On June 3-7 2024, ventured to Emmitsburg, Maryland where natural wonders, spiritual serenity, and exciting outdoor adventures converge in this historic town.

emmitsberg photo of group

The mornings of reflection, led by Sister Judy Metz, SC, focused on the virtues of humility, simplicity, and charity. These virtues, foundational in the lives of both St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, remain an integral part of the spirituality of the Sisters of Charity today and, by extension, have been essential in the lives of those who have ministered and continue to minister in partnership with the Sisters. After Sister Judy’s presentation, the group had time for personal reflection followed by a time of group sharing.

"Being on the grounds where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the Sisters of Charity made this experience even more meaningful," reflects Chief Ministry & Heritage Officer, Sr. Karen Elliott.

The group's afternoons and evenings were spent exploring areas in Emmitsburg, Frederick, and Gettysburg where the early Sisters of Charity provided schooling and nursing care. Of particular note is the tremendous courage the Sisters demonstrated as they cared for wounded and dying soldiers on the battlefields in Gettysburg during that Civil War battle in which more than 12,000 causalities occurred.

On Thursday morning they joined in the Mass, celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, at the National Shrine, a stop on the Seton Route for the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage. It was awe inspiring to join in prayer with more than 800 persons, united in belief of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. The responses to the prayers and the singing was especially meaningful as people’s voices filled the Basilica with resounding praise.

"We were grateful to have had both Sister Judy and one of the historians on the staff of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton be with us to share amazing stories of the heritage and legacy of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati," Sr. Karen adds. "Indeed, we were profoundly aware that we were walking on “sacred ground” throughout the entirety of the pilgrimage."

In photo: (seated) Dr. Mike Sontag, Michelle Arnold, Sister Peggy Rein, SC; (standing) Janet Cox, Judith Briggs (25 year employee of the Sisters of Charity); Dr. Andy Buechel-Rieger; Mark McCafferty; Dr. Sister Karen Elliott, C.PP.S.; Sister Barbara Davis, SC.