St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the patroness of Seton Hall, wrote a number of messages throughout her lifetime in journals and letters. These messages are said to resonate on campus to this day.
Alan Delozier, the University archivist, said that the spirit of these messages in the texts honors Mother Seton, her name, the University’s name and the work and educational outreach that she did.
“We deal with the overall spirit and message of Mother Seton,” Delozier said. “Each of these messages falls into something that is really important to consider—her life, the University’s mission, and also helping our student body learn more about her.”
Seton said in one of her texts that, “Cheerfulness prepares a glorious mind for all the noblest acts.” Delozier said that this message relates to the celebration of Seton Hall’s Charter Week.
“Being an educational institution where enlightenment and intellectual development is the core of our mission, it [the message] builds our mind in terms of understanding what the positives are in our history, existence, and noblest acts,” Delozier said. “This is something we aspire to.”
He added, “Having your mind put around something positive and then striving for excellence is what we are all about. Charter Week encompasses this very well with the various activities that we have and the spirit that we have to promote this week to students, faculty, administration, and anybody interested in the Seton Hall experience.”
In another text, Seton said, “Be attentive to the voice of grace.” Iulia Vesel, a senior public relations, journalism and philosophy major, said that she personally connects with this quote on a spiritual level. She recalled a time when she visited the chapel after ending an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend.
“I was not really sure of who I should listen to,” Vesel said. “I did not know if I should listen to karma, listen to my ex-boyfriend, or what I should be pointed towards.”
Vesel said that she stood in the chapel for five minutes peacefully and cleared her mind. When she walked out, she said that she “felt something” that motivated her to not call her ex-boyfriend, go to the gym, do her homework, read and perform well in all of her classes.
Vesel said that although she does not associate with a religion, she believes that everybody has his or her own grace through a certain energy.
“My grace is my mother,” she said. “She is the most non-problematic and amazing person that you will ever meet. She is the wisest person I have ever seen. I think everyone needs that kind of person; it is healthy to have someone like that.”
Seton said in another writing, “The gate of heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.” Isabella Somera, a freshman biochemistry major, said that humility is a trait everyone should have.
“As a college student, particularly as a freshman, I think humility is essential to begin and continue pursuing our endeavors,” Somera said. “It is a trait that we should all strive for and live by in order to learn, grow, and continue forward.”
Somera added that this message also reminds her that “pride is dividing” as a Seton Hall student.
“Living a humble life allows us to see beyond our selfishness,” she said. “It opens our eyes to see places where we can improve and unify in the SHU community.
Liam Oakes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.