Last Sunday was St. Frances Cabrini Shrine’s first Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. Nearly three dozen volunteers turned out to meet each other, chat, and enjoy the rare city experience of food cooked outdoors on the grill.
In light of Respect Life Month, Cabrini High School’s science classes held a “baby shower” to collect essential items for expecting mothers and their babies. Bottles, pacifiers, hand-made cards, and more; Cabrini’s students show their support for the soon-to-be mothers in their community. The items were donated to ACCESS Pregnancy & Referral Centers, Women’s New Life Center, and Louisiana Right to Life through St. Dominic Parish Respect Life Ministry in New Orleans.
Additionally, Cabrini’s Prolife Club attended a gathering for young prolife leaders, hosted by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. He expressed his gratitude in a recent Facebook post, “It is inspiring to see their commitment to the dignity of life and their faith lived out in their actions. Thank you to our Respect Life Coordinators for making this event possible and thank you to our young church for being the prolife generation!”
Mother Cabrini based her work on an “education of the heart”; promoting Gospel values, critical thinking and openness towards others. Through this initiative and all of our Foundation programs the Cabrini Mission Foundation continues to carry Mother Cabrini’s legacy forward.
Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters opened a number schools and provided educational opportunities to children across New York for over 100 years. While the actual schools have since closed, to continue this education ministry in New York, our Foundation continues to provide needed funds to help at-risk students receive a faith-based education.
We are pleased to announce the 2021-2022 school year Mother Cabrini Scholarship awarded academic institutions.
St. Catharine Academy, in the Bronx, New York, offers an all-girls program where the students are prepared for college success, leadership and engagement in the world community, the Foundation’s support of St. Catharine’s will provide tuition assistance to a number of students during the current academic year.
The De La Salle School, in Freeport, New York, provides economically disadvantaged young men with a Catholic education grade 5 through 8. The Foundation’s support will offer their students and recent graduates’ programs to ensure they have the tools needed to excel during and following their time at the middle school.
The Kennedy Children’s Center, in Manhattan, New York, with its high-quality educational services for young children with developmental delays will create a custom-designed sensory garden, which will act as a safe space for the preschoolers, staff and the families to engage in developmentally appropriate learning to build social-emotional skills.
The Foundation is proud to honor the work of Mother Cabrini as well as all of the Missionary Sisters who have and continue to serve as educators – this truly is a life project for the present time and for the future.
~ by Brian Roewe, Earth Beat, National Catholic Reporter
On October 31st the United Nations climate change summit, COP26, is set to begin in Glasgow, Scotland.
The two-week (10/31 – 11/12) has long been billed as a critical checkpoint in the global effort to limit the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times – a key threshold to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
Scientists have said in order to keep that goal in sight, drastic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions, at least a 45% overall reduction, need to be made this decade.
Some 20,000 delegates, and thousands more activists and advocates, are expected to attend COP26, which is being hosted by the United Kingdom along with Italy. Count many Catholics – albeit no long the pope – and religious leaders and activists among them. Catholics who will be in Glasgow say there are many reasons for people of faith to pay attention to the proceedings.
Reason # 1: Pope Francis cares (as do many faith leaders)
For more than two years, the Vatican has been preparing for COP26 and considering what contribution it could make to help ensure a successful summit. Pope Francis said he hoped the Glasgow summit “will lead to effective agreement in addressing the consequences of climate change. Now is the time to act, for we are already feeling the effects of prolonged inaction.”
Reason # 2: Paris Agreement wasn’t the end, but a beginning
In 2015, nearly every nation on Earth adopted the Paris climate accord where for the first time all countries, not just the most industrialized ones, committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. But the Paris Agreement only put the overall goals on paper; it did not include specific measure of how to get there. Much of the time since 2015 has been spent crafting the rulebook that spells out what countries can, and cannot, count in determining their emissions reductions.
Reason # 3 Catholic social teaching is on the table, especially for the poor
Name a principle of Catholic social teaching – from the dignity of every person, to solidarity and workers’ rights – and you will find it relates to the discussions at COP26, said Sr. Veronica Brand who represents the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, at the UN. “With the impact of climate change, we are talking about action on behalf of justice… We are talking about lives being threatened. We’re talking about livelihoods and the dignity of those who are most marginalized – the people who are suffering most from global warming and who have fewer resources to adapt and respond.
Reason # 4 The climate is not waiting for governments to agree
While world leaders and diplomats debate and hash out the details of the Paris Agreement, average global temperatures have continued to rise, with increasingly evident impacts. The six hottest years on record have occurred since 2015 when the Paris Agreement was reached and many parts of the world have been hit by extreme weather.
Reason # 5 The pandemic connection
Although COVID delayed the climate conference last year, many see the forced pause as an opportunity, especially for accelerating the global transition to clean energy necessary to achieve the 1.5 C target.
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There were plenty of smiles, tears, and cheers at the highly anticipated 2021 Cabrini Mission Foundation Gala, hosted on Oct 7th at the Metropolitan Club. The event bolstered many familiar and a few new faces, all sharing a common goal to support and celebrate the Missionary Sisters as well as the honorees. A dazzling performance by our emcee, Joe Piscopo and a first look at the upcoming Mother Cabrini movie were just a few highlights of the wonderful night.
The feeling in the room was heart-warming as each honoree was highlighted for their remarkable achievements and commitment to helping others. Four individuals were awarded the Covid Angel Award which recognizes those who have helped their community and brought smiles to the faces of those who needed it most.
Nurse Bissoondai Persad has the task of caring for our Senior Sisters at the Sacred Heart Convent here in New York, and at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, worked diligently to keep our Sisters safe. Luzmilla Cedeño has been a volunteer at Cabrini Immigrant Services in New York for 20 years, and each week has come to help in the distribution of food to those in need as part of our food pantry program. Ronald Cole, a Respiratory Therapist at the St. Cabrini Nursing Home, has been courageous throughout the pandemic, and was one of the first to deliver up close and personal care
and treatment to our residents who contracted COVID-19. Kathleen Ann Michels, an Emergency Room nurse in New York-Presbyterian Hospital the Weill Cornell Level 1 Trauma Center, was at the forefront of treating COVID patients as the pandemic unfolded, working countless hours to help see them recover.
Along with these dedicated individuals, three honorees were awarded the Spirit of Cabrini Award, which represents an understanding of Mother Cabrini and a willingness to continue her legacy of helping people who are in need throughout New York City beginning with the Italian-American community. Philip Foglia, Sr. (Posthumously) and Chazz and Gianna Palminteri, have been involved with the Foundation for many years and were able to use their connections to erect the Mother Cabrini statue in Bryant Park.
The Sisters and Foundation staff would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to everyone in attendance and for the continued support of the mission.
While schools were closed for Columbus Day/Indigenous People Day, some of our Cabrini Kids gave up their holiday to help with a Giving Back Program at Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY. Thanks to a grant from the St. Faith’s House Foundation, our Kids made 100 packets of toiletries which will be donated to The Pantry in Verplanck, NY. The Pantry, which has a food pantry, also works one on one with women to help them get needed services.
The program was organized by our Social Work Intern, Sarah Flaherty, a senior at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. She also involved the Social Work Club at Iona College. The college students made 100 cards of support which were put into the packets. In addition to the card, each packet had shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, tissues, Chap Stick, body wash, a facial mask sheet, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a comb and a pair of socks. A special thank you to Tom Costello, from The Joy of Sox in Radnor and Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, for donating 100 pairs of socks!
Our Cabrini Kids all said that they felt great knowing that they were able to help others. They learned about The Pantry and their different services. They are looking forward to our next Giving Back Program and being able to help more people who are in need.
The National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini – 8th Annual Benefit Event
All enjoyed this beautiful evening beginning with a cocktail hour under the stars followed by dinner and presentations by emcee Janet Davies, and our Executive Director Sr. Bridget Zanin, MSC and our Rector Fr. Ramil Fajardo, who inspired us with stories about Mother Cabrini and the enormous impact she made in our city.
Our Benefit Event Committee worked extraordinarily hard in a very short period of time to produce this wonderful and remarkably successful event. Proceeds for this year’s Benefit will provide important support for our Shrine Ministries, Programming and Special Events.
Mother Cabrini was certainly watching down upon us and we can be sure she was smiling.
The Catholic Tradition of Environmental Care
~ by Joanne M. Pierce, by The Conversation by Religion News Service
Pope Francis led dozens of religious leaders on October 4 in issuing a plea to protect the environment warning that “future generations will never forgive us if we miss the opportunity to protect our common home.” The appeal, which calls for net-zero emissions, was released after months of meetings leading up to the United Nations’ November climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
The pope has voiced support for green policies before, including his 2015 encyclical letter to the encyclical letter to the entire Catholic Church “Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home.”
But Francis is not the first Catholic leader to emphasize care for the planet. In fact, every pope for the past half century – except John Paul I, who died after just one month in office – has addressed environmental issues in his official publications.
The Early Tradition
One of the basic beliefs of Christianity is that the material world was created directly by God, and thus is fundamentally connected with God’s goodness.
As God completes each element of the world – day, night, land, sea, etc. – God sees that “it was good.” On the sixth day, when God creates human being in God’s own image, they are given “dominion” or “rule” over everything that lives on the Earth.
The Benedictine Tradition
One Benedictine saint has become especially connected with environmental concerns: St. Hildegard of Bingen, who died in A.D. 1179.
This German abbess was one of the most accomplished women of the Middle Ages. An expert on herbal medicines and botany, she also wrote religious plays and composed liturgical chants and hymns. She insisted that God loved the Earth as a husband loves a wife and espoused a kind of “green” theology called viriditas, condemning the harm that human activity could do to nature.
Hildegard has been acclaimed as an unofficial patron said or environmentalists.
The Franciscan Tradition
St. Francis of Assisi has over the centuries become renowned for his love of the natural world.
One of Francis’ few documents is a poem, the “Canticle of the Sun,” which lyrically expressed his belief in the kindship between human beings and the rest of the natural world. Even the Sun and the Moon are addressed as “brother” and “sister.”
In 1979, Pope John Paul II named St. Francis as the patron saint of ecology because he “revered nature as a wonderful gift of God.” And in 2015, Pope Francis used the first words of “Canticle of the Sun,” Laudato Si’ to open his encyclical on the environment and serve as its official title.
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With gratitude and joy, we were able to gather for the Mother Cabrini Shrine 20th Anniversary Gala on Friday, September 17 at the Pinnacle Club in downtown Denver. For those unable to attend in person, a portion of the event was livestreamed. All proceed from the gala will go towards our $4.5 million Heart of Jesus Capital Campaign. We are so grateful and happy to announce that due to the generosity of so many and the success of the gala, our campaign total is nearing $3.6 million. Construction on the expansion and chapel renovations are set to begin in the spring of 2022.
For a glimpse of the gala, please see photos and the “Cabrini Says Thank You” video below:
In March of 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law, HB 1031 establishing Frances Xavier Cabrini Day as a Colorado State Holiday. It is the first paid state holiday in the nation that recognizes a woman, and is now observed on the first Monday in October.
Taking advantage of a beautiful fall Colorado weekend, Mother Cabrini Shrine welcomed visitors and guests who came to walk the steps, light a candle in the chapel and enjoy the beautiful grounds that honor our beloved St. Frances Cabrini and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. After the Sunday Masses, coffee and donuts were served in celebration of Cabrini Day. To us, Cabrini Day is about her story – her determination, grit and service to immigrants, the poor and those most in need, and we are always eager for those who come to the Shrine to learn of it and be inspired by her life, her faith, and all she accomplished.
Links to Cabrini Day local news coverage below: