On November 26th, over 170 people came out to play Bingo for the chance to win designer handbags to benefit Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS)! Clients from the program cooked food from their native countries for all to enjoy and it was a big hit with the crowd. Eight rounds of Bingo were played for the luxury handbags, one round for a 50/50 and there were 25 great raffle prizes given out to the lucky winners at the end of the evening. The event raised nearly $13,000 to benefit Cabrini Immigrant Services and countless new friends were made who can’t wait to return to the event next year.
Cabrini University is one of the first colleges and universities to partner with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) in Pennsylvania’s pilot program Aspiring to Educate (A2E), which aims to increase the diversity and number of teachers in the Commonwealth. In addition to Cabrini and the SDP, the initial partnership involves the state Department of Education (PDE), six other colleges and universities, and local education and youth organizations.
“Aspiring to Educate will help Pennsylvania attract, recruit, train, and retain a new generation of teachers and school leaders,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera during the public announcement on November 20, noting that A2E is the first program of its kind. “It will not only help the Commonwealth address the shortage of educators and the lack of diversity in the teacher pipeline but will also provide a career pathway for students into the teaching profession.”
“Diversifying the teacher education workforce and the teacher candidate pool is a priority for all of us as it strengthens our programs, classrooms and communities,” said Beverly R. Bryde, EdD, Dean of the Cabrini School of Education. “The Aspiring to Educate initiative from the PDE is impressive and important. We are proud to be partners in this program’s launch.”
Pennsylvania state educators noted that the number of people seeking teaching certification has decreased by more than 65 percent since 2013. Additionally, of the Commonwealth’s 120,000 educators, 96 percent are white—making it the least diverse in the country.
The SDP will work with Cabrini and the other colleges and universities to design individual plans for academically successful high school juniors or seniors interested in becoming teachers. Students who enroll will receive free or reduced tuition through the institution as well as mentoring through the Philadelphia Youth Network and the Center for Black Educator Development. They will be encouraged to teach in Philadelphia’s most high-need areas after they graduate.
Fully Alive is a weekly radio broadcast of the Archdiocese of Chicago, focusing on issues of human dignity and solidarity. On December 4, 2019, Sr. Cathy Fedewa, CSFN, of the Cabrini Retreat Center, joined staff from the Archdiocesan Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity in sharing two major events being sponsored by that office in December and in January, bringing awareness of the conflicts but also the beauty of the diversity of cultures shared in the city in its immigrant population.
Information and understanding of the events were shared with the audience regarding the Fourth Annual Posada to be held on December 13 on the streets of downtown Chicago.
The procession follows the same dynamics as a traditional posada, but instead of stopping at homes in their neighborhood, Joseph, Mary and their companions stop at various immigration-related locations in the city, such as the ICE Office and Immigration Court, and recall the difficulties immigrants encounter and the need for immigration reform. The procession ends at St. Peter’s Church in the heart of the city where all are finally welcomed and given hospitality….and a traditional celebration takes place.
The broadcast then continued with comments on National Migration Week being celebrated in the archdiocese, as it is around the country, on January 5, with a special liturgy in Holy Name Cathedral. A procession of nations in native dress (representing many of the diverse cultures in Chicago) begins the celebration. Diversity is also clear in the readings, intercessions and music, presented in varied languages. ~ submitted by Sr. Cathy Fedewa, CSFN, Cabrini Retreat Center
nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for National Migration Week 2020, “Promoting a Church and a World for All” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.
Unfortunately, in our contemporary culture we often fail to encounter migrants as persons, and instead look at them as unknown others, if we even notice them at all. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, as fellow children of God, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious or fearful of them. During this National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as community members, neighbors, and friends. To do so, we will look at the important role that foster care plays in the lives of unaccompanied immigrants and refugees, highlight MRS’ Parishes Organized to Welcome Refugees, and examine local initiatives that are making important contributions in this regard.
For further information: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/FInal-NMW-Toolkit-2020.pdf
Please watch this video of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Missionary Sisters in Guatemala.
Each year, at Cabrini University the staff and volunteers of Campus Ministry offer the opportunity to students, faculty, staff and administration to have their residence hall rooms, offices and/or classrooms blessed.
This year, MSC candidate Evarlyn Ndunge came to the MSC Cottage to bless the offices and the meeting spaces.
The Mother Cabrini First Class Relic has been restored and preserved by Sara Moy, a certified conservator. On November 5th, the relic, the right humerus bone of Mother Cabrini, was returned to the newly refurbished reliquary in the Shrine altar. On Mother Cabrini’s Feast Day, Wednesday, November 13, the restored relic which had long been in the altar of the chapel of the former Columbus Hospital, received a special blessing from the Most Reverend Raymond E. Goedert, DD. at the 4 p.m. Mass at the Shrine
Cabrini University’s ECG Anti-Human Trafficking class, the Barbara and John Jordan Center and the Cabrini Action & Advocacy Coalition (Cabrini Closet) recently organized an evening at Cabrini University with guest speaker, Tammy McDonnell, an activist, advocate and human trafficking survivor. The following are excerpts of the account of the presentation which appeared in Catholic Philly.com.
Human trafficking survivor Tammy McDonnell shared her experiences on November 6 at Cabrini University and, through a panel discussion that followed, raised awareness among students and residents about the crime of trafficking — a form of modern-day slavery — its prevalence in Philadelphia-area communities and how to combat it.
Human trafficking occurs when force, fraud, or coercion is used to control another person for the purpose of engagement in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against that person’s will.
“Slavery is death,” said McDonnell, who is also an activist for Covenant House in Philadelphia. Human trafficking treats people as disposable, she said.
“Trafficking happens in your own backyard,” she said, adding that it is so prevalent, “you can be sitting next to a survivor, and not even know it.”
Her human trafficking story began when she sold her car for $800 to a man that she now realizes was a “recruiter,” an intermediary who referred her to someone who could give her a job that she needed, which “was the start of everything.”
Looking back, she now realizes her trafficker was a predator who took advantage of her vulnerabilities. She felt trapped and was too afraid to break away because she needed to protect her family from the trafficker, who made threats against her mother and her children.
Then one day, she said, “this cosmic mental switch went off, and I said, ‘I’m done.’” She fled Philadelphia for New Jersey, where she was homeless and subsisted by committing petty theft crimes, such as breaking into parked cars and stealing items which she sold to purchase food and drugs.
The crisis center referred McDonnell to a women’s recovery program, where she lived with Catholic nuns for 18 months. During her recovery, one of the sisters recommended McDonnell for a position as survivor advocate for Covenant House in Philadelphia. Now, her role has been expanded also to include outreach worker.
“I can raise awareness because it’s so necessary,” McDonnell said. She advocates for laws to prevent human trafficking in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “I knew nothing about the law, except how to break it.” But now she attends community college, pursuing paralegal studies, and hopes eventually to attend law school. “My life is helping other people,” she says.
The theme for the 2019 Cabrini Day celebration at Cabrini University was “food matters” highlighting food insecurity. The day was complete with an awards ceremony for students followed by akeynote address given by Atif Bostic, the Executive Director of Uplift Solutions, a national nonprofit focused on address the social determinants of health through the development of community-centric and community-informed business assets. Uplift’s direct service work focuses on access to fresh and healthy food, health care, capital and jobs; its advocacy work focuses on food justice, criminal justice and social equity.
Following the keynote address, the Missionary Sisters and MSC candidates shared their stories of religious life and discernment and offered a Feast Day blessing for all members of the campus community.
The day concluded with a Walk with Purpose and Pep Rally followed by a panel discussion focusing on “Integrating ‘Food Matters’ across the Disciplines: Implications for Systemic Change” which was led by Ray Ward, PhD and Michelle Szpara, PhD.
Cabrini Immigrant Services, Dobbs Ferry, NY, is thrilled to announce that we have two new citizens! Muhammed Shabbir and Sajida Anjum Khan, both from Pakistan, have passed their tests.
Sajida worked very hard with her tutor, Barbara Fox and Muhammed worked equally hard with his tutor, James Sanders. Both tutors are very proud of their students.
Sajida and Muhammed are the proud parents of 4 children. They have a daughter in 7th grade, and sons in 6th grade, 4th grade and Kindergarten.!