Presenter Information

Josephine Burns D.C.


Elizabeth Seton’s last words were “Be children of the Church.” Josephine Burns explores what she meant, asking “What was the Church for her? What was her understanding of the way in which God was present in the Church and its ministers?” A sketch of the Church during Elizabeth’s time is provided, but she never commented on its organization or the issues that it faced. Her faith was personal, meaning that it was based on her own experience of God and on the God she found in others. She experienced the Church through the sacraments and her relationships with the clergy, especially Bishop John Carroll. A special kind of obedience was the hallmark of her faith. It required her to highlight “the truth as she saw it” but also to accept her superiors’ decisions as reflecting God’s will. Burns explains how we can apply Elizabeth’s concept of the Church and obedience to our own faith today.