Maryland’s Seton Shrine Unveils New Tour

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland is doing something it’s never done before.

“We want to give people a chance to experience the places that were important to Elizabeth Ann Seton, not just at our site, but at other sites as well,” said Rob Judge, executive director of the Seton Shrine. “But we want them to experience all of these places at one time with a guide, so they can discover and understand why each place has special significance in her life.”

With those goals in mind, the Shrine has developed the “Mountain to Valley Tour.” It’s unlike any other tour in the area because people have the chance to see several different sites in northern Frederick County accompanied by a tour guide.

Bridgett Bassler, the Shrine’s program coordinator, will be serving as one of the tour guides for the tour.

“I’m excited to take people to the different sites, so that they can discover firsthand the places that were important in Elizabeth Ann Seton’s life,” Bassler said. “People will see where she lived and worked at our site, they’ll see the Grotto at Mount St. Mary’s where she frequently walked to, in order to pray and meditate, and they’ll also see the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which is on the original site of the school she founded in 1810 – St. Joseph’s Free School and Academy.

“People could see these places on their own,” continued Bassler. “But what makes our tour special is that they’ll learn firsthand the impact these places had on Elizabeth Ann Seton and why they were important in her life. They’ll get firsthand perspective of the challenges that Elizabeth Ann Seton faced in the early 1800s, and how she faced these challenges and thrived.”

The “Mountain to Valley Tour” is made possible by a grant through Visit Frederick’s Tourism Reinvestment in Promotion & Product (TRIPP) Program.

“The Shrine’s ‘Mountain to Valley Tour’ is appealing in so many ways,” said John Fieseler, executive director of Visit Frederick. “There’s no place else where people can see these sites in Frederick County with a tour guide and learn about them based on the unique perspective of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born Saint. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a bankrupt widow with five children to raise in the early 1800s. She came to northern Frederick County and despite the hardships she faced, she thrived. The sites on the tour played an important role in her success and people will discover why on the tour.”

The tour will be held on select dates this year – May 7-8, June 24-25, August 7-8, September 17-18 and October 21-22. However, if you have a group of 25 or more who would like to do the tour, the Shrine may accommodate other dates that work for you. For more information, contact the Seton Shrine at 301-447-6606, by email at, or go online at