(Image of Paca Street house used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)
Today marks the 284th birthday of the city of Baltimore, founded on July 30, 1729.
In June of 1808, Elizabeth Ann Seton and her three daughters came to Baltimore from New York City to establish a boarding school for girls. The house in which they lived, located on Paca Street, can be seen today as part of St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and Historic Site.
During her year in Baltimore, Mother Seton made her decision to take religious vows, making her first profession of vows on March 25, 1809, the Feast of the Annunciation. On June 22, 1809, Mother Seton and four young women who took vows as postulants that Spring, left Baltimore for Emmitsburg, where Mother Seton founded a permanent school for girls.
Members of Mother Seton’s community, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, returned to Baltimore in 1821 to start St. Mary’s Free School and Asylum, the first of many ministries in Baltimore sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s, and later, the Daughters of Charity.
Today the Daughters of Charity’s ties to Baltimore remain strong. Current ministries in Baltimore include St. Agnes Hospital, St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation Nursing Center and Caroline Center.