Pioneering and Dynamic
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
On November 13th we will celebrate the Feast Day of our Patroness St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, who was truly a pioneer in international missionary work and a dynamic role model to follow in the 21st century.
Mother Cabrini’s pioneering spirit was manifested early on, even before she founded the MSCs, as she grew in discernment, courage and energy, her capacity for relationship, her drive and tenacity. She learned early in her life how to deal with setbacks, blocks and frustrations: a gift she had learned from her deep and intimate prayer life and her loving relationship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her spouse and her model. She was a very passionate woman – passionate to help others, passionate in overcoming the difficulties which were always assailing her, passionate in deepening a gospel spirituality not only in her sisters but also in those to whom she and her sisters were ministering. Through the years, Mother Cabrini had become expert at handling struggles and adversities, always maintaining her peace and always alert to the needs of others, especially the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant. She had a far-sighted vision of mission and had planted her Institute in eight countries by the time she died [in 1917].
What was her secret? Where did all this energy and insight come from? From an early age, Frances knew how to immerse herself in the depths of the Heart of Jesus and Scripture. She took every problem she had to the Heart of Jesus who inevitably showed her his love for her, how to resolve her difficulties, what he wanted from her, and what her priorities had to be.
Mother Cabrini was always writing in her diary and we are so blessed to have these intimate glimpses into her heart and soul, her passion and energy, her love and zeal. She was truly “a contemplative missionary” and she encouraged all her sisters to be the same. Today that is the same challenge that is offered to every Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, every Cabrini Lay Missionary, every Cabrini collaborator and employee who is called to serve the Lord and his people with compassion and zeal, determination and farsightedness.
Let us continue to seek and establish new outlets for this passionate Cabrinian spirit throughout the world, bringing Mother Cabrini’s charism, not only where and how the Cabrinian Family is currently, but also to new spaces and new missions where together sisters and laity alike, can spread our charism and zeal to the people of God. What a blessing it is for us in the Cabrinian Family in the 21st century to have such a legacy, a far-sighted vision of mission “to the ends of the earth”! ~ Sister Patricia Spillane, MSC, General Superior 2008 – 2013
From the Foreword to St. Frances Cabrini, a Passionate Life by Mark Davis