Presenter Information

Margaret J. Kelly D.C.


Margaret Kelly summarizes the many categories of important relationships in Elizabeth Seton’s life from 1809 to 1821 and how she viewed relationships in general. During this period, Elizabeth was fulfilling two main roles: she was a parent and a foundress. John Carroll, Simon Gabriel Brute, and Antonio Filicchi helped her in these roles, and Kelly uses them as a “prism” for understanding Elizabeth’s other relationships. In her correspondence with Carroll, we see Elizabeth’s simplicity and determination as well as specific problems she faced while founding the Sisters of Charity. She shows many facets to Brute, her guide and disciple: “her playfulness, here spiritual maturity, and her personal suffering.” Filicchi was a source of stability for her. He saw her through the major events of her life after her husband’s death and supported the Setons and the Sisters in many ways. Kelly explains how these relationships were reciprocal.