Most Rev. Fernand Cheri, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans was a guest speaker on August 10th during Cabrini High School’s Faculty and Staff Orientation for the 2020-2021 school year. He spoke about the problem of racism and what the Catholic Church can do to help during these challenging times. He titled his talk “Let the Church Roll On.” His presentation led to many interesting questions and open, honest discussions amongst everyone. The faculty and staff were delighted to hear him say Cabrini High School is the most diverse school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Sunday, June 7th was a beautiful day in a variety of ways. [In the Upper Manhattan neighborhood by the St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine] about 200 people of diverse ages and backgrounds turned out for the Faith March 4 Justice. The goal of the Faith March was to provide young people with a way to channel their frustration and hope about racism into faith rather than anger.
The group arrived at the Shrine singing Amazing Grace, accompanied by the police, and many neighbors stopped to listen. The clergy and people stood outside the Shrine wall, underneath the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
One of the priests said that walls are often perceived as a sign of division, and yet, the wall of the Temple in Jerusalem is the holiest site for Jewish people, where they unite in prayer. Then the clergy, representing a variety of denominations, took turns leading the people in prayer. It was peaceful and reverent.
We are very thankful to nearby St. Elizabeth’s Parish for including us in this event. We had refreshments on the porch of the Shrine, where social distancing was easily possible and fresh air, abundant.
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
Cabrini of Westchester’s Cultural Awareness Committee organized a special day to recognize the many cultures and ethnicities that make up the unique staff at Cabrini of Westchester! On June 20, 2019, employees were invited to wear their native attire for a multi-cultural parade. The events also included a multicultural food tasting! Thank you to the committee for the hard work and dedication in preparing for this wonderful day and to all those who participated!
Back in January on the feast of the Epiphany, those of us at the Cabrini Retreat Center shared with you the Archdiocesan celebration of National Migration Week at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. As part of that celebration the Office for Immigration chose to extend that celebration with an international “pot-luck” dinner for the numerous participants representing the diverse cultures of immigrants here in the archdiocese.
On Sunday, June 16, those participants gathered at Casa Italia to share fellowship and their national cuisine with one another. When registering, participants were asked to list the name of the dish they would bring and what nationality it represented. Sr. Cathy Fedewa, CSFN, from Cabrini Retreat Center, in Des Plaines, IL, listed her country as U.S.A. and so brought a typical picnic dish, pasta salad.
It was a great celebration, and the foods from Guatemala, Philippines, India, Mexico, etc. were a big hit with all the participants and an opportunity to share their diverse cultures from a different perspective. It was also a meaningful way to begin the week celebrating World Refugee Day on June 20.
How does one build a COMMUNITY of WELCOME? How do we share as ONE community when we are of so many diverse beliefs? These were the focused thoughts of several representatives from different faiths who shared their answers at the 4th Annual Interfaith Service for Immigration held at St. Viator Church in Chicago to culminate the celebration of National Migration Week.
Mother Cabrini once said, “The more the fear of God animates the citizens of a country, the greater and the more respected will the nation be.”
With the difficulties in our country in the minds of many, during the reception following, Cabrini Retreat Center Director Nancy Golen and Sr. Cathy Fedewa, CSFN, heard many of the participants expressing their concerns about this climate and how we as individuals can address this.
Inspired by all, speakers and participants alike, we trust that many present, went forth and considered what small measure they could take to make a change.