What better way to bring National Catholic Schools Week to a
close than a visit from the patron saint herself? A first-class relic of St.
Elizabeth Ann Seton was presented to Holy Spirit School in Annandale after
their Catholic Schools Week Mass on the feast of St. Blaise, Feb. 3.
Father Carroll L. Oubre, parochial vicar, led a procession to the
relic’s new home in the school chapel where it will be on permanent display. He
explained to the students that “Mother Seton” was the “Swiss army knife of
Catholic saints” since she has so many titles they can invoke, such as convert to
the faith, wife, mom, widow and teacher.
“As the first U.S. citizen born on American soil canonized, we
can pray to her for our country and as secondary patron of our diocese,” said
Father Oubre. “And of all the saints, she's the one who lived the closest to us
Principal Maureen Ashby, with the Holy Spirit faculty and staff,
were excited to welcome the saint into the school.
“It is a beautiful gift to the school and very fitting for the last
day of Catholic Schools Week,” said Ashby. “For me personally, it is beyond thrilling.”
Ashby has worked in Catholic education for the past 20 years and
is happy to have St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as her patron. She remembers choosing
the saint because Ashby’s birthday was the same day as St. Elizabeth Ann
Seton’s feast day, Jan. 4. She never expected that one day she would follow the
saint’s career path and gives credit to Mother Seton for bringing her back to
She hopes that having the relic in Holy Spirit School will remind
the students to look to Mother Seton as a role model as they continue in their