A Time for Miracles

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A Time For Miracles
A screen capture of the opening credits
Genre Biography
Written by Henry Denker
Directed by Michael O'Herlihy
Starring Kate Mulgrew
Lorne Greene
John Forsythe
Rossano Brazzi
Theme music composer Fred Karlin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Beverlee Dean
Jimmy Hawkins
Editor(s) Paul LaMastra
Cinematography Donald H. Birnkrant (as Don Birnkrant)
Running time 97 min.
Production company(s) ABC Circle Films
The Jimmy Hawkins Company
Distributor ABC
Original channel ABC
Original release December 21, 1980

A Time For Miracles is a 1980 made for TV film chronicling the life story of America's first native born saint, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. It was produced by ABC Circle Films for the American Broadcasting Company and telecast December 21, 1980 as a Christmas special. The film was created by Beverlee Dean and directed by Michael O'Herlihy. The script was written by Henry Denker with collaboration with Sister Mary Hilaire and filmed in Georgia. A Time For Miracles starred Ryan's Hope and Star Trek: Voyager actress Kate Mulgrew as Elizabeth Seton. John Forsythe and Lorne Greene also star.


Elizabeth Bayley Seton (1774-1821) is a happily married New York Episcopalian socialite and mother of five whose life gets turned around after her husband, William Seton, dies of consumption in Italy after his shipping business went bankrupt. As a widow with five children, she opens a small school in an effort to support herself and family.

She decides to convert to Catholicism, much to the protest and distaste of her friends and family. As a social outcast, she is left with nothing so she and her daughters took refuge in Baltimore. Under the wing of John Carroll, the first American Catholic bishop, she opens a school, establishes a religious routine and takes religious vows, thus becoming `Mother Seton.' Eventually she, her daughter, and a band of young women who have joined her rattle west in a covered wagon into the countryside, to Emmitsburg, Maryland., where, on an initial diet of salt pork and carrot coffee, she sets up a school and a convent for her growing sisterhood, Sisters of Charity. She dies from consumption at 46.

Though not meeting the four miracle requirement to become a saint, Mother Seton was canonized in 1975.



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