After long-standing service at Cabrini Health, Australia and the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Chicago, respectively, Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC and Sr. Bridget Zanin, MSC are now beginning new ministries.
Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC
The following are remarks that Sr. Sharon Casey, MSC shared with the Cabrini Health community:
Greetings during this Advent, Christmas and Hanukkah season!
I’d like to say thank you for your warm welcome to me in 2009 upon my arrival here at a medical facility across the earth! It definitely was a daunting experience. However, your excitement and demonstration of the Cabrinian values which I sensed immediately was heartening.
Your encouragement and support bolstered my determination to fulfil the mission God called me to do in Melbourne.
During these years, a message arose within me, saying, ‘remember who you are’. It was clear, stirring and helped me often to re-ground myself. This message made me pause amid the dizzying pace and consider my roots, beliefs, manner of being and interacting. It gave me the opportunity to remember those upon whose shoulders I stand.
This message was a gift from God. I often remind myself with the grace of God, of who I am, where I’ve come from, and the values that shaped me. These moments, made me conscious of the strong pull from society to become truly self-centered.
I encourage you to remember who you are as a member of the Cabrinian community whether you’ve been here for 30 years or three months. I encourage you to remember the commitment that you made to be faithful to our Ethic of Care when you came here.
When social media and society lure you into believing in acting in another way, I encourage you to go and spend some time by the sculpture that was designed and made over a number of years due to the COVID pandemic.
The sculpture VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini is a memorial of thanks to the sisters who first came here, carrying the spirit of Mother Cabrini and each of you who have made Cabrini what it has become thus far.
When you need encouragement, consider going out and sitting by this sculpture, helping you remember who you are.
On behalf of all my Sisters of the Sacred Heart throughout the world and our lay collaborators and partners, I thank you for your efforts to work according to the Cabrinian values, Ethic of Care, and legacy.
Sr Sharon Casey, MSC – December 2022 To view a video of Sr. Sharon’s sharing her message: https://vimeo.com/780550489/e1cd1d118c
Sr. Bridget Zanin, MSC
Bridget Zanin, MSC, joined the Cabrini University community on Tuesday, November 29. She has served as a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) since 1962. As a teenager in Brazil, she was called on a spiritual path that led her from her home to the United States Midwest and eventually Radnor, PA. Get to know Sister Bridget through the Q&A below. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity. ~ submitted by Matt Nestor, Cabrini University
What are your first impressions since arriving here at Cabrini University?
Sister Bridget: The campus is beautiful. I feel a little bit isolated because I’m so used to living in a city where you step out and can go anywhere and do anything. Here, you need a car.
Which city were you in before you arrived here?
SB: Chicago. I was the Director of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago. I was at the Shrine for 10 years. And before that, I was in the city of Des Plaines [Illinois]. I was working as a chaplain at the Holy Family Hospital. And, before that I worked at Mercy Family Hospital in Chicago.
What kinds of service did you do there and elsewhere?
SB: My first profession was as a nurse. I worked as an ICU nurse in medical/surgical. It was kind of getting heavier and heavier, so I went in to chaplaincy so I could talk to patients and their families. Having the nursing background, being a chaplain I think was a blessing for me, because I could understand the patient’s diagnosis—what they were going through. I could talk to them not as a nurse, but as a chaplain.
You grew up in Brazil, correct?
SB: Yes, I was born in Brazil. My grandparents migrated from Venice, Italy to Brazil where they worked very hard to get themselves through a hard time. They moved there during the Second World War, when people were moving out to look for a better life. So, they struggled a lot. But, I see now their struggles were not in vain, because I see now my family are in good positions. I have a judge, two lawyers, and a doctor in the family.
How did you choose religious life?
SB: I always felt a call. I used to go and pray every day. I had two other friends and they wanted to go [to the convent]. Two months later, my dad rented a car and took us to the convent. I was only 15. Can you imagine? Then, we did our profession and took our vows. And, I was missioned to the United States.
Obviously, you are a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an order founded by Mother Cabrini. What does it mean to you to come here to Cabrini University, the only Cabrinian University in the world?
SB: I think it’s very special. And, the people who I have met so far, they’re so nice. I had a passion for the [Shrine] that I was at, and seeing that the people here have the same values and are part of the Cabrini family, has encouraged me to keep on giving and do whatever I can.
What attracted you to the MSCs?
SB: It was their simplicity and their faith. I like simplicity. I knew nothing about Mother Cabrini but they gave us books to read. And, the more I read, I saw she had this big devotion to the Sacred Heart. She kept saying the Sacred Heart is the fountain of all virtues.
What do you hope to accomplish here at Cabrini, and what do you hope to send students out in the world with?
SB: If I can make a difference in someone’s life, this life will go on to make a difference in the world. I feel that we all have a mission. Sometimes, people think they have to have a vocation to do the mission. No, you don’t. Life is an attitude. So, we can have a positive attitude—a faith attitude. I have my certificate in spiritual direction and I’m also a chaplain. And, I was a nurse. I am hoping to bring these skills to my present mission, everywhere I go and in everything that I do. I hope I can make a difference in campus life. To read the full interview with Sr. Bridget, please click here