Our Heritage

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul opened Seton Villa on 23 August 1966. The Daughters of Charity are a world-wide community of women who seek and serve God in persons who are poor and marginalized, in a spirit of humility, simplicity and charity. St Vincent de Paul, together with St Louise de Marillac, founded the order to assist the sick, poor and aged in France in 1633. For nearly 400 years the Daughters of Charity have sought to respond to needs as they arise, and from the late 1950’s, they recognised that there was a largely unmet need in NSW for the support of people with intellectual disability and their families.

When the Daughters succeeded in opening the original Seton Villa building in 1966, it accommodated 20 residents between the ages of 16 and 30 in individual cubicles. Seton Villa reflected the spirit of the Daughters of Charity recognising Christ present in all those in need. Supervised training of the residents was aimed at maximising the development potential of each resident. Residents were taught daily living skills, household chores, crafts and were also encouraged to take part in sports and physical activities.

Continuing the spirit of Louise de Marillac by seeking to respect and serve those with a disability, on 12 May 1984 the first of Seton Villa’s residents moved out of Seton Villa into a shared group home in the community. This began a new period of collaboration with and empowerment for our residents. Seton Villa now has seven supported group homes and provides outreach support to people in other accommodation owned by Housing NSW.

Seton Villa was named after Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774 -1821). Elizabeth Ann began one of the first Catholic parish schools in the United States and founded an order of religious women with a constitution and Common Rules adapted from those of the Daughters of Charity. In 1975 Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first American-born person to be made a Saint.

 

“Bicentennial Portrait of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton” from an original oil painting by Rebecca Pearl who resides in Emmitsburg, Maryland, USA. This is the second portrait of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton by Rebecca Pearl. In 2004 she presented the first portrait to Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.

See http://www.rebeccapearl.com/about.htm