The Story

August 15, 1817When Sisters Cecilia and Felicity arrived in Philadelphia, they went immediately to the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum of St. Joseph’s where Sister Rose was director. Mother Seton had named her Sister Servant, leader of this fledgling group of missionaries. She was an excellent administrator, capable of building a firm foundation for the new enterprise. 

Upon their arrival Sister Rose took them through the orphanage, explained how it was managed, and shared with them what she knew would help the two younger sisters gain confidence in their ability to meet the needs of the poor in a new setting. 

There would be a little time for catching up on the news from Emmitsburg as well. Sister Rose would want to know about Mother Seton and all the many activities in which she was engaged. There would be conversation about their future, too, and what was waiting for them in New York. 

Scripture, Luke 6: 20–23

And raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil because of the Son of Man. 

Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.” 


It takes us all our lives to learn the lessons we need for our happiness. We learn much from the people God has placed there. 

Who are my teachers? Who are the people who have influenced my choices? Who are the ones who have helped me become who I am today? 

Words of Elizabeth

“But I find in proportion as my heart is more drawn to the summit, it looks backward with added tenderness to everyone I have ever loved, much more those who have long possessed in its entire and truest attachments.” 


Virtual Retreat prepared by Sisters Maria Iglesias, SC, and Mary E. McCormick, SC

New Beginnings—The Journey, August 13–20, 1817

New Beginnings—Leave-Taking, August 13, 1817

New Beginnings—Dying, August 14, 1817

View 200th Anniversary Prayer by Regina Bechtle, SC