“On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven pipers piping ...”
Today is the feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, the mother of the Nation's parochial school system, and patroness of Catholic schools. She was the first native-born American to be canonized a saint, by Pope Paul VI in 1975. From the original motherhouse in Emmitsburg, Maryland, a branch house was established out west, known today as the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, based at Mount Saint Joseph-on-the-Ohio, located on the west side. This order did much to build not only the parochial school system in this part of the Midwest through their teaching apostolate, but the health care system as well, through the establishment of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1852.
Concerning the role of women Religious and the health care apostolate, it is an understatement to observe that much has changed in recent years. In light of the current health care legislation signed into law in the United States, and the capitulation by "leaders" of women religious orders, in forcing others to cooperate in acts against the Gospel of Life, let us pause for a moment to consider the irony.