When Dr. Donald B. Taylor, President of Cabrini University, joined the Cabrini University community he brought with him great energy, new ways of thinking, and new traditions to be inaugurated. One such tradition is that of the Carry the Light ceremony which is held at the beginning of each academic year at the conclusion of the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The candlelight service honors the memory of members of the Cabrini University Community and the Missionary Sisters who have passed away during the previous year.
This year, the Mass of the Holy Spirit took place during a week in which there was much upheaval in the United States regarding the decision of the current administration in Washington to rescind DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an American immigration policy established by the Obama administration in June 2012. DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
Fr. Carl Janicki, Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain, began his homily by saying, “Over the weekend, in light of the pending DACA decision, I read this piece: ‘Oh, poor immigrants! Exploited many times by those who call themselves their protectors, they are all the more deceived by the very ones who know well how to cover their personal interests with the pretext of charity and love of country.
‘I used to see them on my visits to those beloved countrymen, managing the railroad lines in the most remote places in the mountains, miles and miles away from inhabited locations. They are separated many years from their families, removed from the Church and deprived of holy blessings, which Sunday Mass brings to the poor workers in our fields. We want our workers to be able to lay aside their hoes, dress in their Sunday best, devote their morning to attending Mass and listening to the homily of God. Then they have the entire day to devote to family and to honorable diversions and can, on the following day, resume work with a rejuvenated spirit.’” Good Christians and Good Citizens ~ Sr. Maria Barbagallo, MSC
. Carl continued, “Mother Cabrini wrote [these words] in 1906 about passing through and around Denver while riding on the Santa Fe Railway to Los Angeles. Care of migrants and refugees is in our DNA. Mother Cabrini has set the path, a way for us to imitate and advance her legacy. For Cabrini, the bar is set high and the expectation great because of the work of our namesake. We have to ask ourselves, how do I provide welcome and sustenance; charity and justice, love of God and neighbor? Now is our opportunity to follow Mother Cabrini’s example and advance her legacy.”