St. Cabrini: A Passionate Life

A new book about the life of our Saint, titled St Frances Cabrini: a passionate life, is now available online – visit

This book by Mark Davis was commissioned by Cabrini Health, Australia to make this remarkable woman, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, accessible to a new generation of staff, supporters, friends and benefactors.

The beautifully crafted book draws both on the extensive letters written by Frances Cabrini during her lifetime, and other writings since.  It looks back on her life with fresh eyes, distilling wisdom from it for our time and for the future.

The book’s chapter headings reflect earlier work undertaken by the author, Mark Davis, to express her charism, that is, her unique way of understanding, prioritizing and living her gift of faith. All of the images have been carefully chosen to provide a moment of reflection, to encourage a pause before reading on.

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St. Frances Cabrini: a passionate life is the new book written by Mark Davis and commissioned by Cabrini Health, Australia.

“It is important to create moments in our busy lives to stop, to savor, to enjoy.  I hope this book will provide such an opportunity for you,” said Cath Garner, Executive Director, Mission and Strategy at Cabrini Health.


Cabrini High School Hosts Special Evening

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Cabrini High School alumnae honor Sr. Catherine Garry, MSC, former faculty member and principal.

Cabrini High School’s alumnae and guests attended a reception honoring former principal Sr. Catherine Garry in the historic Esplanade Building on Cabrini High’s campus.

Former students from five decades traveled from throughout the US to attend the reception honoring Sr. Catherine Garry, who served as a Cabrini faculty member from 1966-1970 and Cabrini principal from 1970-1979.  Highly respected and dearly loved by the students, faculty, and staff during her years at Cabrini, she remains close to the school, its alumnae, and students.  In addition to serving on the Cabrini High School Board of Trustees and as an advisor to the administration, Sr. Catherine currently resides in New York where she is a member of the Provincial Council of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

CAAC attends Commission on Status of Women

Every year the United Nations hosts the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a two-week long event where people from around the world gather to discuss issues that impact women. This year, CMC Missioner and Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition representative Melanie Paccillo attended several auxiliary events relating to human trafficking.

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Rachel Moran, founding member of Survivors of Prostitution – Abuse Calling for Enlightenment

One of these events discussed the issue of prostitution on an international level. On this panel were Rachel Moran, founding member of Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment,; Vendita Carter, founder and executive director of Breaking Free; Ingelborg Kraus, PhD, a German psychologist and trauma expert who founded a website discussing the link between prostitution and trauma; and Melissa Farley, Ph.D., founder and director of Prostitution Research and Education. Moderating the panel was Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. There was discussion on the Nordic Model, which decriminalizes the selling of, but criminalizes the purchasing of sex. Thus, this law targets the demand. Doctor Kraus furthered the discussion by outlining the devastating impacts the legalization of prostitution has had in Germany. She noted that, with prostitution legalized, there are no support or healing services for those who have been exploited. Rachel Moran noted that the Nordic Model has been, “the only reasonable strategy for a millennium.”

When asked what the greatest barrier is to ending prostitution, Rachel Moran stated that it is the status quo. She said, “[you] think you can’t do anything, but everything you say out loud where people can hear you, no, that’s not okay, it’s another piece to this movement.” Dr. Farley added, “Prostitution is to society what incest is to the family.”

CSW is an exciting time, as men and women from all over the world come together to collaborate and find solutions to international problems. The panel discussions were enlightening and inspiring, bringing to mind the words Pope Leo XIII said to our foundress, “to work, Cabrini!”

Pope Francis’ 10 Secrets to Happiness

Sr. Patricia 2. crMembers of the Stella Maris Province Vocation Promotion Team (VPT) are always seeking opportunities to engage others in conversations about faith and discernment – prayerfully seeking guidance from God on all matters of life.

One such gathering happened this week at The Cottage in Radnor, PA where the MSC Mission Offices are based. VPT member Sr. Patricia Spillane shared Pope Francis’ 10 Secrets to Happiness with a small group of Cabrini College community members, CMC missioners and Mission Office staffers. Sr. Christine Marie Baltas, MSC and Sr. Grace Waters, MSC joined in the conversation.

Sr. Patricia was full of missionary zeal as she spoke about her call to religious life and the many roles she has held throughout her years as a Missionary Sister. She told the group that she has had a wonderful life – some years spent as Superior General and Assistant General of the Missionary Sisters, some years in the Philippines and early years spent on the Cabrini College campus as a student and as the Dean of Students.

Sr. Patricia led a dialogue on the 10 Secrets to Happiness by Pope Francis. Members of the group read each “secret” and a discussion ensued. For each secret, Sr. Patricia offered her own insights and wisdom. All of the participants were fully engaged in the discussion and the interaction was animated and heartfelt. We felt blessed by Sr. Patricia’s presence and so grateful for this opportunity to share these practical aspects of our faith journey.

As Sr. Patricia reminded us, “all of this challenges us to be authentic disciples of Jesus in the 21st Century and to promote true peace and reconciliation wherever we can.”

Pope Francis’ 10 Secrets to Happiness are:

1. Live and let live. – How would your life be happier if you stopped trying to change the lives of others?

2. Be giving of yourself to others. – How have you experienced happiness through reaching out to help others?

3. Proceed calmly. – In what ways can you cultivate peacefulness in your life?

4. Develop a healthy sense of leisure .- How do you balance work and leisure in your life?

5. Make Sunday a holy day. – What kinds of things would you have to change in your life in order to reclaim Sunday as a holy day?

6. Create jobs for young people. – How can you help young people find dignity and happiness through meaningful work or service?

7. Respect and take care of nature.  – What is something you can do to become a better steward of God’s creation?

8. Stop being negative. – What steps can you take to eliminate negativity in your life?

9. Respect others’ beliefs.  How do you respect others’ beliefs and at the same time witness to your own.

10 Work for peace. – In what ways do you work and pray for peace?

Cabrini HIgh School Students Embark on Multi-faceted Mission Trip

A group of nine students and two chaperones from Cabrini High School in New Orleans sacrificed their Mardi Gras opting instead to go on a mission trip to Cabrini College in Radnor, PA and snowy New York City. The trip’s purpose was evangelization, direct service, and future discernment.

During the New York leg of their trip, the Cabrini High School “missioners” spent a day with the Missionary Sisters at Sacred Heart Convent, performing service at Cabrini Immigrant Services, and praying at the St. F. X Cabrini Shrine. The girls spent a second day visiting Fordham, New York University (NYU), and Columbia Universities, and Parson’s College of Design, and managed to visit Times Square to catch the Broadway Show, “On The Town.”

Next on the itinerary was Radnor, Pennsylvania where students toured Cabrini College and nearby Villanova University. At Cabrini, the girls met with several Cabrini New Orleans alumnae currently attending Cabrini College. There, they joined the Cabrini Mission Corps missioners and experienced the Cabriniana Room with many of Mother Cabrini’s most sacred artifacts.  Cabrini College President  Dr. Donald Taylor greeted all the participants.

A second day in Pennsylvania was spent historic Philadelphia, where the group visited Love Park, the Liberty Bell and the Reading Terminal Market.

Record snowfall – and Southwest Airlines – allowed us to spend a few extra days at Cabrini College, during which the students relaxed and reflected on the experiences of the previous days. The girls also found time to ride the subways and explore the community, ponder college life, perform service, engage in nightly reflection, and to pray. Meeting girls from other Cabrini schools on similar mission trips was a special treat, one that broadened their idea of what it means to be Cabrinian, and to live out Mother Cabrini’s legacy.

“Cabrini Closet” Growing in Donations

In recent weeks in the Update we have been featuring a request from CAAC Chairperson Karol Brewer who has been seeking donations of stylish, up-to-date clothing for victims of human trafficking. These young women when they are able to find freedom, often escape, literally with only the clothing they are wearing.

As an integral part of their healing and rehabilitation, they will receive job training. In order to restore a sense of self-esteem and to be able to go on job interviews they need to be appropriately dressed.

An FBI agent shared the pressing need for attractive, up to date clothing. Hence, the “Cabrini Closet” that Karol has spearheaded at The Cottage in Radnor. The need will be on-going. Donations of “like-new” clothing in all sizes, and gift cards to such stores at Forever 21, Target, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx would be greatly appreciated.

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27 Million Enslaved

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Slavery exists, and together we must shine a light on this tragedy. That is the mission of End It Movement, an international coalition made up of the world’s leading anti-trafficking organizations. A21, ECPAT USA, Exodus Road, Not For Sale, International Justice Mission, and many others are partners in this group, which together work to create holistic solutions to this global issue.

On February 27th End It Movement held a social media based awareness-raising event they called, “Shine a Light on Slavery Day.” The coalition asked people to draw a red “X” on their hands, take a photo, and post it on social media using #enditmovement. The CAAC was proud to be a part of this event, which caused a stir on social media as well as with those who encountered participants. Several people asked CAAC members why they had an “X” on their hands, which created an opportunity to speak to people about human trafficking.End of Slavery - February 27th hands cropped

This was a simple, yet powerful way to raise awareness and create a global conversation about human trafficking. Together we will join hands until we will live in a world truly free from slavery.

Feast Day of St. Katharine Drexel, Friend of Mother Cabrini

March 3  is the feast day of St. Katharine Drexel, who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

Mother Katharine DrexelFrances Cabrini and Katharine Drexel were contemporaries.

On February 12, 1891, Drexel professed her first vows as a religious, dedicating herself to work among the American Indians and Afro-Americans in the western and southwestern United States. She took the name Mother Katharine, and joined by thirteen other women, soon established a religious congregation, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Mother Frances Cabrini had advised Drexel about the “politics” of getting her new Order’s Rule approved by the Vatican bureaucracy in Rome.[5] A few months later, PhiladelphiaArchbishop Ryan blessed the cornerstone of the new motherhouse under construction in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

At the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Bensalem, PA, there is a bench in a parlor upon which Mother Cabrini and Mother Katharine sat to discuss the need for Mother Katharine to travel to Rome to see about getting her Order’s Rule approved.   It was at Mother Cabrini’s insistence that Mother Katharine travel to Italy and wait there until the Rule was approved.  The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament enjoy sharing this insight and remain grateful to Mother Cabrini for her sage advice.

Telemundo Spotlights Mother Cabrini

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This week, the American Spanish language channel Telemundo aired a feature on St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Patroness of Immigrants.

The segment was filmed at the St. F.X. Cabrini Shrine in New York City and highlighted the recent restoration of the mural which depicts the life story of Mother Cabrini. The program aired on Wednesday at 5:30 pm in the New York metropolitan area. Thanks to Kris Reed, Director of the Shrine for working with the Telemundo crew to bring this story to life.

View the Telemundo program