Jesuit Father Edward Reese, the president of St. Ignatius Prep School in San Francisco, offered prayers in both Phoenix and Washington, including a homily at the National Cathedral in Washington, after the death of John McCain, the senator from Arizona who died Aug. 25 at age 81 after a long struggle with brain cancer. [Read more…]
The recent disclosure of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the extent of depravity reported in the news are symptomatic of a church in crisis. It is no longer acceptable for the pope simply to issue a public apology nor is it sufficient for any group merely to reflect on what has happened by issuing position statements. [Read more…]
May 21st was a day of great celebration when Cardinal Dolan of New York honored a group of consecrated religious men and women. Among the group of honorees were Missionary Sisters Sr. Joan Marie Sariti; John Giani and Celia Cid. They are pictured in the front row, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd respectively from the right. Sr. Joan Marie is celebrating 70 years as an MSC, Srs. John and Celia are celebrating 60 years, and Sr. Amada Liboro, not pictured, is celebrating 50 years. This photo appeared on the front page of the May 25th edition of Catholic New York.
Sr. Joan Marie writes, “We were invited by Cardinal Dolan for a jubilee Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for all religious women and men. We then proceeded to his residence for a delicious buffet luncheon. We all received a rosary blessed by the Pope when he was in New York in 2015. It was a great day.”
Congratulations and blessings, Sisters!
This year marks the Landmarks Conservancy’s seventh annual Sacred Sites Open House on May 20th and 21st.
This year’s theme, Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next focuses on the significance and conservation of stained glass and windows in religious sites and highlights work of American stained glass masters including John LaFarge, Henry Sharp, and Louis Comfort Tiffany as well as prominent European artists and studios including Henry Holiday and Mayer of Munich among others.
Over 130 churches, synagogues, and meetinghouses throughout the city and state will be open for you to explore their wonderful religious architecture.
The St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a gift shop and both guided and self-guided tours.
Stained glass in the chapel depicts the life of Jesus and a 3-story image of Mother Cabrini. They have painted realistic detail and dynamic shape. They were designed by Fabian Zaccone in New York and fabricated by G. Pollini in Florence, Italy, installed in 1959.
The pictorial mosaic that surrounds the altar, depicting Mother Cabrini’s life and work, is outstanding in its artisanship and message. This mosaic, recently restored by Stephen Miotto of Miotto Mosaic Art Studios, is priceless and irreplaceable. It is 123 feet long and 24 feet high, and is a unique undertaking for its time, or any time. It is an architectural and spiritual treasure.
The Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was designed by architects De Sina & Pellegrino. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American citizen to be made a saint, was the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was sent to New York in 1880 to assist Italian immigrants. She established schools, hospitals, and orphanages around the country. With a commitment to immigrants of all kinds, her ministry extended across the country and into South America. Mother Cabrini died in Chicago in 1917. Her remains were returned to Washington Heights, site of the Mother Cabrini High School, and enshrined. She was canonized in 1946.
Click on the Open House Sites tab to begin planning your trip.
Friendship with God
God – out of the abundance of divine relational life, not any need for us – desires humans into existence for the sake of friendship. This thesis may sound strange, because it runs counter to much teaching about God. As I begin my Lenten journey, I pray to understand what it means for my life that God wants to be friends with me.
The entire season of Lent points towards my birth into eternal life and my on-going friendship with God.
“We need young people who are alert and searching, trying to respond to God’s dream and to all the restlessness present in the human heart.”
Pope Francis at World Youth Day, July 2016
Thousands of youth each year are challenged to disconnect from phones and computers and become alert to the stirring of the Spirit within. (See the following reflection from Pope Francis.)
Each of the guests of Cabrini Retreat Center has a special prayer companion during their retreat. Sr. Grace Waters, MSC organizes the “Prayer Partner” program that links an individual Missionary Sister with a specific group of teens or adults.
The Retreat Center staff and guests are always grateful for this sharing in the mission. Each group is “introduced” to their Prayer Partner though a bulletin board that displays a photo and name of the Sister – in their welcome, the Hospitality Team names the Sisters to the group.
“The staff and youth minister are privileged to see miracles everyday – hearts touched, lives changed by God’s grace. “Thank you” seems a inadequate to response to our Sister Sponsors and Prayer Partners,” says Retreat Center Director Nancy Golen in the name of the Retreat Center Team.
On Sunday, November 27th, a prayer vigil entitled “Be The Light,” was held at the Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry, NY. The aim of the candlelight vigil was to bring the community together, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or immigration status.
The prayer vigil, organized by several Dobbs Ferry families, wanted to promote the message of peace and unity within the community following the presidential election. It is the hope that everyone who resides in Dobbs Ferry will feel that they belong and are accepted.
During the service we were asked to talk to someone we didn’t know and share our hopes for the future. We were then asked to call out some words that were shared. We heard beautiful sentiments such as “compassion, kindness, love, acceptance and curiosity about a person, not hate.”
Several of our tutors as well as some families from Cabrini Immigrant Services participated in the prayer vigil. Our prayers will continue as we begin to heal as a nation.
On Christ the King Sunday, November 20th, the Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis announced in January 2015 and inaugurated on December 8th a year ago will come to an end. The Pope offered this special year as an opportunity and a challenge. It was an opportunity to change for the better, to reach out to those estranged from us, to mend our ways where they needed mending. And it was a challenge to open our eyes to see those in need who walk our streets and pass us by, to open our hearts to the stranger, the migrant, the other.
A strong symbol of a jubilee year is the holy door. St. Peter’s Basilica has a special door that is closed off except in jubilee years. The Pope opens the door and the year begins. This year, churches around the world—from Bangui in the Central African Republic to a modest tent in Erbil, Iraq—designated a holy door as a reminder that this is a privileged time for reconciliation, for setting things right, for entering a sacred space.
The three Cabrinian Shrines – Chicago, IL, Golden, CO and New York, NY – each have had Holy Doors.
Other doors can open us to mercy—those that close off refugee camps or prisons, those we might open to visit a nursing home or a hospital. And the sacred space we enter does not have to be physical. It includes relationships with those we love. It includes encounter with those we may have closed off. It includes looking into the eyes of those we usually do not see.
This jubilee year included many special events. One Friday each month Pope Francis carried out some special sign of mercy—visiting a home for needy children or a refuge for prostitutes rescued from the streets. He made mercy a central theme of World Youth Day in Krakow in July. He canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who had spent her life doing works of mercy. On November 5th, 1,000 prisoners from 12 countries along with family members and security staff walked through St. Peter’s holy door at the pope’s invitation to attend Mass with him; marginalized and homeless people came to a similar event the following Saturday.
As this Jubilee Year ends, the need for mercy does not. This year has seen floods of refugees driven from their homes in Syria and elsewhere, risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea, sometimes facing hostility in their new homes. And many in our own society could use a helping hand, another chance. Fighting racism, ending scapegoating, feeding our own hungry would be great acts of mercy, too.
As this year ends, it is crucial that we not shut the door—holy or otherwise—on the needs of those around us. Modern life produces stress in families and other relationships; we need to examine ourselves for how we can make things right.
~excerpts from Doors of Mercy Editorial, AMERICA Magazine
The Lord has done great things for us and we are happy! On Saturday, October 1st, we had a beautiful vocational meeting in our Cabrini High School (CHS) in New Orleans. Twelve young people from different parishes and also of different ages, participated in the activity. Ten of them came in person, brimming with enthusiasm, feeling that the Lord has called them and the two others, participated in the meeting by Skype.
It was an unforgettable encounter, where everyone was open to hear the experiences related by the other. We were amazed to hear how the Lord calls when He wants and in the most amazing and unimaginable ways! Some expressed, with tears, the emotion of being “chosen”. Others – like one of the Cabrini High School students – shared joyfully how during the Open House held by the High School that when she entered the room of Mother Cabrini [which is in the Esplanade Building of the High School], that she felt that she wanted to study at CHS and wanted to give her whole life to the service of immigrants. We cried, we laughed, we ate, we shared … And at the end of our meeting we hugged each other, promising to continue to pray for our vocations!
There is definitely an awakening of young religious vocations in women in New Orleans, and although, currently, most young people who become priests or religious are typically in their thirties or older, it is likely that the roots of these [budding] vocations were established in their teens or even earlier. So we believe it is important to heed their concerns and provide support and accompaniment for these young women who dare to express what they feel their hearts.
May the Lord grant us many and holy vocations and that the garden that Mother Cabrini cultivated in the United States of America, continues to flourish, for us to continue being “Bearers of Christ in the world.” Please pray that we continue to “awaken the world” living our present with passion.
Since Pope Francis declared the Jubilee Year of Mercy which opened on December 8, 2015, around the world religious communities have been making this year truly extraordinary. Here are just a few of the ways men and women in consecrated life have been expressing the merciful dimension of God during this year:
- Religious communities have been using their websites and social media to communicate and convey the Christian concept of mercy. Facebook pages of religious congregations have carried inspirational messages and have suggested concrete actions to express and offer mercy.
- Religious congregations are hosting retreats, special days of prayer and reflections, and book discussions on the theme of mercy.
- Educational institutions sponsored by religious communities are discussing mercy, praying about it in classrooms and in chapels, and spearheading special works of mercy service projects.
- Many religious order priests have become “missionaries of mercy,” priests specially appointed by Pope Francis to be responsible for preaching, teaching and practicing mercy.
- Religious communities have ritually opened “holy doors of mercy” in their own chapels, shrines and holy places.
Pope Francis has encouraged all Catholics – ordained, religious and lay – to make a pilgrimage to a designated church or shrine to visit a “holy door of mercy” to better experience God’s mercy through the symbolism of crossing a threshold. There is still time – the Jubilee Year of Mercy will conclude on November 20, 2016. Holy Doors of Mercy have been designated at St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in New York City, Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, CO, and the National Shrine of St. Frances X. Cabrini in Chicago. ~ excerpts from VISION Vocation Guide