The Story

August 17, 1817Then as now, the Eucharist was the pivotal mystery for Elizabeth Seton and the Sisters of Charity. Her final prayer was that members of the community always remember that they are “daughters of the Church.” It is not hard for us, then, to imagine the three missionaries attending Mass together with the Sisters missioned at the orphanage at the local parish church, St. Joseph’s, a Jesuit church founded in 1733.

 And we can take this opportunity to remember that the parochial schools started by Sisters across the United States were almost always connected to a local parish. 

 Recall your own parish and its many sacred moments: the place where you were baptized, received the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, Confirmation, where you joined members of your family and friends at Sunday Mass. For many New Yorkers, our neighborhood parish was often the way we chose to identify where we lived. 

Scripture, Matthew 26: 26–29

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” 


Recall all the special Masses you have been present for, the parishes where you have prayed. Bless all your memories, and be thankful. 

Words of Elizabeth

“Jesus is everywhere, in the very air I breathe, yes, everywhere, but in his sacrament of the altar as present and actually and really as my soul within my body; in his sacrifice offered as really as once offered on the cross. Adored Lord, increase my faith, perfect it, crown it, thy own, thy dearest gift.”