The world is too small to limit ourselves to one point; I want to embrace it entirely and to reach all its parts.” – Mother Cabrini to Monsignor Scalabrini, 1887
Beyond American Shores
The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus had been in America only two years. They were hardly well established and yet, Mother Cabrini sought to extend their missions to Latin America. Her objective was Nicaragua and in ensuing years, Argentina, where she opened a school, Colegio Santa Rosa, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
She returned to Europe and in 1898, she established a students’ residence in Paris and spent time exploring London with the prospect of founding a mission there. In 1899. she initiated a school in Madrid.
Expanding Horizons in the United States
At the turn of the 20th century, Mother Cabrini traveled to Chicago where there was a large Italian colony and established a parish school. From Chicago, she traveled to Scranton, Pennsylvania where the Italian immigrants asked for schools. From Scranton, she proceeded to Newark, New Jersey, where she accepted the task of establishing and running a parish school there.
She looked for solutions which would afford her the means to subsidize free schools. In Dobbs Ferry, New York, on the Hudson River, she founded Sacred Heart Villa, a school for daughters of now well-to-do Italian families who paid tuition, monies which, in turn, were utilized to fund the free schools.
Cabrini headed to the Rocky Mountains where a needy colony of Italian immigrants worked mostly in the mines under very harsh conditions. Her sisters staffed a parish school and later, an orphanage.
In 1903, Mother Cabrini traveled seven days by train from Chicago to Seattle where she founded a school and an orphanage for Italian immigrants. She dreamed of establishing missions in Alaska and had she lived longer, this may have come to pass. Her dream of going to China persisted throughout her life. Her works on the western coast of the United States brought her closer to the Far East, but she never did make it to China.
She extended her educational and childcare missions to California where there were settlements of Italian as well as Mexican immigrants. By September 1905, a school and an orphanage had been opened. Later, a preventorium for tubercular children, would be established in the Santa Monica Mountains north of the city.