The Chief of Naval Chaplains, Rear Adm. (Msgr.) John J. O'Connor of Philadelphia, will bless more than 25,000 bronze and aluminum medals bearing the likeness of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton during a Mass celebrating the American saint's birthday Sunday at her shrine here.
The medals will eventually be distributed to servicemen in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
St. Elizabeths' two sons, William III and Richard, both served in the Navy as young men. The admiral had resolved to honor St. Elizabeth in special way because of her close ties with the Navy.
Her son William was appointed a midshipman in 1817 and served until his resignation 17 years later with the rank of lieutenant. Enlisting in 1822, Richard served as a captain's clerk for 10 months.
One side of the medal depicts St. Elizabeth as a lay perons. the other is divided into quadrants with a Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard symbol in each portion.
Msgr. O'Connor will be principal concelebrant of the Mass. Capt. Geoffrey Gaughan, O.S.E., director of Navy ecclesiastical affairs, and the Rev. paul Loeven, C.M., shrine chaplain, will concelebrate.
On the same day, a first edition of a new book, "Elizabeth Seton's Two Bibles: Her Notes and markings," compiled and edited by Dr. Ellin Kelly and published by Our Sunday Visitor Press, will be presented to the Daughters of Charity.