Keeping a Mass tradition alive

On Jan. 4, Marquette University and the Seton Family of Catholic Schools came together and hosted a Mass at the Al McGuire Center on campus.

The faith gathering brought together all 11 Seton schools that serve over 2,600 students in greater Milwaukee to celebrate St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born American canonized by the Catholic church and founder of the American Catholic elementary school.

The tradition started in 2020 but was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the second time that all Seton schools had the opportunity to convene with hopes of it continuing every other year.

“The Mass was so fun and beautiful,” says Isabella Nieves, eighth grader at St. Roman Parish School. “I appreciate having the opportunity to enjoy the Seton Mass and Marquette tour.”

Following the Mass, eighth grade students toured the Marquette campus to explore university life and consider future aspirations.

“The middle school students get an opportunity to hear from the admissions office about future options, not just at Marquette, but other universities and colleges,” Seton Catholic Schools President Brian Couch says. “For many of our students, this is one of the few times they are able to be on a college campus, which can be hugely aspirational.”

A deeper connection

The Seton Family of Catholic Schools was created in 2015, and the relationship between the schools and Marquette has grown continuously stronger since.

Seton Catholic Schools and Marquette continue to partner through academic initiatives through outreaches with the College of Nursing, School of Dentistry and other programs.

In recent years, there has been a unique connection between the Marquette men’s basketball team and St. Catherine School.

Head coach Shaka Smart and his team have formed a relationship with the fifth-grade class at St. Catherine by visiting monthly and spending time with the students and reading with them.

Smart has also organized an annual Christmas shopping trip for 60 St. Catherine students at Kohl’s.

“With the help of other teams and coaches at Marquette, they shop with the students to spend $200 on gifts for them and their families,” Couch says. “It is truly a meaningful and significant experience for the Marquette student-athletes and the Seton students.”

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