Search among your acquaintances, among those who feel the desire to do something for God’s glory, good souls who want to become co-workers. St. Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians, assuring them of his fondness towards them for their unselfishness and called then co-workers for the spread of the Gospel.” – Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Mother Cabrini’s dynamic vision and missionary spirit began to attract followers, primarily women interested in religious life. But always, there were friends – women and men who understood and supported the mission and charism of Mother Cabrini and her followers.
In the earliest days of the Institute, Frances Cabrini depended on lay colleagues for moral and financial support. Sometimes, the very establishment of ministries depending upon the belief and good will of her lay collaborators.
For example, upon her arrival in New York, Mother Cabrini relied on the good will and connections of Countess di Cesnola to win the Archbishop’s blessing and support for the establishment of an orphanage. In another instance, Dona Elena Arellano, a woman from Nicaragua, donated her own house as a building for a convent school in Grenada, Nicaragua. And in Italy. Countess Guendalina della Somaglia organized fund raising activities to subsidize the housing of young Catholic women studying to become teachers.
As the number of friendships and sisters grew, the works grew. Buildings, institutions, employees, international networks – and all that concerns them – quickly followed. The importance of collaborative relationships increased.
Collaborative relationships remain important for the MSCs today.
Today, the witness of Mother Cabrini lives on in the Cabrinian Family, sisters and laity together, who continue to reach out to human suffering caused by egoism, abandonment, injustice, exploitation, desperation and disease The Cabrinian Family cotninues to accompany their brothers and sisters on their journey with the compassion and mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who embraces all and understands all.
As Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our life and spirit flow from this missionary identity expressed in prayer, community and in ministry. Every vowed member participates fully in this identity. At the same time, laity are invited and encouraged to share in this Cabrinian identity as Cabrini Lay Missionaries, Cabrini Companions, Cabrini Mission Corps missioners, collaborators and loyal friends. Together, we strive to live the gospel values which we learn from the life of Frances Cabrini.