Archdiocese of Washington Honored with Seton Award

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WASHINGTON – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) honored the Archdiocese of Washington with the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award on Monday evening in Washington. The Seton Award celebrates dedication to Catholic education and is named after the first native-born American to be canonized in recognition of her lifelong dedication to teaching and children and for the role she played in the beginning of Catholic schools in the United States.

The award was accepted by Bishop Barry C. Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Washington and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington on behalf of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington who was unable to attend the celebration. In his remarks, Bishop Knestout expressed special gratitude for the commitment of the more than 2,000 educators of the archdiocese who reflect the mission of the Church in their roles as classroom teachers as well as pride in the students who embrace their Catholic identity and excel inside and outside of the classroom. “Like other dioceses throughout the country, the Archdiocese of Washington recognizes the affordability issues that challenge many families who desire a Catholic education for their children. We strive to make a Catholic education affordable which includes offering a robust tuition assistance program and steadfast advocacy for programs that provide parents with choice when it comes to their child’s education,” he said.

The NCEA also honored a local student in the archdiocese with a Seton Scholarship. Giuseppe Meli, a ninth grade student from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School is the youngest of eleven children and has an older brother who is a priest. Meli has attended Catholic school since kindergarten and is also a current recipient of the Archdiocese of Washington’s FitzGerald Scholarship which recognizes students for their academic achievements and who have demonstrated potential to be a future leader in the Catholic Church.  As a Seton Scholar, Meli represents more than 2 million students attending Catholic elementary and secondary schools nationwide.

In recognizing the archdiocese, the NCEA cited the rich history of the archdiocese, from the first Mass held in the original 13 colonies in 1634 on St. Clement’s Island in St. Mary’s County to today’s more than 620,000 Catholics, 95 Catholic schools and over 27,000 Catholic school students. The archdiocese is the largest non-governmental social service provider in the region, encompassing agencies and programs that provide counseling, shelter, health care, immigration and legal aid, affordable housing and more to tens of thousands through its ministries.


The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi or Lindsey Frechou
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