was a strong force which lead her to become Catholic. To her sister-in-law, Rebecca, she wrote, “How happy would we be, if we believed what these dear souls believe: that they possess God in the Sacrament, and that He remains in their churches, and is carried to them when they are sick! The other day in a moment of excessive stress, I fell on my knees, without thinking, when the Blessed Sacrament passed by, and cried in agony to God to bless me, if He was there—that my whole soul desired only Him.”

Years later, after she made her first Holy Communion, she wrote, “At last… at last, God is mine, and I am His! Now let everyone around know—I have received Him!”

Having lost her mother at an early age, she took the Blessed Virgin Mary, as her mother. She asked Mary to guide Her to the true faith. Once she became Catholic, she had to endure the rejection of her family and friends, but now had the Blessed Virgin to console her.

After she became Catholic, the bishop asked Elizabeth to start a Catholic School in Baltimore, and found a religious order, called the Daughters of Charity. Later her and new religious sisters, and children, moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland. During her time in Emmitsburg, she would suffer the tragedy and heartache of losing two of her own children. One of which took vows as a religious sister in the religious order her mother had founded. Her two boys attended Mount St. Mary’s, boys’ school, which is now Mount St. Mary’s College and Seminary.

The sisters of her new order would travel several miles in the winter, and during the hot summer to attend Mass on the mountain, near the Boys School.

On the little mountain just above the seminary, she instructed children teaching them the Catholic faith.

Today, the grounds of the seminary and the Mount are made hallow, by the footsteps of a saint, & many seminarians--- who have sought her intercession as a mother, to help them to become holy and faithful priests.

May the motherly affection of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, inspire every Catholic school to educate children well in the faith. May her vocation as a wife, mother and founder of a religious community, help many young people to come and see if Jesus is calling them to married life, to motherhood or to religious life. And may St. Elizabeth Ann Seton help all of us to have a greater love for the Eucharist, and devotion to Mary.