Sr Mary Catherine Seton

Photo added by Mémoriaux Atlantique

Sr Mary Catherine Seton

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 3 Apr 1891 (aged 90)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot Old Calvary - Sec 4, Range 2, D - 21
Memorial ID 110258786 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Sr Mary Catherine Seton RSM
(Catherine Josephine Seton)

Catherine Josephine Seton was born on June 28, 1800 to William and Elizabeth Ann (Bayley) Seton, (founder of the Sisters of Charity) in New York. She grew up in Emmitsburg MD where Elizabeth Seton founded her order of the Sisters of Charity. Her two siblings Anna Maria (1795-1812) and Rebecca (1802-1816) died young. She was second generation American and until Elizabeth's conversion from Episcopalian unto Catholicism was taught Episcopal Christianity.

After her mom, St Elizabeth Seton died, Catherine was adopted by her "second mom" Julie Scott from 1821 until 1842. During this period, she had three tours of Europe.

When Catherine Seton returned to New York, she became restless and vocal in her request for a proper vocation. The opportunity could not be met until the Sisters of Mercy planned the first colonization of their order from Dublin onto Manhattan. Thus, Catherine became the first adopted American Sister of Mercy at the opening of their New York foundation on May 14, 1846.

Catherine's religious name was "Sr Mary Catherine", her primary vocation being visiting those in prison. She visited thousands who were locked away in New York City, learning to speak French, German, Italian, and Spanish to communicate with each person. In the latter portion of her service, she was repectfully referred to as "Mother Mary Catherine". She held her vocation for more than forty five years.

She was affectionately called "the Angel of the Tombs" briefly during the Civil War while she acted as a far-stationed nurse for injured Union forces.

She supported several separate New York Mercy foundations extending from Worcester MA to Eureka CA and the establishment of branch houses in Greenbush and Balmsville NY. In spite of the tremendous dedication she exhibited in all of these activities. her deepest love was that of prison ministry. Her community knew and remembered Catherine mainly as one who "rejoiced in the title of Prison Sister." Catherine Seton died of pneumonia and the grippe at St Catherine's Convent of Mercy on the corner of Madison Avenue and 81st Street in New York City on April 3, 1891, at the age of almost ninety-one years.

Requiem Mass was celebrated for the repose of her soul in the convent chapel on April 6th by her nephew, Monsignor Robert Seton (the future titular archbishop of Heliopolis), after which she was buried in the Sisters of Mercy lot at Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Long Island NY.

Family Members




  • Created by: Mémoriaux Atlantique
  • Added: 9 May 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 110258786
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sr Mary Catherine Seton (28 Jun 1800–3 Apr 1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 110258786, citing Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mémoriaux Atlantique (contributor 47102973) .