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Historic Seton House in Denver Reopens to Serve the Poor

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver presided last week over the official reopening of the famous Seton House in Denver, which will serve more than 1,000 homeless and needy people and be used as headquarters for a dozen lay missionaries.

The three-story Seton House is part of the Catholic laity's nonprofit Christian Life Movement and will provide a new operating space for missionaries from Christ in the City, reviving a long-standing mission to help the poor in Denver.

"Christ in the City will continue to serve the poor and vulnerable by housing missionaries who go out to the streets and minister to them," said Yvonne Noggle, Program Director and Co-Founder of Christ in the City. "We are honored to be in a place with such a strong Catholic tradition of service and following the footsteps of modern day saints such as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta."

Noggle shared with The Christian Post that the building, originally the Cathedral High School and Convent, was created in the early 1900s to advance education within downtown Denver. Because of a lack of enrollment, both the high school and convent were forced to close, although they were later reopened as Catholic charities, first as Samaritan House Shelter to house the homeless.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta reopened the building in 1989 to house the Missionaries of Charity and their AIDS patients, giving it the name Seton House in honor of the newly canonized Catholic saint St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In 2009, the building again closed its doors, but on Aug. 15, 2012 it once again opened with the blessing of newly appointed Archbishop Aquila.

Colleen Quinn, Christ in the City missionary and publicity coordinator from Overland Park, Kan., shared that the Seton House has brought together 14 young missionaries from all over the country who have relocated to Denver to embrace the communal life and serve Christ.

"Living in the Seton House has allowed us the opportunity to grow together in Christ's love by attending daily Mass, prayer and meal as a community," Quinn told CP. "It is a beautiful opportunity for us to share our personal lives with each other, thrive off our strengths and reflect and pray on our weaknesses. The main goal behind reopening the house would be for the sole purpose of Catholic charity and it has been a blessing that we are able to be here."

The Archdiocese of Denver has made available profiles and photos of the different missionaries who will be living and working at the Seton House, as well as their backgrounds and reasons for serving the church and the community.

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