Sunday, June 24, 2018
New Yorkers are a tough breed. Betty Bayley was rich, cute and short. She married rich and had five kids. Good so far. Then not so good. Bankruptcy, sick and then dead husband, five kids stranded with her in Italy. Socially and financially she makes a bad decision. She becomes a Catholic, smitten by the sacrament of Eucharist. Disowned by Episcopalian New York relatives, doors closed to her, she tries to open a school for children in New York. Fails. Moves to Baltimore and starts a school with the blessing of the Bishop there. Buries two of her children. Does she give up? Whine? Suffer paralyzing fear? NO, at least not too much to carry on. She joins with some women to form a group called “Sisters of Charity.” They do lots of good works. She dies. You will see her name on a lot of buildings, schools, hospitals and such. Betty Bayley is better known today as Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native born declared Catholic Saint. New Yorkers are tough.