On this day in 1809 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton began the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, in Emmitsburg, MD, on the same grounds which today house the Emmitsburg Campus of the Daughters of Charity and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. They were the first native community of religious women founded in the United States.
In 1808, invited by Bishop Carroll, Mother Seton opened a school in Baltimore, then moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland. There she opened the first Catholic free school, the beginning of American parochial education, and also founded St. Joseph’s College for women. She formed a community of women around her, which soon adopted the rule of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, centered in Paris. The American Sisters had grown into 20 communities before her death.