Missionary priests from the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) have taken on the role of chaplain at both the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Seton Shrine) and the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes (National Shrine Grotto) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Reverend Daniel Mentasana, IVE, and Reverend Theodore Trinko, IVE, are sharing the chaplain duties at both locations. The Seton Shrine and National Shrine Grotto worked together with the Archdiocese of Baltimore on the placement.
“We’ve been without a permanent chaplain since October 2016, and are grateful to the priests who filled in during that time,” said Rob Judge, executive director at the Seton Shrine. “We look forward to having our visitors get to know Father Daniel and Father Ted.”
Lori Stewart, executive director at the National Shrine Grotto, said, “We were glad to work with both the Seton Shrine and Archdiocese to facilitate this arrangement. This given grace will be a source of consolation for our hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year.”
Father Daniel has served as a priest with the Institute of the Incarnate Word for many years, most recently serving as a pastor in Toronto, Canada, for 17 years. Father Ted is new to the priesthood, as he was ordained in May 2017. When Father Daniel and Father Ted are not at the Seton Shrine or National Shrine Grotto, much of their time will be spent in prayer, as per their roles as monks in the IVE community.
Both priests will celebrate Mass, hear confessions and perform other services as needed at both locations. The National Shrine Grotto has Mass on Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m., with Confession available before Mass, beginning at 11a.m. The Seton Shrine has Mass Sunday through Friday at 1:30 p.m. At the Shrine, Confession is available before Mass from 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
About the Seton Shrine: Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native-born U.S. saint. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton promotes her life and legacy to inspire everyone. More than 200 years ago, she came to Emmitsburg as a bankrupt widow with five children, and went on to found the first free Catholic school for girls staffed by sisters in the U.S., and the first community of religious women established in the U.S. Today, her legacy includes several religious communities with thousands of sisters, who serve others through schools, social service centers and hospitals throughout the world. Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized in 1975. Her remains are entombed at the National Shrine that bears her name.
About the National Shrine Grotto: The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic national shrine devoted to Our Blessed Mother Mary, is a place of worship, pilgrimage, evangelization and reconciliation. It features one of the oldest American replicas of the Lourdes shrine in France, built about two decades after the apparition of Mary at Lourdes in 1858, and attracts numerous pilgrims each year from all over the world.