Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – Inspiration for Homeschoolers and Catholic Families


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton waits in Heaven for requests from homeschooling families for patience, understanding, and the insight to teach difficult lessons.

January 4th is the feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. At the time she was declared a saint by the Catholic Church, she was chosen as the patron saint of our new diocese of Arlington, Virginia.

Shortly after, Mrs. Ann Carroll founded the Seton High School in Manassas, Virginia, in the Arlington Diocese. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was an inspiration for Mrs. Carroll.

Called to Inspire

When Elizabeth Ann Seton was declared a saint in the year 1975, she immediately became an inspiration for Catholic parents and school teachers in the United States.

Elizabeth Seton was a Protestant mother who lived in New York and frequently taught her children at home during the cold, snowy winter weather.

When her husband became very sick, and the family moved to Italy to help him improve his health, they lived with a Catholic Italian family.

A priest came every day to say Mass in their chapel, and to explain the Faith. Though not Catholic, Elizabeth and her family attended the daily Mass.

“St. Elizabeth continued to teach her children at home,
and even taught a few other children,,,”

While she lived with the Catholic family, Elizabeth learned about the Catholic Faith and taught her children about it.

After her husband died, Elizabeth moved back to New York, where the Setons were received into the Church. She continued to teach her children at home and even taught a few other children whose parents asked her to help them.

However, because of difficult circumstances in New York, she moved her family to Maryland, where the local bishop gave her property to start a school for girls. She soon became a nun, a teaching nun. The building provided space for bedrooms, so she was not required to leave her school.

One of her daughters also became a teaching nun. As the school grew, she encouraged other nuns to come to help her in her Catholic school for girls.

Elizabeth had many difficult years as she taught in her school. There was never enough money to keep the buildings adequately heated, so the sisters suffered from the cold.

“St. Elizabeth is waiting in Heaven
for prayers from
Catholic homeschooling mothers,”

There were also plenty of challenges as in every school dealing with students and families with different issues and learning problems.

Nevertheless, she and her sisters stayed in continual prayer as they braved the cold weather, the almost-constant lack of heat, and the daily classroom difficulties.

Heavenly Intercessor

As a Catholic mother and teacher, surely St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is waiting in Heaven for prayers from Catholic homeschooling mothers. Our Lady certainly joins St. Elizabeth to intercede and to provide teaching moms with the gift of patience, the gift of understanding how our children learn, the gift of insight regarding teaching difficult lessons, and the gifts of love and determination.

Catholic homeschooling is not as much about reading, writing, and arithmetic as it is about living the Catholic holy lifestyle Jesus calls all of us to live. We homeschooling parents should start the homeschooling day in prayer with our children, attend daily Mass if possible, or watch the daily Mass on EWTN.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, please pray for us to be patient as our children learn, please pray for us to be able to explain the lessons to our children, and please pray for us to be the Catholic family Jesus wants us to be.

About Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Director of Seton for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark left Mater Dei Academy and began teaching her children at home at seeing firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of private schooling. Meet Dr. Clark | See her book
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