Seton Associates


Dear Seton Associates,
For about one year now, I often passed an old cape cod style house along a rural country road near where I live. It had seen better days and was now in disrepair, paint chipping the dingy white clapboards, gutters filled with debris, shutters hanging off hinges, a rusted swing set in the back yard. A for sale sign sat among the weeds in the front yard.

I imagined an older couple had lived there and no longer could maintain the home that harbored their family, hosted decades of celebrations, gathered in the sad and troubled, and filled yearly with the beckoning aroma of a Christmas dinner. I could almost see the children playing on the swings and racing around in a frolicking game of tag. Now the old place sat still, neglected, worn out. I wondered who would purchase it.

Yesterday, during last minute errands, I met a happy surprise. The old house now is painted a rich shade of grey and the windows gleamed vinegar clean surrounded by crisp white shutters and woodwork. The front yard has been raked and new grass is peeking up from the freshly spread topsoil. All the windows facing the front and side roads sport festive wreaths. A workman's van was in the driveway.

Like that once-tired house, we, too face uncertainty now and then, not sure if we're one for the ages or born anew with a little personal rehab. Christmas offers us that rehab. Christmas bestows upon us that born-again-in-the-Spirit-new-persona that reminds us that the Christ light shines in us. Alive with the Spirit, our countenance takes on a renewed demeanor, and we are painted afresh with enthusiasm and zeal for all that Christ calls us to do. The windows to our souls are sparkling and we see as the Divine Goodness sees. We see the Christ in others, their love and joys, and also their loneliness, their poverty, their lives on the margins, alone and forgotten. We Seton Associates, bearers of the Vincentian charism of charity, are not content to be renewed ourselves, we feel impelled by the Spirit to help others find the higher ground in Christ's love.

 Charity is not a swath of paint to cover our imperfections. Like the new owners of the now grey home, we have a vision of what can be, and, like Elizabeth during her first frigid winter in Emmitsburg, we have the grace-filled commitment to stay the course and do all the work that needs to be done to realize that vision.   

 After Mass this morning, we took a short detour to pass by the grey house on the rural road. The van was parked toward the back of the driveway. An SUV was parked behind it, the trunk open. Boxes and household items were on the driveway and walkway leading to the front door. At the foot of the stairs waiting to be carried into the home, on this Christmas morn, sat a brand new baby carriage.
Merry Christmas Seton Associates! May your Christ Light shine!

Rosemary Lalevée Carroll

Contact Information

Rosemary Carroll
Director of Seton Associates
Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
P.O. Box 476
Convent Station, NJ 07961-0476

Phone: 973-290-5336 Fax: 973-290-5337

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Seton Associate Prayer

Loving God
You blessed Elizabeth Ann Seton with a desire to do your will.

She sought you in her charity and found you by her faith.

Following her example and through her intercession may we draw closer to you.

Continue to bless the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and all Seton Associates as we strive toward boundless charity in our daily lives.

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