Telemundo Spotlights Mother Cabrini

shrine nyc 7

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

The Missionary Sisters launch new Stella Maris Province website

It is with great excitement that the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus announce the launch of our new website – www.mothercabrini.org.

“The principal mission of the Church is evangelization,

bringing the Good News to everyone.”

~ Pope Francis

mothercabrini testFor the Missionary Sisters, the website is a means of evangelization. Through it, we share the Good News of our Charism: “To be bearers of the Love of Christ in the World”. We express this through the stories of our missionary efforts, our corporate stances, the sharing of our vocational call, and the witness of the many people who labor with us to express God’s love.

We wish to express our gratitude to the team of people who worked tirelessly for over a year to create this new edition of the website. In particular, we want to thank Nancy Costello, Gina Scarpello, and Sr. Arlene Van Dusen, MSC. Of course, they were helped by many others but without their time, dedication and expertise we would not have the website we have today.

We encourage you to take the time to explore the site. We also ask for your feedback and suggestions. Finally, we ask that you send ideas for content and stories to Nancy Costello at cabrini-news@mothercabrini.org. With this new site and the flexibility it offers we can now post stories in a more timely manner. We want this site to be vibrant and alive and we need your help in doing this.

Let us be Good News in the world today!

 

Opening Wide Our Doors

Pope Francis urges religious congregations to “open their doors” to the public.

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Cabrini Sisters), from the House of Formation and Discernment in West Park-Ulster County-New York, heeding the words of Pope Francis opened their doors to various parish communities last Sunday, February 8, 2015.

In attendance were parishioners from various surrounding towns including Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Highland, New Paltz, Esopus, and Kingston.

The focus of the Open House was on the following themes: the Life of Mother Cabrini as Patroness of Immigrants; charism and spirituality; the Cabrini Missionary vision; formation of various vocations; consecrated religious life; Cabrini Lay Missionaries; Cabrini Mission Corps and Cabrini Companions.

The ministries that were presented included: Cabrini Advocacy and Action (CAAC) which involves raising awareness regarding human trafficking issues; direct assistance for issues of immigration including legal consultation, obtaining citizenship, teaching English as a Second language, running a food pantry, and pastoral ministry on all levels. Visitors were all able to see on a world map the extension of the Cabrini Mission on the six continents.

The Missionary Sisters received their guests and took them on a tour of the expositions, explaining details of their life style and charism.

Our guests were able to witness the history of the Cabrini orphanage through pictures and a narrative. They saw a movie of the Cabrini heritage prepared by The National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago.

One aspect of the Open House was a visit to the sister’s quarters, followed by refreshments in the dining room.

One of the MSC aspirants took the visiting children aside and entertained them with age-appropriate fun activities.

By the sounds of laughter and joy, we could tell that everyone had a very fruitful and enjoyable afternoon. As the guests were leaving, they expressed that religious life was not as much of a mystery to them now.

We, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, since Vatican II, have had our doors open to many lay collaborators, friends and family members, but, this is the first time that we made an extensive formal invitation to all that could come and share with us an informative and pleasurable afternoon.

Pope Francis, thank you for encouraging all of us to “Open the Doors” to our home.

Founder’s Day at Cabrini College

Founder’s Day honors the birthday (February 18th) and legacy of Sister Ursula Infante, MSC who founded Cabrini College in 1957 and served as president until 1967. Under her leadership, the student body grew fro 43 to 420.

Each year, the College selects a theme that reflects the visionary leadership of Sister Ursula and the devoted service of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College’s religious sponsors.

This year, the Founder’s Day theme was: The Unfolding Climate Change Tragedy and the Mission of Catholic Universities that was presented by Richard W. Miller, Ph.D., associate professor of systemic theology and director of the master’s in theology proArlene Primus, Founder's Daygram at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Prior to Dr. Miller’s presentation, Sr. Arlene Primus, MSC, a 1963 Cabrini College graduate, who holds a Master’s of Divinity, offered a heartwarming remembrance of Sister Ursula and provided a thought-provoking spin on what it means to educate one’s heart. (The College’s mission is the education of the heart.) Sr. Arlene posited that educating one’s heart means that one embraces new insights and awareness. One should look to broaden one’s understanding and use of the heart. For example, how can someone transform his/her insights to develop a more caring heart? In doing so, Sister proposed that people, when listening to others, should look for “trigger words” that reflect suffering, pain, despair and even joy that beg from each of us a response of compassion, hope and peace. Better knowing one’s own heart is to fully embrace one’s humanity and that of others, which is akin to embracing the Divine.

On behalf of all the MSCs, Sr. Arlene offered an appreciation for everything that the College community continues to do to carry forth the vision and legacy of Sr. Ursula.

Dr. Miller’s presentation – which he admitted would be truly sobering in terms of the potential devastation to land masses, coastlines, and indeed, the future of civilization, as we currently know it – addressed the following:

~ What is the history of climate warnings? ~ Where are we now? ~ What are the forecasted impacts of climate change on our present path (the world of our students)? And finally, ~ what are the responsibilities of Catholic universities in light of theDr. Richard Miller 2 climate crisis?

Dr. Miller stated that we are in a crisis situation with regard to global warming and that students, faculties and staff members in colleges and universities across the country must recognize their inherent power, unite and organize to reverse the course the world is currently on with regard to global warming.

In presenting his case, Dr. Miller cited the acute concerns of noted scientists in United States and in Europe, saying that if nations, particularly industrialized nations, continue to ignore the scientific evidence of global warning and procrastinate in changing emissions and environmental policies, the world will not have the capacity to recover. He was clear is stating the situation is critical, but, it can be remedied and reversed to some degree IF action is taken NOW. He called upon the Cabrini College students to take up this challenge because it is their world and the world their children and grandchildren will inherit.

CAAC Rocks the House!

Last week the Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition (CAAC) held a rock concert entitled, “Real Love Saves: Fight Slavery with Music” in an effort to raise awareness abHT Concert Poster JPEGout human trafficking and money for Covenant House. With the help of countless supporters in person and spirit, $450.60 was raised for this amazing charity.

Four local bands donated their time and talent to this event, and Tumulty’s Pub in New Brunswick, NJ graciously donated the use of the space. An enthusiastic crowd was in attendance, bringing the dark pub to life with energy and enthusiasm. Rocking out to the music were Cabrini Mission Corps Director Gina Scarpello and CAAC Coordinator Karol Brewer. CMC missioner Jenay Smith welcomed people at the information and donation table, encouraging people to come in and donate.

Semiotics started off the evening with a fun 30-minute set of alternative rock/emo music. Lyrics such as, “as long as there’s a roof over my head I will be happy,” invoked thoughts about the need for housing for the homeless. They were followed by punk rockers Hurricane Season, who started the set with a song about the difficulties of living with someone addicted to drugs. Living Tradition, an alternative rock band from central Jersey, brought the night to a fever pitch. The concert’s headliner was the female-fronted indie rock band Foxanne. Between bands CMC missioner Melanie spoke about Covenant House’s mission to keep homeless, runaway, and throwaway teens off the streets and safe from predators. Internationally, Covenant House serves 56,000 youth.

It was an amazing night of community coming together with local musicians to raise money for an extremely worthy cause. Partnerships such as this bring the message of social justice to a wider audience, and inspires young people to take action that will lead to change.

United in Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking

Missionary Sisters, CMC missioners, Cabrinian collaborators and community members gathered at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini shrine in New York City on the Feast Melanie, Karol, Veronica, Kris cropped goodof St. Josephine Bakhita to pray for the victims of human trafficking. Approximately 50 people were in attendance for this special prayer service.

The service was led by Cherie Sprosty, a liturgist with 25 years experience in the LA Archdiocese, and opened with a moment of silence for the millions of people who are enslaved around the world. Attendees were invited into the seemingly hopeless and desperate world of those enslaved with a dramatic reading of Psalm 10:12-18 by Josh Guerrero, a Washington Heights community member who is very passionate about ending human trafficking, and Kris Reed, Director of the St. F.X. Cabrini Shrine. CMC missioner Jenay Smith continued the journey into the darkness with a reading from Exodus where Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he did not let God’s people go. Ethan Applegate, a professional singer and actor, served as cantor. His baritone voice singing the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me,” brought chills to many.

Sr. Veronica Piccone, MSC shared the heroic story of St. Bakhita, who defied her owners in order to gain her freedom and serve the Lord as a Canossian Sister. At this point all sang, “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” thus honoring the faith and courage of those who are able to become free from slavery. Michelle Soto, Pastor and CEO of Fierce Woman Found Ministries, provided a truly powerful and inspiring homily. Her call to action was rooted in scripture and encouraged all to make the world a more just place for all. CMC missioner Melanie Paccillo provided some practical suggestions as to how one could help survivors of human trafficking. Samantha Inesta, Founder and Executive Director of CAAC partner organization Be a Sister 2 a Sister, led the prayers of the people with a clear passion. The service ended with all praying the Prayer for the End of Human Trafficking and the hymn, “We Are Called.” The mood of the prayer service was grounded in the beautiful music, provided by Cabrinian collaborators Robin Larkins and Lorraine Campanelli.

Guests remained after the service to enjoy refreshments and fellowship. Sr. Patricia Spillane, MSC spoke with a family who emigrated from Ecuador. The family of three traveled from Queens, NY especially for this prayer service.

All who attended had a beautiful and prayerful afternoon. A special thank you is in order to all who participated as well as those who offered prayers and well wishes for the success of the event. May the prayers of the holy team of St. Frances Cabrini and St. Josephine Bakhita be with those involved in the fight against human trafficking. May the end of slavery come about through their powerful intercession and God’s amazing grace.

Opening Wide Our Doors

Pope Francis urges religious congregations to “open their doors” to the public.

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Cabrini Sisters), from the House of Formation and Discernment in West Park-Ulster County-New York, heeding the words of Pope Francis opened their doors to various parish communities last Sunday, February 8, 2015.

In attendance were parishioners from various surrounding towns including Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Highland, New Paltz, Esopus, and Kingston.

The focus of the Open House was on the following themes: the Life of Mother Cabrini as Patroness of Immigrants; charism and spirituality; the Cabrini Missionary vision; formation of various vocations; consecrated religious life; Cabrini Lay Missionaries; Cabrini Mission Corps and Cabrini Companions.

The ministries that were presented included: Cabrini Advocacy and Action (CAAC) which involves raising awareness regarding human trafficking issues; direct assistance for issues of immigration including legal consultation, obtaining citizenship, teaching English as a Second language, running a food pantry, and pastoral ministry on all levels. Visitors were all able to see on a world map the extension of the Cabrini Mission on the six continents.

The Missionary Sisters received their guests and took them on a tour of the expositions, explaining details of their life style and charism.

Our guests were able to witness the history of the Cabrini orphanage through pictures and a narrative. They saw a movie of the Cabrini heritage prepared by The National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago.

One aspect of the Open House was a visit to the sister’s quarters, followed by refreshments in the dining room.

One of the MSC aspirants took the visiting children aside and entertained them with age-appropriate fun activities.

By the sounds of laughter and joy, we could tell that everyone had a very fruitful and enjoyable afternoon. As the guests were leaving, they expressed that religious life was not as much of a mystery to them now.

We, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, since Vatican II, have had our doors open to many lay collaborators, friends and family members, but, this is the first time that we made an extensive formal invitation to all that could come and share with us an informative and pleasurable afternoon.

MSCs Celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Group pix preferredDespite the snowstorm of Sunday and Monday February 2nd we MSCs were able to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on Tuesday 2/3/2015 at Cabrini House of Formation and Discernment, West Park, New York. There were 13 congregations in attendance, all of whom participated and received the nourishment from two tables – the table of the Liturgy and the table of fellowship. There was truly a joyful noise as we delighted in the Lord and one another.

It was wonderful to have so many charisms under one roof, united as one community of faith and love.

A representative of each Institute brought a symbol of her/his congregation and gave a brief explanation of the symbol. The charisms represented were Capuchin Franciscans, Order of Friars Minors, Franciscan Felicians, Allegheny Franciscan, Redemptorist Fathers, Redemptoristines, Christian Brothers, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Cabrini), Marist Brothers, Holy Cross Brothers (Anglican), Benedictine Sisters and Carmelite Sisters. Also in attendance, Fr. Thomas Lutz a Diocesan priest living the Benedictine Rule and the musician Mr. David Kwiecinski.

Pope Francis has given three challenging objectives for this great year. He suggests that we look to the past with gratitude while at the same time maturing and developing, giving rise to new ways of expressing our charisms. Our charisms have been like trees that stretch out their branches so that the people of God can rest in them.

Second objective is to live the present with passion always challenged by the gospel that is demanding radically and sincerely.

The third objective that Pope Francis gives is to embrace the future with hope. We are called to live this virtue that stems from faith. The Lord is faithful in telling us, “Be not afraid for I am with you”.

Filled with joy and zeal we are able to go forth and wake up the world “for where there are Religious-there is joy”.

 

World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

wake up the worldA New CARA study was published just before the observance of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on February 2nd

Findings: Religious Profession Class of 2014 Highly Educated, Very Likely To Have Attended Catholic High School and University…study finds two-thirds of new religious entered community life with a bachelors degree or higher.

caraWASHINGTON — Men and women religious who professed perpetual vows to the nearly 800 communities of religious life in the United States in 2014 are highly educated and more likely than the average Catholic adult to attend Catholic high schools and universities. These were among the findings of the annual survey on new men and women religious conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

About four in 10 (42 %) attended a Catholic elementary school, which is the same as that for all Catholic adults in the United States. They are more likely than other U.S. Catholics, however, to have attended a Catholic high school (31% of responding religious, compared to 22% of U.S. adult Catholics) and much more likely to have attended a Catholic college (34 percent of responding religious, compared to just 7 % of U.S. adult Catholics.)

Eighteen percent of responding religious earned a graduate degree before entering their religious institute. Two in three (68 %) entered their religious institute with at least a bachelor’s degree (61 % for women and 80 % for men).

Most religious did not report that educational debt delayed their application for entrance to their institute. Among those who did report educational debt, however, they averaged one year of delay while they paid down an average of $15,750 in educational debt. Several of the women, but none of the men, reported receiving assistance in paying down their debt.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations commissioned the survey and released the results before the annual celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2 which is also celebrated in parishes on this coming weekend. The survey also comes amidst the Year of Consecrated Life, which began November 30, 2014. During this year, Catholics are invited to learn more about religious life by participating in the Day of Open House with Religious on this Sunday, February 8. Resources for the World Day of Consecrated Life, the Year of Consecrated Life and the entire CARA survey can be found at www.usccb.org/consecratedlife.

“Given the fact that 89 percent of those responding to the recent CARA survey of new religious had participated in some form of a ‘Come and See’ experience prior to entering their religious institute, we know it is important for our youth and young adults to have greater exposure and familiarity with the community life of religious,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to visit local religious communities in their own area during the Day of Religious Open Houses, Sunday, February 8.”

CARA received a response from 454 of 799 major superiors, for an overall response rate of 57 percent among religious institutes.

Among the major findings:

  • The average age of responding religious of the Profession Class of 2014 is 37.
  • Half of the responding religious are age 34 or younger. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is 64.
  • Two-thirds of responding religious (67 %) identify as white, more than one in seven (15 %) identifies as Hispanic, and one in seven

(14 %) identifies as Asian.

  • Most responding religious (76 %) were born in the United States. Of those born outside the United States, the most common countries of origin are the Philippines and Vietnam.
  • Among those identifying as Hispanic/Latino(a) two-thirds (67 %) are U.S. born and one-third (33 %) are foreign born
  • Nearly nine in 10 (86 %) responding religious have been Catholic since birth. More than eight in 10 (83 %) come from families in which both parents are Catholic. Nearly all of the religious of the Profession Class of 2014 (89 %) participated in some type of vocation program or experience prior to entering their religious institute. Most commonly was a “Come and See” experience (59%) or a vocation retreat (50 %). Men were more likely than women to have participated in a “Come and See” experience (66% and 56%, respectively) or in a vocation retreat (59% for men compared to 45% for women).

To read the full CARA report:

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/consecrated-life/upload/PR-15-018.pdf