Sitting in the Side Pew
A Retreat Guide on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Why does the Church canonize saints? It doesn’t help them; after all, they are already in heaven. It’s meant to help us!

The saints’ amazing spiritual maturity reminds us of where we are going, and the stories of their spiritual journeys remind us that God’s grace truly can get us there. The saints inspire us. They intercede for us. They accompany us.

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In this month’s Retreat Guide, Sitting in the Side Pew, we look at the shining example of North America’s first native-born canonized saint, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton.

  • In the decades following the Revolutionary War, Mother Seton grew up in New York’s high society as a member of the Episcopalian Church.
  • She was a wife, a mother, a widow, a convert, a teacher, and a foundress.
  • This Retreat Guide will draw some practical lessons from a few pivotal scenes of her life – four scenes so real and ordinary that they will resonate with every single one of us: Under the Chestnut Tree; Sitting in the Side Pew; Making Ends Meet; Under the Oak Tree.

Meditation 1

Meditation 2


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