Sometimes it’s hard to grasp how incredibly difficult life was for the Italian immigrants Mother Cabrini came to serve. In 1889 orphans slept in the streets. Decrepit tenements teemed with families and vermin. Parents worked 12-hour days in dangerous jobs. There were few workplace safety regulations, no social safety net,…

From Mother Cabrini: Italian Immigrant of the Century by Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC Frances Cabrini approached the twilight of her life of loving service and dedication persistent in her missionary efforts. In 1915 she set out for Seattle, where she had to face many difficulties in her efforts to establish…

Sixty-one years ago today (the 19th fell on a Saturday in 1959, too) dozens of clergy, multitudes of Missionary Sisters, a judge, the captain of the 34th Precinct, and various others including “an author of Marian plays and filmstrips” gathered for the consecration of the main altar of the brand-new…

December of 1900 found Mother Cabrini traveling from Genoa to Buenos Aires aboard the steamship Alfonso XIII. As usual, she wrote regularly to the Sisters while she was at sea. Her letters contain a mix of spiritual advice and delightful travel tidbits. Her entry for December 4 provides news about…

Mother Cabrini took the name Xavier when she became a religious on October 15, 1874. Her dream since childhood was to become a missionary like the great Francis Xavier.  On December 3, 1900, aboard a ship from Genoa to Buenos Aires, she wrote the following to the Missionary Sisters: “Saint…

In September of 1899, Mother Cabrini purchased property at 701 Fort Washington Avenue. The land overlooked the majestic Hudson River and offered serenity, good air, and proximity to the city. She immediately re-named the estate Sacred Heart Villa. Bustling with life, Sacred Heart Villa served as a reception house for…

It’s easy to feel disconnected or unsettled when we’re unable to live life as usual. Mother Cabrini’s wisdom in this letter written in 1894 aboard the ship Fulda offers a refreshing perspective when we’re feeling at sea. “The sisters, remembering that today is the anniversary of my profession, were sad…

A few weeks ago I discovered a nondescript 3-ring binder in a corner of my office closet. As I opened it my heart skipped a beat: inside were pages and pages of yellowed newspaper clippings. Some were from 1938, describing Mother Cabrini’s beatification. Others were from 1946, covering her canonization….

© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.
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