Where in the World is Mother Seton? A look back on her adventures

Last year during Catholic Schools Week, we launched an initiative to send Mother Seton (a flat version, like Flat Stanley) around the world. We sent her to families, friends, alumni–we even sent her to the Pope! She made it to some amazing places and met many wonderful folks. Thanks to Archbishop Lori and the staff at the Baltimore Archdiocese, she was even present at the canonization of the two Popes!

We have been surprised and touched by how many people eagerly participated. It shows us that the legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton truly is far-reaching. Our thanks go out to all of you for the support you’ve given this project–and our school–this past year. Please enjoy this look back on her many adventures!

Please also enjoy our thoughts on being a Community of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, a three-part series in honor of Catholic Schools Week 2015.

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Mother Seton School: A Community of Faith

praying-girls-massWe all know that Faith does not just happen. Somehow, usually in our childhood, our parents or perhaps our grandparents spoke to us often about God. They were wonderful role models for us and made sure we got to church as a family. If we were lucky, we went to a Catholic or Christian school where the teachings of Jesus Christ were incorporated into our daily lessons. We learned eventually that Faith was believing without seeing! We trusted, as we do today, that God knows all things and is with us every step of the way.

At Mother Seton School, we offer a Faith-filled environment for our students through our Catholic teachings and modeling what it means to be a Christian. From the early beginnings, Mother Seton taught children about the faith. Her example of her devotion to God will never go unnoticed! The fact that Mother Seton is the first American-born Saint and started the first Catholic free school for girls, St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, here in Emmitsburg makes us ever more aware that our primary purpose is to carry on the teaching of the Faith to our children as she did. All of us who work at Mother Seton School partner with you, the parents and grandparents, in instilling a foundation of faith that will last a lifetime for our children.

In Vatican City, November 14, 2014, Pope Francis talked about our Faith as not mere words that we say but the example we give. Journalist Ann Schneible writes:

“Addressing the children who filled the chapel at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis said that – in an age dominated by images and cellphones – the faithful must rely on example, rather than words, to transmit the faith to young ones. As he looked out onto the young congregation comprised predominantly of children from a Roman parish, Pope Francis said it was as though he was looking at ‘a promise,’ and at ‘the world that will be.’ With this in mind, he asked: ‘what do we leave’ these children, who are our future. He then asked if the children are taught ‘to walk in love and in truth,’ or if we merely ‘teach them with words, while our lives take another direction?’ ‘It is our responsibility to look out for children!’ the Pope said, stressing that these ‘little plants’ cannot be ignored.”

gifts-mass“We all have a responsibility to give the best that we have “to children, and the best that we have is the faith,” the Pope said. However, this transformation of faith must be accompanied by example.

There is no question that teaching and giving example regarding our Faith is key in the formation of our children at Mother Seton School. We are fortunate that we can have activities that promote our Faith through daily morning prayer, religion classes, school Masses, promoting service projects to help others, living the Golden Rule (Luke 6:27),  and so on. All of this assists in creating a Christ-centered atmosphere, which is what our school is all about.

As noted in our Parent/Student Handbook, Mother Seton School affirms the truth that the goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff strive to clearly and fully transmit the message of the Gospel as reflected in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

We all know that Faith does not just happen. Together we can continue to build on the gift of our legacy and live the core beliefs of our mission. Truly, the greatest gift we have as the New Year begins is our Faith.

Welcome Back to School!

1st-Day-School-welcome-SrMegIt’s a gorgeous day in the Catoctin Mountains, a perfect start to a brand new school year!

We are excited to begin a new chapter in the history of Mother Seton School and to share in the legacy that our Patron Saint left us. You are probably familiar with our mission statement, which the students recite every morning during prayer and announcements:

The mission of Mother Seton Catholic School, a vibrant, Christ-centered community, is to inspire students to strive for academic excellence and dedicate their lives to love and serve Christ in the tradition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Vincent de Paul.

We’d also like to take a moment to share the Core Values of Vincentian-Setonian Education, which are the guiding principles by which we strive to educate the students of Mother Seton School.

Vincentian-Setonian Education is…

Holistic

Seeks to nurture the students in a holistic fashion; educates the heart as well as the head; forms the spirit, the mind and the body; embraces a global perspective

Integrated

Blends the human and the spiritual, the abstract and the practical, the professional and the personal, the simple and the complex

Creative

Finds new or renewed ways to meet changing needs of successive generations of students, while maintaining a clear “sense of the possible”

Flexible

Adapts traditional methods to the needs of the non-traditional student

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Places quality at the heart of:

Teaching: the teacher is not only competent but efficient, dedicated, and real–“all those virtues required of the students.”

Methodology: the method employed is active, challenging, goal-oriented, and fosters tools and attitudes of life-long learning

Person Oriented

Reflects relationships marked by humility and simplicity, in which all administration, faculty, staff, and, most importantly, students are respected and valued.

Collaborative

Collaborates rather than competes with co-workers, organizations, parents, and other educational institutions

Focused

Believes that its mission is none other than a participation in the mission of the Church: the service of Christ in those who are poor. As such it strives to integrate this vision into the educational process and to keep the primacy of it alive among all those who share in this common mission.

Mark your calendars: Catholic Schools Week 2014

13-14_CSW_Logo_Circle_RGBConsider it the Pro Bowl for Catholic Education–Catholic Schools Week is a way to celebrate the blessing of Catholic education and to highlight the achievements of our students. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. We have a host of events lined up for that week, so be sure to mark your calendars and plan on getting caught up in school spirit!

January 26: Spaghetti Dinner (12-5) and Open House (1-3): An annual tradition, our Spaghetti Dinner features homemade dinner, desserts, and raffles. $7/ages 11+ and older, $6/ages 3-11, Free/ages 2 and under. An Open House and school tour will be available for any prospective family. An information meeting will be held at 1:30pm.

January 27: Teacher Appreciation Day: Contact your homeroom parent if you are able to donate a homemade dish for the teachers’ lunch. Some other ideas to show the teachers how much you appreciate them: have your child create a thank you card for them, send in a small token (flowers, candy), or donate classroom supplies.

January 28: Catholic Schools Week Mass (10:15)

January 29: Pastor and Church Workers Appreciation Reception (11:00): Invitations will be sent out to the pastors and ministers in our community who help support us all year round through their encouragement of Catholic education. If you would like an invite for your pastor or other special church worker (e.g. Youth Minister, Choir Director), let us know!

January 30: Spirit Day-Service in Focus: Students will wear their Spirit Shirts and participate in an act of service (to be determined by homeroom teacher) to demonstrate their school spirit.

January 31: Academics in Focus: We will begin with a student-parent coffee-and-donut social from 7:30-8:15, followed by presentations from the HSA and our talented students, and recognition of named scholarship donors and recipients. Guests may also tour the classrooms for a first-hand look. Test your knowledge against your student’s by playing “Are You Smarter Than a 6th-Grader?” If you can only make it here for one day, make it Friday! (Did we mention there’ll be donuts?)