In the United States this past weekend the nation celebrated Memorial Day to remember and honor all those who have given their lives in the service of their country and all those who have served in the armed forces.
Cabrini of Westchester recognized the achievements of three honorees at its 17th annual fundraising event, The Sharing in Mission Dinner held on May 13, 2015 at the beautiful Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY. Thanks to the honorees, sponsors, donors and the 2015 Sharing in Mission Dinner Event Committee, the evening was a tremendous success and netted over $188,000 to benefit the ministry of Cabrini of Westchester!
The Sunset Safari theme added a lot of frivolity to the evening. Guests were greeted with Sunset Martinis and Amarula on the Rocks, an authentic African Liquor, as they entered the mansion. On entering the dining room, they were humored by centerpieces of typical safari animals surrounded by African flowers and fauna. Mike Bennett, a local radio host, kicked off the evening with his great wit followed by moving speeches from each of the three honorees, all of whom gave tribute to the high-quality care for which Cabrini of Westchester is known. A highlight of the evening was Sr. Arlene Van Dusen’s invocation which included a blessings sung in Amharic by Sr. Hanna Dima, MSC and Sr. Amarech Herego, MSC who were visiting from Ethiopia.
This year’s honorees included Ron Corti, President and CEO of St. John’s Riverside Hospital and his leadership team, Peter Millock, Partner, Nixon Peabody and Joseph Bisaccia, Cabrini’s Director of Food, Nutrition and Purchasing. The honorees were chosen for their dedication to Cabrini of Westchester’s mission which calls on individuals to be leaders, educators, advocates and sponsors of quality services to those in need of care and compassion.
Last year, just as the Cabrini College graduates were leaving campus, the moving vans were arriving and a series of over 50 campus office re-locations was about to begin. First up, the move of the MSC Mission Offices from the College’s historic Mansion to the Cottage located on the northwest corner of campus.
After a spectacular renovation of the property by the College’s Facilities Department, The Cottage was ready for us. It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by! Given the natural setting of the Cottage, we have delighted in all four seasons here.
Fittingly, on this Monday, we had international MSC visitors with us to help commemorate this happy occasion. Sr. Lucy Panettieri, MSC, Provincial Councilor, brought
Sr. Laura Baldini, MSC, Sr. Hanna Dima, MSC and Sr. Amarech Herego, MSC for a visit to Radnor. They toured the campus and met many members of the College community who impressed the Sisters with their mission spirit. They also spent time at the Cottage. Following their visit to the Cottage, Sr. Lucy and the sisters travelled to Langhorne, PA for a visit with Sr. Arlene Primus, MSC and Sr. Stephanie Kabacinski. MSC.
Another exciting development at the Cottage is the inauguration of a new container garden. The backyard of the Cottage is blessed with southern exposure. The sunlight streams down all day. When Cabrini College acquired the property, the vestiges of a vegetable garden were in place. Over the course of the past year, the MSC Mission Offices staffers had dreamed of reconstituting the garden in order to grow vegetables for the various shelters in the nearby city of Norristown with whom the College’s Wolfington Center for Service partners. Collaborating with Wolfington Center Director Tom Southard, “Francesca’s Garden” as Sr. Grace Waters has dubbed it, will provide fresh produce for the guests at these various organizations.
In consultation with Gus Feudale, the head groundskeeper at Cabrini College, and Cabrini student Stan Thompson, plans have been developed to prepare a full vegetable garden for which the prep work will begin later this summer. Members of the College community will be invited to work in the garden and the future bounty will be given to Catholic Social Services of Montgomery County, PA, the Norristown Hospitality Center and Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center (CHOC ) and other homeless shelters with whom the College has an on-going relationship.
Jumpstarting the garden this month was the gift of heirloom tomato plants from Cabrini College alumna and trustee Elizabeth Riley Bell ’69 and her husband Ray. Elizabeth delivered the plants cultivated by her husband to campus and Gus Feudale took it from there. Different varieties of heirloom tomato plants are now in place in large containers at the Cottage made secure from the many deer and fox visitors that frequent the property.
Through the tireless efforts of Cabrini Action and Advocacy Chair Karol Brewer and Cabrini Mission Corps missioner Melanie Paccillo and the generosity of many others, a new Cabrini Closet has opened in New York City to assist victims of human trafficking.
The Cabrini Closet NYC is now officially open following a prayer service, blessing, and ribbon cutting at the Gramercy Park location.
This wonderful new ministry of the Missionary Sisters will provide a direct service to female survivors of human trafficking. Through fashionable clothing any woman would be proud to wear, the Cabrini Closet will be an important part of the transition from victim to survivor.
Missionary Sisters and friends of the Cabrini Community gathered from all over New York City and Pennsylvania to join in this very special prayer, blessing, and ribbon cutting. Following the opening song, God of This City by Chris Tomlin, there was a reading of an anti-trafficking prayer and a response prayer. Missioner Jenay Smith reminded of us how Christ is in the least of our brothers and sisters by reading the Gospel of Matthew 25:31-40. Interspersed were quotes from Mother Cabrini such as, “as I see it, the mission is simply this: loving other human beings.” Father Golino from Epiphany Parish blessed the closet and those in attendance with holy water. Sr, Catherine Garry, MSC made some beautiful comments and, with the help of Sr. Arlene VanDusen, MSC and Phillip Deans, Manager of the Cabrini Apartments, cut the ribbon to officially open the closet. All sang the closing song of Press On by Mandisa. Following the service, guests enjoyed a reception and fellowship.
NY Times columnist Michael Luongo has written an article which will appear in this Sunday’s Times. It tells the story of why Mother Cabrini — her statue atop one of dozens of saint spires on the Duomo — was picked for special restoration efforts this year.
For Milan’s Duomo, beauty has its price. The city’s massive Gothic cathedral on which construction began in 1386, is undergoing a restoration, and the marble that provides its celebrated luster is a particular challenge.
Monsignor Gianantonio Borgonovo, president of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, the organization that has been responsible for the cathedral’s construction and maintenance since 1387, said: “Restoration is the main work for the Fabbrica, because this marble from Candoglia is not hard. In 50 years, in maximum one century, you have to change all the stones.”
The marble, which is quarried in Candoglia, near Lake Maggiore, about 65 miles northwest of Milan, “is not so strong as Carrara marble,” which is more commonly used in Italy, he said.
Milan’s Duomo is among the world’s largest churches and took nearly five centuries to complete. It will receive renewed attention throughout Milano Expo which began last week and will run through October 31.
A statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, which adorns one of the cathedral’s 135 spires, is also about to undergo restoration. Mother Cabrini was born in Lombardy, the province of which Milan in the capital. She lived and worked in New York beginning in 1889, Pope Leo XIII to help the Italian immigrants. She died in 1917 in Chicago, and in 1946 became the first American citizen to be canonized.
The restoration of Mother Cabrini’s statue is the centrepiece of a crowdfunding campaign by the International Patrons of Duomo di Milano, a United States charity created in 2014 that works with the Fabbrica to raise funds for maintenance of the cathedral. Called the Save the Saint, the campaign was launched in conjunction with ForItaly.org, which works to preserve Italian cultural heritage. The group met its $150,000 target for the Cabrini spire and has a fund-raising goal of $1 million.
Alessandra Pellegrini, chief development officer for the Patrons, said 23 percent of Duomo visitors are from the United States, which is why the Italian-born American saint was chosen for the campaign. She added that by visiting the cathedral, “Americans can understand how deep and rich is the culture and history around Milano.
To raise awareness of the restoration, the statue of St. Lucia and gargoyles from one of the Duomo’s spires are displayed in the Eataly food complex in New York City. Dino Borri, an Eataly partner, said the company donated $100,000 to the Patrons for the Duomo project.
To read Michael Luongo’s article in its entirety: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/travel/anticipating-a-crowd-milans-cathedral-undergoes-a-restoration.html?_r=0
This year, Cinco de Mayo was celebrated at Cabrini College with an environmental twist. Thousands of annuals were planted throughout campus assuring a riotous show of color next week just in time for Commencement.
Teams of faculty and staff volunteers wielded rakes, shovels, trowels and dug, mulched and planted throughout the campus for the Spring Beautification Day.
The Radnor campus is already showing off the efforts of the Fall Beautification Day when over 10,000 bulbs were planted.
The morning gardening effort concluded with a community lunch
In celebration and commemoration of Pope Francis’s declaration of this year being the Year of Consecrated Life, the National Religious Vocations Conference Region 3 hosted an inter-congregational day of service on Sunday, May 3rd in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.
Sisters from eight religious congregations and young adults were invited to join each other in serving communities in need of some TLC and what a beautiful day we had!
We kicked off the day at 11 a.m. with a gathering at Community Center at Visitation where we had a lovely “sending forth” with our groups to our respective worksites. The air was palpable with excitement for what the day was to hold for each of us.
When I signed up for the event, I really had no idea what kind of impact we were going to have on the communities in which we were going to be serving. [However, due to the cadre of volunteers] La Salle Academy now has fresh, new ground murals of the United States and the world, a new foursquare court, and a beautiful hopscotch court. Several local churches have fresh coats of paint on their walls and doors and the Providence Center has a charming community garden.
I had the great honor of floating from worksite to worksite, taking photos of what was being done at each place. Leaving each site, my heart was filled with joy and gratitude to be able to witness the good work that was being done with a shared objective – to permeate each location with the insurmountable love, joy, and hope of Jesus. Throughout the day, a verse from the book of Matthew kept coming to mind – “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” What a privilege to serve alongside Jesus.
Around 3:00 p.m., we once again gathered at the Community Center at Visitation for pizza, snacks, and group sharing. The room buzzed with enthusiastic chatter as each person described their individual experiences from the day. Throughout the time of sharing, there existed a common thread of beauty seen in these communities that have been hit so hard by poverty; beauty in the people they encountered, beauty in the sites themselves, and beauty in the experience of service. Each reflection contained not only pride in the work that had been done, but a sense of privilege to have been a part of it all. With humble gratitude, I can say that I am so very blessed to have had this opportunity to serve alongside so many beautiful servants of the Lord. What a privilege, indeed! ~ submitted by CMC missioner Ashley Block
Once again during the Lenten Season, Cabrini of Westchester held its semi-annual food drive to benefit families, seniors, veterans and the new immigrant population in the Dobbs Ferry area. Staff and visitors dropped off canned and non-perishable items in the donation bin placed in Cabrini’s lobby. Cash donations were also received and all proceeds from the collection were recently delivered to the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry at South Presbyterian Church.
The Cabrini Closet, NYC is Now Accepting Donations
Thanks to the hard work of the boys from St. Raymond’s High School, the Cabrini Closet NYC is now able to accept donations! CMC Missioner Melanie will be in the Cabrini Closet this Friday, May 1st from 2-6 pm to accept fashionable clothing, accessories, and gift cards. If you’re in the area, please feel free to stop by and get an advance look at this wonderful new ministry for survivors of human trafficking!
If you wish to make a donation but cannot make this date and time, please contact Melanie at 732-322-2956 or CabriniAandA@aol.com to schedule another time.
Cabrini Closet, NYC, 220 E 19th St, Lower Level, New York, NY 10003