Most Rev. Fernand Cheri, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans was a guest speaker on August 10th during Cabrini High School’s Faculty and Staff Orientation for the 2020-2021 school year. He spoke about the problem of racism and what the Catholic Church can do to help during these challenging times. He titled his talk “Let the Church Roll On.” His presentation led to many interesting questions and open, honest discussions amongst everyone. The faculty and staff were delighted to hear him say Cabrini High School is the most diverse school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Cabrini of Westchester celebrated the 170th birthday of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini with several festive activities for both residents and staff. A special Mass, with live music, took place in the St. Cabrini Nursing Home Chapel and was televised throughout the nursing home for the residents to participate from their rooms.
A rolling ice cream cart delivered a tasty treat for residents and staff to satisfy sweet cravings! As an added touch, gift cards were raffled off to staff on each shift from a donation previously given in honor of employees.
A display in the lobby provided everyone the opportunity to give Mother Cabrini a gift on her birthday, either a monetary one or a donation of non-perishable food, which will be delivered to the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry of which many of Cabrini Immigrant Services’ clients benefit. A box of food was collected and $200.00 in donations were received that will benefit many families in our community. Thank you to all that participated and contributed to this happy day!
Many teens have been unable to make their long awaited Kairos Retreat in the spring and summer. While there is no way to replace the 4-day retreat experience, Cabrini Retreat Center in Des Plaines, IL, has been able to offer “virtual sacred space” as a way to keep the spirit of Kairos (which means God’s time) alive.
Today’s youth have grown up communicating through social media, which is a blessing in this era of physical social distancing. Teens now experience a much needed “Cabrini welcome” in a new form.
Cabrini Sisters and friends are welcome to view posts and encouraged to “like us” Posts can be found on Instagram at @cabriniretreatcenter and on Facebook at Cabrini Retreat Center Kairos Connections.
Below is a sample posting:
Cabrini Retreat Center Kairos Connections
Published by Frances Cabrini · July 8 ·
“Not only did Cabrini house me for 3 1⁄2 days, it changed my life. That building allows for exponential growth amongst groups of teenagers, and it begins to feel like a second home. Cabrini is staffed with very welcoming staff members who will go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable while you stay there! On my Kairos retreat, I was given the opportunity to grow closer with people in my grade, and I wouldn’t have had time to do that if it wasn’t for Cabrini opening their doors to us. Each and every moment at Cabrini felt like
a different universe; the air truly is better at Cabrini.”
“In its ministry to young people, and especially in vocations promotion work, church workers must step out of the sacristy and take seriously the questions and concerns of the young.
Young people are searching for meaning, and the best response is to go out to where they are, stop and listen to them and then call them to follow Jesus”.
~ Pope Francis
The Holy Spirit Community in Denver had a beautiful vocational experience in our Mother Cabrini Shrine on Sunday, July 19, 2020. It was a “Come and See” experience in which eleven young women whom have expressed to Sr. Martha Lopez, MSC their desire and their thoughts about the possibility of religious life. They came to dedicate a day to the discernment of their vocation.
After living the Eucharist together, the young women had spaces for personal reflection, silence, and solitude. There were also moments to share their doubts, expectations, and concerns.
MSC Vocation Director Sister Lucy Panettieri, MSC shared her own vocation story in a youthful and open way. The young ladies had many questions and all were discussed and answered. They were happy and excited and asked to make a weekend “Come and See” in the near future. In addition, they were invited to come to our house to speak personally with Sr. Lucy and receive close vocational support from her. Our novice, Tigist Loha, shared her lunch hour with them since she was working in the Shrine that day. She integrated herself spontaneously, which encouraged and motivated our young women.
Let us continue to pray for these young women and for all those who are discerning their religious vocation. Let us remember what was said in the Synod of Bishops on youth and vocations: “It is necessary to accompany young people, walk with them, listen to them, provoke them, move them to go beyond the comforts, favoring freedom so that they respond to the call of the Lord freely and responsibly”.
Magical Moments are taking place at Cabrini of Westchester! Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the month of July, family members are able to make an appointment to see their loved ones through the window up close and personal, while speaking via iPads from either side of the door.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the regulations put into place by the New York State Department of Health, visitors have not been allowed to enter St. Cabrini Nursing Home since March. Although regular updates have been given to all families since the pandemic began, and many have had the opportunity to FaceTime with the residents, these Magical Moments have been so special because the residents are able to see and communicate with their loved ones in person – something they haven’t been able to do for nearly four months!
The residents and families have been grateful to all the staff who make these reunions possible. We look forward to the day when these families move on from virtual hugs to actual hugs! That day can’t come soon enough!
~ Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service
On July 14, the Trump administration rescinded a rule it announced eight days ago that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, the decision was announced at the beginning of a Boston hearing in a federal lawsuit against the rule by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). U. S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said federal immigration authorities had agreed to rescind the directive and “return to the status quo.”
U.S. Catholic college and university leaders had joined the nation’s higher education community in condemning the policy that would have prevented international students from remaining in or coming to the United States if their colleges used a completely online format in the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary final rule – guidance for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program – was issued without notice on July 6 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Two days later, Harvard University and MIT filed a lawsuit against the administration seeking a temporary order to block the administration from enforcing it.
The lawsuit said the goal of the new guidance seemed to be to “create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible.”
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, or ACCU, said the government’s decision is “not only bad health policy, it is heartless.”
“Allowing all students, regardless of country of origin, to be given equal access to online learning is the fair, sensible and moral thing to do. We can keep students safe and keep these young people on track,” the July 8 statement said.
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities or AJCU, similarly expressed “grave concern” about this guidance and [had] asked Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to withdraw it immediately.
The ACCU, whose members are leaders from Catholic colleges and universities across the country, said to send the international students “home, without a degree, would force them to start their lives over simply because a university is trying to keep its faculty and students safe as contagion levels continue to be unpredictable.” To read the entire article click here
President Donald Trump is expected to refile paperwork during the second week of July to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, follow the Supreme Court ruling that his administration went about trying to end the program the wrong way.
The day after the court’s June 18 DACA ruling, the president vowed to do something about it and tweeted he would submit “enhanced papers” to comply with requirements to end DACA.
court’s combined decision on three separate appellate court rulings that blocked Trump’s order to stop DACA basically left the program in place – protecting recipients from deportation and enabling them to still receive benefits such as work authorization – while emphasizing the president went about rescinding the program in the wrong way.
Catholic leaders who work on immigration issues right away predicted the president would continue his efforts to end DACA, staring with refiling the paperwork to do so in a way that complied with the high court’s requirements.
The process will “likely immediately be mired in litigation,” said Ashley Feasley, director of policy for Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Ilisa Mira, an attorney with the office of Catholic Legal Immigration Network or CLINIC, similarly said Trump could issue a new memo that she said would satisfy what the Supreme Court was looking for but would “bring up more litigation”.
Another possible path, she said, would be for the Department of Homeland Security to issue a regulation affecting the program that would need a notice and comment period and could take months to complete.
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said the government failed to give acceptable reasons for ending DACA.
Immigration advocates like Feasley and Mira, are urging DACA supporters to push the Senate for legislation that would give DACA recipients and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) a path toward citizenship. “We can’t let the Senate get a pass,” said Feasley.
To read the complete article click here
Mother Frances X. Cabrini was, without a doubt one of the great navigators of her time, always sailing between one wave and another, in search of refugees in order to show them the way to a better land: the Kingdom of God.
As a child, Mother Cabrini was already dreaming of traveling to distant places, missionary lands beyond the seas to minister to the immigrants, the marginalized, the poor and the desperate.
Despite much hostility, Francesca strove to follow her difficult and noble ideal: to extend the Kingdom of God to be God’s co-worker in the wonderful work of the salvation of souls. This great dream led her, over the course of years, to undertake numerous journeys around the world, driven by the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all those abandoned people and immigrants – who through circumstances known and unknown had wandered far from Him.
Mother Cabrini herself was amazed at how the Heart of Jesus worked through her since she considered herself “a poor instrument in His hands” and said, “the Heart of Jesus goes so fast and does so many things that I can barely keep up with Him.” This gives a glimpse of her intimate relationship with Jesus which led her, guided her, motivated her and gave success to her undertakings.
From the moment of the approval of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters on March 12, 1888, the missionary and apostolic activity of Mother Cabrini assumed a dizzying rhythm that never ceased. Jesus strengthened her to cross the ocean many times in order to announce to everyone, in words and deeds, how great is His love for every human being.
Her charity knew no limits. Whenever she saw a person in need, she stopped and approached the person with love and tenderness.
The work of Mother Cabrini is nearing 150 years of history. Her life and work are not static, but dynamic and constantly expanding through the spiritual, apostolic and missionary actions of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and their lay collaborators.
~ excerpts from Frances Cabrini, Remembering the Journey
~ by Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service
A report by the Washington-based Refugees International organization charges U.S. immigration policy with [exacerbating] the spread of the coronavirus in Guatemala, as federal agencies in the U.S. and Mexico have repatriated infected Guatemalans through deportations.
In “Harmful Returns: The Compounded Vulnerabilities of Returned Guatemalans in the Time of COVID-19,” a report released on June 23, Refugees International urges that Guatemalans seeking refuge be allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S., instead of being turned over to Mexican authorities or repatriated, and that they be allowed to go with U.S. sponsors while they wait for their day in immigration court.
But U.S. policies such as the “Remain in Mexico” program, also called the Migrant Protection Protocols or MPP, which asks those seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico until a U.S. immigration court can adjudicate their case, have led to the eventual return home of many Guatemalans and other Central Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Guatemalan officials halted flights carrying deportees into the country, saying that at least 20% of its COVID-19 cases had resulted from deportees who contracted the virus in U.S. detention centers. Citing those figures, Refugees International said once they were returned to Guatemala, deportees tested positive for COVID-19, “despite having clean bill of health documents from the United States.”
And, once they return to Guatemala, they were met with stigma, lack of jobs and still facing dangerous conditions in addition to having contracted the virus, the group says.
“These measures force home many Guatemalans with valid refugee claims who are at risk of persecution upon return,” the group said. “Others have legitimate fears for their security and safety when they get home because returnees are at greater risk of becoming targets of violence and extortion.
“Once back, Guatemalans often struggle to reintegrate. They face unique challenges in earning a livelihood; and women, indigenous groups and children face particular barriers to accessing many basic public services. Also, healthcare is lacking, particularly for psychological or specialized services.”
The main concern is that people seeking refuge in the U.S., including children, are exposed to unsafe conditions during detention and then turned away or put in conditions that risk their health and their lives while in custody.
The organization has recommended testing prior to deportation as well as testing once the returnees arrive, saying a lack of such measures puts those deported and the general population at risk. Deported Guatemalans return only to face hunger, a stagnant economy, and restrictions on their movement.
This weekend, on July 4th, those of us in the Cabrinian community who are in the United States
will be observing Independence Day, a national holiday.
At this unprecedented time in our world and in our nation’s history we pray:
God of justice and Lord of all, you guide all of creation with fatherly care.
On this Independence Day, we recall the day when our country
took its place among the family of nations.
You reveal that those who work for peace will be called
your daughters and sons.
Continue to send your Spirit to touch the hearts and minds
of all who cherish the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As you have called us to be one nation, grant that under
your providence our country may share your blessings
with all the peoples of the earth.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus bless you, your loved ones
and all those who believe in the promise of peace and good will.
~ Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacred Heart Monastery