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 program 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 the 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.