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SLCL Foundation Presents St. Louis Author and Historian Joan Barthel

Press Release

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:00a.m.
The St. Louis County Library Foundation is pleased to present historian Joan Barthel, author of “American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton” on Wednesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books. The event is co-sponsored by Maryville University.
In this riveting biography of Elizabeth Seton, the founder of the first order of American nuns and the first American-born saint in the Catholic Church, critically acclaimed author Joan Barthel tells the mesmerizing story of a woman whose life featured wealth and poverty, passion and sorrow, love and loss. 
Elizabeth was born into a prominent New York City family in 1774. Catholicism was illegal in New York when she was born; Catholic priests seen in the city were arrested, sometimes hung. Leaving her prosperous Episcopal community for the Catholic congregation of poor, illiterate immigrants, Elizabeth also had to leave behind all social status, all hope of prosperity and the comfort and respect of many of her friends and family, who were shocked by her decision.
Thus began Elizabeth Seton’s incredible journey that forged the way for other women to come together and live as a religious order. She risked everything and not only founded the first order of active nuns in the United States, but also laid the groundwork for the Catholic school system.
“American Saint” is the inspiring story of a brave woman who forged the way for other women and made a name for herself in a world entirely ruled by men. Seton resisted male clerical control of her religious order, as nuns are doing today, and the publication of her story could not be more timely.
St. Louisan Joan Barthel is the author of “A Death in Canaan,” which spent many weeks on the bestseller list and was made into an Emmy-nominated CBS‐TV movie. She also wrote “A Death in California” and collaborated with Rosemary Clooney on her biography, “Girl Singer.” Barthel has written profiles of celebrities for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post Magazine.
Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300 or visit