St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Sister Betty Ann McNeil, a native of Virginia and a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Welfare from Saint Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Maryland (1969) and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (1975). Niagara University awarded her an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (2019).

Sister Betty Ann served children, young mothers, immigrants, and refugees in a variety of social work roles prior to her appointment as Provincial Archivist for the Daughters of Charity, Province of Emmitsburg (1999).

Sister Betty Ann worked with the Advisory Committee for the publication of the multi-volume opus Elizabeth Bayley Seton Collected Writings, 3 vols. (New York City Press, 2000-2005), and with the DePaul University Vincentian Studies since 1988.

As an author on the Vincentian and Setonian tradition, Sister Betty Ann’s work has been widely published; she has conducted workshops, retreats, etc. in North America, Europe, and Asia. Among her publications are the following:

• Author of 15 Days of Prayer with Elizabeth Seton (Liguori Publications: Liguori, MO, 2002).

• Co-author with Martha Libster, “Enlightened Charity: The Holistic Nursing Care, Education, and Advices Concerning the Sick of Sister Matilda Coskery, D.C., (1799– 1870)” (Golden Apple Publications, 2009).

• Editor, update of the definitive Seton biography, Annabelle Melville, Elizabeth Bayley Seton 1774-1821 (Sheridan Press, 2009).

• Editor, Light & Grace, Elizabeth Seton on Life, Faith, and Eternity. Daily Reflections, (Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s: Emmitsburg, Maryland, 2009). An edition in Spanish, Luz y Gracia, is forthcoming.

• Compiler and Editor, Friendship of My Soul. Letters by Elizabeth Ann Seton. 1803-1809, (Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s: Emmitsburg, Maryland, 2010).

• Compiler and editor, Balm of Hope—Charity Afire Impels Daughters of Charity to Civil War Nursing. A Compendium. The Civil War Records of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Province of the United States (DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute, 2015).

• Editor, M. Alderman and J. Burns, Praying with Elizabeth Ann Seton (2nd ed.), (Chicago: DePaul University, 2017). An edition in Spanish, Orando con Elizabeth Seton, is forthcoming.

Since 2012, Sister Betty Ann is a Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence in the Division of Mission and Ministry at DePaul University, Chicago, and serves as adjunct faculty in Catholic Studies of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, DePaul University. Currently she teaches a course for undergraduates, Notable Vincentian Women—Elizabeth Bayley Seton.

1 February 2022

Heart of a Friend—Elizabeth Ann Seton

To present an overview of Elizabeth Bayley Seton, an American wife, mother, and convert to Catholicism, who embraced the Vincentian mission as a widow, and became a notable Vincentian woman and Saint as an educator, spiritual leader, and advocate for impoverished persons.

Participants will learn about Elizabeth Bayley Seton, learn from her response to life experiences, and be able to:

1. Give examples of events and circumstances when Elizabeth Bayley Seton made ethical choices, guided by Christian principles and Vincentian values.

2. Discuss how Elizabeth Seton handled her emotions and expressed her feelings as a woman in her many life roles.

3. Demonstrate how Elizabeth Seton nurtured healthy relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances, etc.

4. Explain how Elizabeth Seton and the Sisters of Charity contributed to the common good of the Church and society.

5. Illustrate how Elizabeth Seton understood God as Love, Beauty, Goodness, and Truth, allowing her spiritual life to mature and enrich the lives of others.

Suggested Preparatory Resources:
Biographical Essay.

Regina Bechtle, S.C., and Judith Metz, S.C., eds., Ellin M. Kelly, mss. ed., Elizabeth Bayley Seton Collected Writings, 3 vols. (New City Press: New York, 2000-2006).
Download from

Betty Ann McNeil, 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Annabelle Melville, Elizabeth Bayley Seton 1774-1821. (Biography)
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Podcasts for Friends and Followers. Stories of those inspired by Mother Seton’s mission.

National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Join Zoom Meeting – Tuesday with Vincent de Paul (2/1/2022) from 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Meeting ID: 870 3440 3349 Passcode: Vincent