The Mother Cabrini First Class Relic has been restored and preserved by Sara Moy, a certified conservator. On November 5th, the relic, the right humerus bone of Mother Cabrini, was returned to the newly refurbished reliquary in the Shrine altar. On Mother Cabrini’s Feast Day, Wednesday, November 13, the restored relic which had long been in the altar of the chapel of the former Columbus Hospital, received a special blessing from the Most Reverend Raymond E. Goedert, DD. at the 4 p.m. Mass at the Shrine
November 13, 2019
Dear Sisters and those co-responsible with us in Mission,
[Yesterday] we celebrated the Feast of Mother Cabrini. In these recent days I have had various experiences which have touched my heart and soul – a gift of Jesus and Mother Cabrini on her feast
• ➢ I listened to a webinar from an organization called “No more deaths” during which they spoke of a member of the organization who was being charged with a felony simply because he provided compassionate care to two undocumented migrants he discovered in the desert. I asked myself: What has become to the moral fabric of the USA that we would criminalize compassion?
• ➢ I listened to Sr. Yolanda, MSC who returned from a meeting in Matamoros, Mexico of those organizations who give assistance to migrants along the USA-Mexico Border. My heart was filled with hope as I heard of the generous service of so many volunteers and organizations who day by day offer care and compassion to our suffering brothers and sisters. My heart was also full of deep sadness that the immigration policies of the USA have created a humanitarian crisis for hundreds perhaps thousands of men, women and children who are stranded along the Mexican border. They are living in tents, inhumane conditions, without adequate food or health care. The tragedy is the number of children! They can’t go forward and they have no money to go back home! At that moment we made a decision to try to partner with one organization who is providing much needed help.
➢ Yesterday, Sr. Antonina, Sr. Pietrina and myself joined staff and clients from CIS of NYC, together with the New York Immigration Coalition, to go to Washington, D.C. to stand in solidarity with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) young adult recipients as they persevered in their struggle to gain a path to citizenship. We also met a group from Cabrini University!
For years this group of young people have lived in constant uncertainty that their status would change and they could be deported. The persistent hope and courage of those who are DACA recipients as well as those who fight for their cause was an incredible witness. Once again, the question surfaced in me: How is it that a nation formed and built by immigrants is now so closed to immigrants?
➢ Finally, today I listened to a webinar offered by the UISG (International Union of General Superiors) which shared the challenges, vision and horizon of CLAR (Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious) for consecrated religious life for the years 2018-2021. There were many themes that confirmed our Provincial Chapter outcomes. What touched my heart was the vital call to be witnesses of Communion and Hope based on our belief in Jesus and to continue to live with enthusiasm the gift of our consecrated life as missionary disciples. We are further called to weave relationships that foster communion, reconciliation, inclusivity, and compassion. Finally, we are called to renew our option for the vulnerable and excluded of our world. For those who understand Spanish, I encourage you to go to www.clar.org and look under “Horizonte Inspirador” for more resources around these themes.
As I live these various moments, I find myself called to conversion. It is not enough for me to see or to hear/listen but my heart must be “moved to compassion” and action. Going to Washington, D.C. was one small action but I and we are called daily to go out of ourselves in love. When we go out the door of our room, our heart, our minds let us be credible witnesses – missionary disciples of God’s love in the world. If we do this – we give honor to God and honor the memory of Mother Cabrini.
Happy Feast Day!
United in the Heart of our loving God!
Sr. Diane Olmstead, MSC , Provincial, Guadalupe Province
November 13, 2019
The Sister with the Suitcase
~excerpts from an article by Lucetta Scaraffia
This fragile, determined woman from the Lombardy region traveled extensively, having dedicated her life to helping the Italian immigrants who, filled with hope, made the trip to America. Francesca Cabrini had received this mission from Pope Leo III and to serve them, became an immigrant among immigrants.
She left Genoa with seven [of her Missionary] Sisters in 1889, unfamiliar with the sea, exactly like most of the women and men packed into Third Class, and during the crossing she began to comprehend the appalling conditions in which immigrants lived. Like them, she thought she would find a warm welcome and assistance when she arrived in New York, but bitter disappointment was what she found.
The Scalabrini Fathers, who awaited her arrival, told her they had not expected her so soon and that they had not yet prepared their accommodation. The next day, having rested in appallingly filthy conditions in a [rooming house], she went to see Archbishop Corrigan, where she discovered that the situation was even worse. The prelate ordered them to go back on the same ship that brought them. [Mother Cabrini refused.
This experience only confirmed to Francesca Cabrini that the presence of her mission here was necessity. Like other immigrants, without anyone to protect her and without knowing a word of English, she went to work immediately to find a dignified headquarters and wealthy supporters who would finance her schools and orphanages, even if she had to come up against enormous difficulties. Nothing seemed to work out the way it should have and everything seemed to conspire against her projects. But, because of this, she was able to see the difficulties and disappointments she encountered not so much as obstacles, but as spiritual tests to purify her intent and provide sound and solid foundations for her work.
She moved in two directions: visiting the poor and understanding their needs on the one hand, and seeking to understand American society with focused meetings on the other. Whether in mines or prisons, Mother Cabrini was not afraid to send her Missionary Sisters, armed only with their charity for protection, to terrible places where few women would have dared to go. With gentleness, and patient and sincere interest in their souls, their purpose was to provide dignity and hope to those fringes of desperate people for whom emigration had been a failure.
~ from 100 Years of Cabrinian Mission
On September 15, our training meeting in Codogno began, with the joy of fulfilling one of the great dreams of my life: Deepen the life, charism and spirituality of Saint Francisca Javier Cabrini in this sacred place of the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Since our arrival, the warm welcome of the sisters, the details of the room and the different spaces of the house communicated to us the affection and delicacy with which Sr. Gilda Mendoza, Sr. Maria Regina Canale, Mother Maria Barbagallo and Sr. Lucy Panettieri had prepared This experience for us. So, in the joy of being in this place, from the encounter with the sisters I set out to enter into this history and spirituality that is my story and my spirituality a great gift that I have received as an inheritance.
The theme of these days has been: “Living the Spirituality of Saint Francisca Cabrini today”. From the first day, Mother María Barbagallo emphasized the anthropological importance of having a defined identity in each person since that depends on the continuity and permanence in her personal choice. Who I am? It is a question that must be answered in each person. We were invited to see the MSC as a great orchestra in which each member has an important role and mission, no matter how simple and imperceptible it may be. The sisters wanted to take us to deepen the charism of the Institute to confirm and value it in the vocation in each one.
During these three weeks we have contemplated wonderful historical events of the life of Saint Francisca Cabrini, his process of biological, psychic, intellectual and spiritual growths that integrated the Woman, saint, founder of our institute. His value system, his missionary ideal, his relationship with Jesus.
I have enjoyed watching Mother Cabrini with her gifts, virtues and weaknesses, changes of route, but it is even more beautiful to perceive how Mother Cabrini joined her dreams with other MSCs, formed them, prepared her, entrusted her and made the story of our institute, this story that makes humanity notice in its successes and failures, in its defects and sins. It is a story sustained by the spirituality of the heart of Jesus and made a mission in that same love of Christ to humanity.
Given the difficulty of describing the richness and joy of these days I can say that I have found what I was looking for: to deepen this story, this spirituality to discover some tools that can serve as a point of support for living with greater depth and coherence my consecration and identity Cabrinian Missionary. With certainty this time has been like a mirror in which I have found details in which I can feel proud but also details that I must retake, remove or begin to live.
Upon reaching the end of our process in Codogno I have in my mind and in my heart the pleasure of having walked through these corridors of the house, of having spoken with Mother Cabrini in the vicinity of her heart, in her room, of walking the streets who saw her grow up and the neighbors who greeted us with the love of their saint’s daughters. The happiness of having found the smile of the sisters’ joy, the sanctity in the gestures, words and advice of Mother Lina Colombini and Mother Maria Barbagallo, the loving revelations of Sr. Gilda to have us all soon and the brightness of Sister’s eyes Lucy Panettiery of watching us enjoy and learn. I thank the general council and our provinces for allowing us to enjoy this experience and trust that we can infect and affect the rest of the institute in the different countries to which we are going. Greetings to each sister who has been on the mission holding and managing situations so that we are here.
May the heart of Jesus and Mother Cabrini give us the wisdom and grace to discover the best way to continue giving glory to God in this historical moment of provincial chapters that prepare us for the General Chapter.
Sr. Sonnia Osorio MSC
BY ARMANDO MACHADO, Catholic New York
At St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, July 13 was a day for two Masses in two languages, with one message: the Church in New York reaffirmed its commitment to immigrant rights and demanded “fair and just” treatment of immigrants on a weekend of federal arrests of undocumented immigrants in New York and other cities across the United States.
“With the difficulties and the tensions and the challenges that we’re facing, this would be a good time to thank God for her (Mother Cabrini’s) example, and to seek her intercession for justice and charity,” said Cardinal Dolan, the principal celebrant, in his homily during a noon Mass celebrating the 169th anniversary of Mother Cabrini’s birth on July 15, 1850. She is the patron saint of immigrants.
“Mother Cabrini took literally God’s Holy Word…She realized fully that Abraham was an immigrant, Abraham was a refugee,” the cardinal said. “Mother also took to heart the great commandment of Jesus, love of God and love of neighbor, and the parable of the Good Samaritan…We keep the spirit of Mother Cabrini alive.”
“Happy 169th, Mother Cabrini. That’s pretty old; but in this city and this archdiocese, you are ever young.”
The cardinal noted Mother Cabrini’s tireless devotion to the many people coming to New York from Italy, her native land. “Today, she would be there in the front lines (for all immigrants); her work still goes on through the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” he said.
The cardinal reiterated his grave concerns over federal immigration raids in a short news conference after Mass, at one point with visible anger and sorrow.
“People who are trying to obey the law, and trying to get their documents in order, are so afraid and so confused that they don’t know what to do, and this isn’t right, this isn’t good,” he told reporters, citing fluctuating immigration laws and policies.
“We all know that hundreds of thousands of immigrants are living a moment of terror and anguish and fear,” said Father Ambiorix Rodriguez, pastor of St. Elizabeth parish in Washington Heights, in his homily during a 2 p.m. Spanish Mass which he celebrated. That Mass also honored Mother Cabrini.
“That is why today we are in solidarity, in action and in prayer, for each one of them…And we ask that the repression stops, the repression of our undocumented brothers and sisters. Every person has dignity, a dignity that is inviolable and given by God.”
After the Spanish Mass, Father Rodriguez participated in a Neighborhood Procession for Immigrant Rights; the procession route included Cabrini Boulevard. Father Rodriguez was a concelebrant in the earlier Mass.
Cardinal Dolan, at the news conference, told reporters, “Our (immigrant) brothers and sisters—they are scared, really scared.” He noted that one parish priest in the archdiocese told him last week that his parishioners were concerned about leaving home and attending Mass because of the planned federal raids.
“That’s how scared some people are,” the cardinal said. “And I’m just hoping that this Mass and the presence of the Church, and the assurances that I’m giving now, will let them know that they’re not alone. Jesus is with them, and the Church with them…We’re hiking up our efforts.”
With the cardinal was Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of archdiocesan Catholic Charities, who was one of the Mass concelebrants with Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh.
“We know that so many of our neighbors are frightened and they feel threatened,” Msgr. Sullivan told the journalists. “And so we have our counselors, our attorneys who are available this entire weekend at both the New York State New American Hotline and the New York City Action Hotline, so people can call and they’ll get good, accurate, prompt information about how to respond to any threats that they may fear…We believe in abiding by the law, but we don’t believe in abusing the law.
“So we want people to exercise their rights…They do not have to respond unless (agents) have the proper documents,” Msgr. Sullivan said. Extra people were manning the hotlines last weekend, he noted.
Sister Catherine Garry, M.S.C., from the Lower Manhattan convent of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was founded by Mother Cabrini, spoke toward the end of the English-language Mass. She expressed gratitude to all who support her congregation’s mission in advocating for immigrants.
Sister Yolanda Flores, M.S.C, who is from the same convent, spoke at the end of the Spanish Mass, thanking all who work to assure immigrants know their rights and can rely on the Church for help.
In interviews with Catholic New York after the Spanish Mass, several attendees spoke of their thankfulness for the Mass celebrations and the procession, and for the Church’s advocacy for immigrants through Catholic Charities, Cabrini Immigrant Services and other Church organizations.
Among them was Maria Caguana, 35, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception in Astoria, Queens. She is from Ecuador and is in the process of obtaining U.S. permanent resident status.
“It was beautiful,” she told CNY of the Spanish Mass and homily. “I am here to pray, to pray for my family, to our Lord and Our Mother.”
Manuel Dutan, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens, and Ruth Ovalle, a parishioner of St. John-Visitation parish in the Bronx, both said they are immigrants who have documented status in the United States. Dutan is originally from Ecuador and Ms. Ovalle from the Dominican Republic. In separate interviews, they said they attended the Cabrini Mass as a strong show of support for immigrants seeking such status.
“I am here for the Mass, for Mother Cabrini and the procession on this beautiful day,” Ms. Ovalle said. “I am here to demonstrate my support for all immigrants, and to pray that the Lord opens doors for them.”
New York State New American Hotline: 1(800) 566-7636, and New York City Action Hotline, 1 (800) 354-0365.
~by Katie Honan, WALL STREET JOURNAL
Across New York City, there are nearly 150 statues that honor men and just five dedicated to women.
A citywide initiative plans to shift the ratio and will start with a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman in the U.S., who represented New York’s 12 congressional district which at the time was centered in Brooklyn.
The statue honoring Ms. Chisholm who ran for president in 1972, is the first selected through a city-led initiative called She Built NYC, which was created to commission a public monument or piece of art that honors women’s history.
In June, the city asked New Yorkers to submit nominations of inspirational and influential women. They received 326 eligible nominations representing a diverse list of women, from celebrities to schoolteachers to suffragettes.
The woman who received the most nominations through She Built NYC was St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, known as Mother Cabrini, who founded the Missionary Sisters and was a supporter of Italian immigrants. Author and activist Jane Jacobs came in second, and Ms. Chisholm came in third. [Read more…]
Today is the Feast Day of Mother Cabrini. It is the day on which celebrations will take place throughout the Institute.
One hundred years after her death, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, still keeps watch at Cabrini High School. Her presence has been highlighted in a permanent exhibit of her life in New Orleans on the school’s Esplanade Avenue campus.
The idea for the exhibit dawned on Jack Truxillo when he became president of Cabrini High School a few years ago and he realized that many of Mother Cabrini’s artifacts were scattered around campus.
A more fitting home was in order, he though considering the contributions St. Cabrini had made in the lives of so many through her establishment of orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics worldwide.
Truxillo chose a little-used room overlooking Esplanade Avenue and began in late 2016 assembling the pieces which were relics since she either touched or wore them. A timeline of her life was written and the room was formally unveiled on March 13 at a benefactors’ reception.
Among Mother Cabrini’s relics are her habit, cape, umbrella and shoes, a head garment and veil, a fan, a desk statue, rosary, reading glasses, sewing scissors, pocket watch, personal prayer cards, a Canal Louisiana Bank & Trust Company bank book, and an orphanage checkbook signed by Mother Cabrini.
It’s very special and an honor to have these artifacts of a saint who actually stayed, prayed and ministered in this very building,” Truxillo said. “Ourstudents, faculty, staff and administration get to experience this every day, and we want to share it with
To read the entire article: https://clarionherald.org/2018/05/03/tribute-room-to-mother-cabrini-open-to-public/
~ by Christine Bordelon of the Clarion Herald
St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in New York City rang with the voices of friends, volunteers and Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who gathered to celebrate the end of Mother Cabrini’s Centennial year. On December 16, sisters from Cabrini missions in Argentina, Central America, Australia, and all over the Eastern United States gathered in Cabrini Shrine Chapel, greeting each other with open arms, wide smiles and many stories of their ministry around the world.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan officiated at the Mass in both English and Spanish. During the Mass, Cardinal Dolan said of Mother Cabrini, “We love her. We need her. We thank God for her… She herself became an immigrant, in search of the immigrant.”
The centennial theme song from Argentina, “¡Y Emprendemos un Viaje!” and the Cabrini Shrine song, “Go Where I Send You” were loudly sung by the happy congregation.
The immigrant community that joined with the sisters for the mass was encouraged and uplifted by their continued commitment to the work that Mother Cabrini began among us so long ago.
It was a glorious day.
Here is a link to the story in Catholic New York:
Photo credit: Anthony Jalondi
On December 22, 2017, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passing into eternal life of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini.
“Mother Cabrini had a dream and a passion. She desired to spread the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the whole world. Today the Missionary Sisters along with our lay partners in mission and with the people of God who share in the grace of this special charism continue to live this dream.
“This celebration of the Centenary of Mother Cabrini’s death most deeply invites all of us to assure that her missionary dream lives on into the future. As we look to the future we must have the courage to continue to make Christ’s love concrete to all the ends of the earth, especially to the poorest people who have become discarded by the privileged in our various societies, and to whom no one else wants to go.
“We will continue to live Mother Cabrini’s dream by staying deeply rooted in our love for the Heart of Jesus, through prayer and attentive discipleship to the Gospel, and by giving our very lives in mission so that others might have life.” ~ Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC, General Superior, Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus