Friday, November 13, 2009





(VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "This morning the Holy Father received in audience Gordon Bajnai, prime minister of the Republic of Hungary. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "In the course of the cordial discussions - having recalled how the bilateral agreements signed over recent years have ratified reciprocal relations - attention turned to certain questions concerning the rapport between the ecclesial and civil communities, and the importance was underlined of continuing dialogue through the appropriate bodies. An exchange of opinions also took place on the current international situation, including the financial crisis in the light of 'Caritas in veritate', and mention was made of the Hungarian presidency of the European Union, due for the first six months of 2011".OP/AUDIENCE/HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIS 091113 (170)

COR UNUM: ANNOUNCING THE GOSPEL AND SERVING MANKIND VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", the president of which is Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, were received in audience this morning by the Holy Father, who thanked them for their "valuable service to the charitable activities of the Church". In his address the Pope explained how the mission of "Cor Unum" involves "a constant tension between two poles: announcement of the Gospel and concern for the heart of man in the environments in which he lives". And he recalled how this year two ecclesial events had highlighted these aspects, "the publication of the Encyclical 'Caritas in vritate', and the celebration of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on reconciliation, justice and peace. "From different but converging points of view, these events underlined how the Church, in her announcement of salvation, cannot overlook the real living conditions of the human beings to whom she has been sent", the Holy Father added. "It was precisely through such an awareness that, over the centuries, many ecclesial structures and activities came into being with the aim of promoting individuals and peoples. They have made, and continue to make, an irreplaceable contribution to the growth and the harmonious and integral development of human beings". "It is in this light that we must consider the Church's commitment to the development of a more just society, one in which the rights of individuals and peoples are recognised and respected. ... It is certainly not the Church's task to intervene directly in the political life of States, but the Christian community cannot and must not remain at the margins when it comes to defending human rights and promoting justice". Benedict XVI went on: "Faith is a spiritual force that purifies reason in the search for a just [social] order, freeing it from the ever-present risk of being 'blinded' by egoism, by interest and by power. The truth is, as experience shows even in the most socially developed societies, that caritas remains necessary. The service of love is never superfluous because situations of suffering, solitude and need still persist, which require dedicated people and tangible aid". "Thus, anyone who serves within the ecclesial organisations that concern themselves with charitable initiatives and works cannot but have this main objective: bringing people to know and experience the merciful Face of the heavenly Father, because in the heart of God-Love is the true answer to the most intimate hopes of every human heart". "It is important that the Church, inserted into the events of history and of the life of man", the Pope concluded, "become a channel for the goodness and love of God".AC/COR UNUM ASSEMBLY/CORDES VIS 091113 (460)

THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN POST-MODERN SOCIETIES VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of the twenty-third general assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC), on the theme: "The Catholic University in post-modern societies". The event is due to be held at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University from 16 to 20 November. Participating in today's press conference were: Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, under secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Msgr. Guy-Real Thivierge, secretary general of FIUC; Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda S.J., rector of the Gregorian University, and Pedro Nel Medina Varon, adjunct secretary general of FIUC. "This year", said Msgr. Zani, "marks the sixtieth anniversary of the canonical recognition of the statutes of FIUC by the Holy See". The organisation, he went on, "made a particularly significant contribution to the preparation of the Apostolic Constitution 'Ex corde Ecclesiae'", which was approved by John Paul II in 1990 and explains the essential characteristics a Catholic university must have "in order to guarantee a Christian presence in the academic world, in the face of the great problems of society and culture". For his part, Msgr. Thivierge outlined some of the themes due to be discussed during the forthcoming assembly: the Catholic University in dialogue with cultures and religions; the Catholic University and Christian intellectual tradition; the political and social responsibility of the Catholic University; and the Catholic University and the future. Fr. Ghirlanda highlighted how "the search for truth is a constituent element of man's nature, and of his dignity and vocation, and the Church must offer the means for the truth to be discovered by everyone who seeks it. ... This is why the mission of Catholic universities is not only aimed at the Catholic faithful - in many of them, in fact, Catholic students are a small minority - but to all men and women who wish to receive an integral education for the development of a free and responsible personality". Pedro Nel Medina Varon, recalled how, of the 1210 Catholic universities and institutions of higher education in the world, FIUC "brings together 207, from 56 countries". "We in the Federation consider Catholic Universities as having three main responsibilities: preserving the Catholic intellectual tradition"; in other words, "the reflection that the Christian community has been developing for the last two thousand years concerning the most profound questions about life and the human condition, as well as the beliefs and values transmitted by the Gospel". The second responsibility "is the integral education of the person", and the third is "service to the Church, ... and the preservation of the Catholic intellectual tradition through the integral education of the person". The adjunct secretary general of FIUC concluded his remarks with a question addressed to the Catholic universities of the world: "Can our universities be, apart from all this, privileged places where academics and intellectuals can meet with political leaders committed to the good of the world and to social justice? With this question I hope to offer food for thought to the Catholic universities that have still not joined our federation".OP/CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES/... VIS 091113 (530)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences three prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Archbishop Bruno Gamberini of Campinas. - Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos. - Bishop Fernando Antonio Figueiredo O.F.M. of Santo Amaro. This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.AL:AP/.../... VIS 091113 (80)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church of Fr. Emil Shimoun Nona of the clergy of the eparchy of Alqosh, Iraq, vicar general and professor of anthropology at Babel College, as archbishop of Mossul of the Chaldeans (Catholics 18,200, priests 16, permanent deacons 1, religious 10), Iraq. The archbishop-elect was born in Alqosh in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1991.NER/.../NONA VIS 091113 (90)



CNA reports that self-described as “a home to filmmakers who have chosen to use this medium to express and share a message of hope, struggle, triumph and Love to the world,” the John Paul II International Film Festival held its first awards ceremony on Saturday night, in Florida.
The festival took place on the Miami campus of Florida International University on Nov. 7, where guests were welcomed by a live band and a spread of wine, coffee and desserts.
Speaking to a packed room, the festival's co-director and coordinator Laura Alvarado explained, “Most festivals do not open their awards ceremonies to the community, but we have said from the beginning that this is the 'People's Festival.' For this reason, the community is most welcome in it's attendance.”
The brand new film festival was hosted by the non-profit 7eventhDay Media, Inc., and was created in response to the late Pontiff's apostolic “Letter to Artists.” A statement on the festival's website said that, “in 1999 the late Pope John Paul II challenged artists to respond to the world's need for Truth, Love and Peace through the use of art. With the coming generations, it is becoming more and more apparent that the world hungers for meaning – for a reminder of what we are meant to do on this earth.”
According to festival organizers, there is “a strong demand for films that promote life, love and strong family values,” which was evidenced by the more than 100 submissions to this year's event.
Five awards were presented Saturday night to filmmakers of feature, short and documentary films.
“The Reel Rose Awards are presented to the films this year which exceptionally provided provocative story telling, high artistic technique, and truthful filmmaking,” said co-director and film coordinator Frank Brennan, before announcing the winners.
In addition to the Reel Rose Awards, other categories for competition included People's Choice and the film that best personified the Festival's 2009 theme, “Faith through the Storm.” This former honor went to a documentary titled “The Water Project,” which followed a non-profit group that traveled to the Dominican Republic and installed an aqueduct for a community that had never seen running water.
“When the JP2 crew first began working on this festival back in late January of 2009, we would never have thought we'd be putting together such a huge project in nine months,” festival organizers told CNA.
More information about the festival can be found at:


CNA reports that the secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, encouraged women who have aborted to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
During a breakfast in the Spanish capital, Bishop Martinez Camino said the Church reaches out to women who are feeling tempted to have an abortion or have already experienced this tragedy.
He then stressed that God’s mercy awaits those tormented by abortion. “Those who have not gone to confession are encouraged to do so because God wants to offer them a solution and deep peace,” he said. The Church “defends the rights of the innocents,” and is “conscious of the problem that [abortion] entails.”
“She is not merciless towards those who fall into sin,” he continued.
Bishop Martinez Camino warned lawmakers that support of the proposed law on abortion would constitute “public sin” and would place them in an “objective state of sin.” While “the Church cannot judge their subjectivity,” he added, those who “directly collaborate” in an abortion incur excommunication.
The bishop said lawmakers and voters must consider the issue of life above their own political party platforms and party leaders. Those who affirm that an innocent life can be taken find themselves “in contradiction with Divine and Catholic law,” he added.
He then praised health care workers and others who have exercised their right to conscientious objection “with civic and moral courage,” and he warned against the “grave manipulation” of portraying abortion as a medical procedure, as “abortion is never a cure because pregnancy is not a disease.”(SOURCE:


UCAN reports that a former "underground" Chinese bishop says he decided to take a leading role in the government-approved Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) to foster unity in Baoding diocese.

Coadjutor Bishop FrancisAn Shuxin of Baoding
Coadjutor Bishop Francis An Shuxin was made one of the five vice-chairpersons of the local CPA, a Church administration body, and director of the Church Affairs Committee (CAC) in July.
In one of the first discussions of his reasons since accepting the posts, the Baoding prelate told UCA News recently that he hoped it would help normalize Church life in the southern diocese in Hebei, the province that mostly surrounds Beijing.
Bishop An, 60, said he felt helpless over the "cruel" divisions in the Church community there and hoped that by taking positions in the government-sanctioned bodies he could "facilitate the diocese's development."
The coadjutor assumed the new positions almost three years after he was released from a decade of detention and allowed to work openly.
He had been under house arrest since 1996, when he was detained during crackdowns on the underground Catholic community, which rejects affiliation with government-approved administrative bodies for the Church.
His decision has generated controversy both within China and outside the country.
Pope Benedict XVI, in a letter to Chinese Catholics in 2007, said that "state agencies" exercising control over the Church independently of the Vatican is "incompatible with Catholic doctrine."
Bishop An maintains that even though the CPA is a state agency, the involvement of bishops and priests holding key posts will effectively bring it within the Church structure and help preserve the faith and the Church's interests.
"We remain obedient to the Pope in faith and Church doctrine. I did not promise anything except taking up the CPA position," he stated.
Bishops head the local CPA in most mainland dioceses.
"You cannot work normally if you don't get the government's recognition, as other bishops have found in their dioceses," the Baoding Church leader added.
Bishop An acknowledged that some "underground" priests and laypeople found it hard to understand his move.
"I refused to join the CPA at first after I was released in 2006," he recounted. "I changed my mind after reading the pope's letter."
The prelate pointed out that the letter leaves the matter of registering with civil authorities to individual bishops to decide, in consultation with their priests and after evaluating the consequences.
According to Bishop An, he has reported to the Vatican from time to time on the diocese's situation and has received back affirmation from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on his efforts for reconciliation in Baoding diocese.
Father Joseph Yang Yicun, chairperson of the Baoding CPA, told UCA News that local government officials have reported to the State Administration for Religious Affairs on the bishop's decision to join the CPA. He expects the prelate to be given lawful status soon.
About 30 open clergy recognize Bishop An's authority in the diocese. About 60 underground priests work covertly in its territory. Some secretly obey Bishop An, while the rest refuse his leadership now that he has joined the open Church community.
Bishop James Su Zhimin (Zhemin) of Baoding, 77, was detained in October 1997 and has not been released. He appeared briefly in a hospital in November 2003, but there has been no news about him since then.


CISA reports that a Catholic bishop has urged the Government to effectively prepare its people for both the pending referendum, scheduled for next year-2010 for Southern Sudan and national elections, scheduled for 2011.In a statement, issued on November 6, Bishop Caesar Mazzolari of Rumbek Diocese has observed that the fruitfulness and validity of elections must be questioned, if people are not prepared properly.“Unless the preparation of future leaders is intensified in the next two to three years, it is even more plausible that also the referendum may not bring the desired results for the people”, Bishop Mazzolari has stated.“The leaders of the Khartoum government have shown by their actions that they cannot be trusted. There is little doubt that this oppressive regime will only acquiesce in word to the demands and requirements of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Accord), and will ensure no action is taken until it will be too late for people of the South to react and save their own plans and dreams”, says Bishop Mazzolari.Be assured that the undermining of the free electoral process and democratic procedures in Southern Sudan by outside forces is well underway, says Bishop Mazzolari, adding that unless the international community intervenes immediately, by the time the full effects of the democratic sabotage are felt, it will be too late for the people of Southern Sudan .In the face of such uncertainty, violence, and suffering, nevertheless there is an element of indomitable endurance in the core of the Sudanese soul that enables this long-suffering people to face boldly the most seemingly insurmountable obstacles or difficulties, added Bishop MazzolariObserving that one must always look at the foreseeable scenarios of Sudan, humbly and not with a mathematical certainty and predictability, Bishop Mazzolari pointed out that 28 years in Sudan have shown me that even what I considered unendurable has endured. It is a source of hope, and is a tremendous human resource embedded in the charism of the present and future development of the tense current situation in Sudan has become a matter of concern both in the international political community, and especially among people who are sensitive to enhancing global solidarity with the developing countries of the world, points out Bishop Mazzolari.And he adds that the signing of CPA an alarming rise in criminality and abject poverty has resulted in rampant insecurity, unrest, and brutal violenceThese internal conflicts have the ability to escalate into a rapid return to open warfare, says Bishop Mazzolari, adding that most of the population of Southern Sudan has no assurance of basic life necessities, salaries or fair, standardized prices in the market.The Church in the Sudan, says Bishop Mazzolari should insist that the architects of the CPA and the countries of the IGAD (Inter governmental Authority on development), together with the international community, should exert all their political influence to take control of the CPA mismanagement for the nation of Sudan.And Bishop Mazzolari says there must be a global effort on the part of both international agencies at the political level and churches at an ecumenical level to create the civic awareness necessary to make the elections meaningful by educating the people and by accompanying them in their first step to freedom, and also by obtaining from the Khartoum government the assurance of outside monitors and workers being able to operate throughout this election period. The present agents organizing the elections are at a loss as to how they can get the people to respond in preparation for the elections. The only chance for election success comes from the ability for a grass-roots mobilization movement, aided by the international community, the catholic bishop has added. (Source:


Cath News reports that the ACT legislation granting same sex couples the right to legally binding ceremonies will "almost certainly" be vetoed by the Federal Government, The Canberra Times reported, although this could not be officially confirmed.
The newspaper cites a spokesman for Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor saying the Government's position was unchanged and that such provisions "undermined and mimicked" marriage, however he would not say whether the new laws would be disallowed.
"We will need to review it in light of whether it's consistent with other national approaches to relationship recognition," the spokesman reportedly said.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell amended ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury's Bill to exclude heterosexual couples from the new, legally binding civil union ceremonies, after receiving legal advice that extending them to heterosexual couples could be unconstitutional according to the Commonwealth's exclusive powers to legislate with respect to marriage.
Mr Corbell said the Federal Government now had no legal basis on which to oppose the ceremonies.
"So unless they are able to come up with an argument that says why this impinges on the constitutional powers available to them and they haven't been able to do that, I simply have to conclude that this is a form of discrimination, it is a form of bigotry towards gay and lesbian people," Mr Corbell was reported saying.
"There could be no other conclusion that you could draw."
The new laws will take effect next week and any civil partnerships registered under them between their enactment and any disallowance from the Federal Government will remain valid, the report added. (SOURCE:


St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Feast: November 13
Feast Day:
November 13
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
December 22, 1917, Chicago
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Patron of:
immigrants, hospital administrators

As saint of our own time and as the first United States citizen to be elevated to sainthood, Mother Cabrini has a double claim on our interest. Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and pioneer worker for the welfare of dispersed Italian nationals, this diminutive nun was responsible for the establishment of nearly seventy orphanages, schools, and hospitals, scattered over eight countries in Europe, North, South, and Central America. Still living are pupils, colleagues, and friends who remember Mother Cabrini vividly; her spirit continues to inspire the nuns who received their training at her hands. Since the record remains fresh in memory, and since the saint's letters and diaries have been carefully preserved, we have more authentic information about her, especially of the formative years, than we have concerning any other saint.
Francesca Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850, in the village of Sant' Angelo, on the outskirts of Lodi, about twenty miles from Milan, in the pleasant, fertile Lombardy plain. She was the thirteenth child of a farmer's family, her father Agostino being the proprietor of a modest estate. The home into which she was born was a comfortable, attractive place for children, with its flowering vines, its gardens, and animals; but its serenity and security was in strong contrast with the confusion of the times. Italy had succeeded in throwing off the Austrian yoke and was moving towards unity. Agostino and his wife Stella were conservative people who took no part in the political upheavals around them, although some of their relatives were deeply concerned in the struggle, and one, Agostino Depretis, later became prime minister. Sturdy and pious, the Cabrinis were devoted to their home, their children, and their Church. Signora Cabrini was fifty-two when Francesca was born, and the tiny baby seemed so fragile at birth that she was carried to the church for baptism at once. No one would have ventured to predict then that she would not only survive but live out sixty-seven extraordinarily active and productive years. Villagers and members of the family recalled later that just before her birth a flock of white doves circled around high above the house, and one of them dropped down to nestle in the vines that covered the walls.
The father took the bird, showed it to his children, then released it to fly away.
Since the mother had so many cares, the oldest daughter, Rosa, assumed charge of the newest arrival. She made the little Cecchina, for so the family called the baby, her companion, carried her on errands around the village, later taught her to knit and sew, and gave her religious instruction. In preparation for her future career as a teacher, Rosa was inclined to be severe. Her small sister's nature was quite the reverse; Cecchina was gay and smiling and teachable. Agostino was in the habit of reading aloud to his children, all gathered together in the big kitchen. He often read from a book of missionary stories, which fired little Cecchina's imagination. In her play, her dolls became holy nuns. When she went on a visit to her uncle, a priest who lived beside a swift canal, she made little boats of paper, dropped violets in them, called the flowers missionaries, and launched them to sail off to India and China. Once, playing thus, she tumbled into the water, but was quickly rescued and suffered only shock from the accident.
At thirteen Francesca was sent to a private school kept by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. Here she remained for five years, taking the course that led to a teacher's certificate. Rosa had by this time been teaching for some years. At eighteen Francesca passed her examinations, , and then applied for admission into the convent, in the hope that she might some day be sent as a teacher to the Orient. When, on account of her health, her application was turned down, she resolved to devote herself to a life of lay service. At home she shared wholeheartedly in the domestic tasks. Within the next few years she had the sorrow of losing both her parents. An epidemic of smallpox later ran through the village, and she threw herself into nursing the stricken. Eventually she caught the disease herself, but Rosa, now grown much gentler, nursed her so skillfully that she recovered promptly, with no disfigurement. Her oval face, with its large expressive blue eyes, was beginning to show the beauty that in time became so striking.
Francesca was offered a temporary position as substitute teacher in a village school, a mile or so away. Thankful for this chance to practice her profession, she accepted, learning much from her brief experience. She then again applied for admission to the convent of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and might have been accepted, for her health was now much improved. However, the rector of the parish, Father Antonio Serrati, had been observing her ardent spirit of service and was making other plans for her future. He therefore advised the Mother Superior to turn her down once more.
Father Serrati, soon to be Monsignor Serrati, was to remain Francesca's lifelong friend and adviser. From the start he had great confidence in her abilities, and now he gave her a most difficult task. She was to go to a disorganized and badly run orphanage in the nearby town of Cadogno, called the House of Providence. It had been started by two wholly incompetent laywomen, one of whom had given the money for its endowment. Now Francesca was charged "to put things right," a large order in view of her youth-she was but twenty-four-and the complicated human factors in the situation. The next six years were a period of training in tact and diplomacy, as well as in the everyday, practical problems of running such an institution. She worked quietly and effectively, in the face of jealous opposition, devoting herself to the young girls under her supervision and winning their affection and cooperation. Francesca assumed the nun's habit, and in three years took her vows. By this time her ecclesiastical superiors were impressed by her performance and made her Mother Superior of the institution. For three years more she carried on, and then, as the foundress had grown more and more erratic, the House of Providence was dissolved. Francesca had under her at the time seven young nuns whom she had trained. Now they were all homeless.
At this juncture the bishop of Lodi sent for her and offered a suggestion that was to determine the nun's life work. He wished her to found a missionary order of women to serve in his diocese. She accepted the opportunity gratefully and soon discovered a house which she thought suitable, an abandoned Franciscan friary in Cadogno. The building was purchased, the sisters moved in and began to make the place habitable. Almost immediately it became a busy hive of activity. They received orphans and foundlings, opened a day school to help pay expenses, started classes in needlework and sold their fine embroidery to earn a little more money. Meanwhile, in the midst of superintending all these activities, Francesca, now Mother Cabrini, was drawing up a simple rule for the institute. As one patron, she chose St. Francis de Sales, and as another, her own name saint, St. Francis Xavier. The rule was simple, and the habit she devised for the hard-working nuns was correspondingly simple, without the luxury of elaborate linen or starched headdress. They even carried their rosaries in their pockets, to be less encumbered while going about their tasks. The name chosen for the order was the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
With the success of the institute and the growing reputation of its young founder, many postulants came asking for admission, more than the limited quarters could accommodate. The nuns' resources were now, as always, at a low level; nevertheless, expansion seemed necessary. Unable to hire labor, they undertook to be their own builders. One nun was the daughter of a bricklayer, and she showed the others how to lay bricks. The new walls were actually going up under her direction, when the local authorities stepped in and insisted that the walls must be buttressed for safety. The nuns obeyed, and with some outside help went on with the job, knowing they were working to meet a real need. The townspeople could not, of course, remain indifferent in the face of such determination. After two years another mission was started by Mother Cabrini, at Cremona, and then a boarding school for girls at the provincial capital of Milan. The latter was the first of many such schools, which in time were to become a source of income and also of novices to carry on the ever-expanding work. Within seven years seven institutions of various kinds, each founded to meet some critical need, were in operation, all staffed by nuns trained under Mother Cabrini.
In September, 1887, came the nun's first trip to Rome, always a momentous event in the life of any religious. In her case it was to mark the opening of a much broader field of activity. Now, in her late thirties, Mother Cabrini was a woman of note in her own locality, and some rumors of her work had undoubtedly been carried to Rome. Accompanied by a sister, Serafina, she left Cadogno with the dual purpose of seeking papal approval for the order, which so far had functioned merely on the diocesan level, and of opening a house in Rome which might serve as headquarters for future enterprises. While she did not go as an absolute stranger, many another has arrived there with more backing and stayed longer with far less to show.
Within two weeks Mother Cabrini had made contacts in high places, and had several interviews with Cardinal Parocchi, who became her loyal supporter, with full confidence in her sincerity and ability. She was encouraged to continue her foundations elsewhere and charged to establish a free school and kindergarten in the environs of Rome. Pope Leo XIII received her and blessed the work. He was then an old man of seventy-eight, who had occupied the papal throne for ten years and done much to enhance the prestige of the office. Known as the "workingman's Pope" because of his sympathy for the poor and his series of famous encyclicals on social justice, he was also a man of scholarly attainments and cultural interests. He saw Mother Cabrini on many future occasions, always spoke of her with admiration and affection, and sent contributions from his own funds to aid her work.
A new and greater challenge awaited the intrepid nun, a chance to fulfill the old dream of being a missionary to a distant land. A burning question of the day in Italy was the plight of Italians in foreign countries. As a result of hard times at home, millions of them had emigrated to the United States and to South America in the hope of bettering themselves. In the New World they were faced with many cruel situations which they were often helpless to meet. Bishop Scalabrini had written a pamphlet describing their misery, and had been instrumental in establishing St. Raphael's Society for their material assistance, and also a mission of the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo in New York. Talks with Bishop Scalabrini persuaded Mother Cabrini that this cause was henceforth to be hers.
In America the great tide of immigration had not yet reached its peak, but a steady stream of hopeful humanity from southern Europe, lured by promises and pictures, was flowing into our ports, with little or no provision made for the reception or assimilation of the individual components. Instead, the newcomers fell victim at once to the prejudices of both native-born Americans and the earlier immigrants, who had chiefly been of Irish and German stock. They were also exploited unmercifully by their own padroni, or bosses, after being drawn into the roughest and most dangerous jobs, digging and draining, and the almost equally hazardous indoor work in mills and sweatshops. They tended to cluster in the overcrowded, disease-breeding slums of our cities, areas which were becoming known as "Little Italies." They were in America, but not of it. Both church and family life were sacrificed to mere survival and the struggle to save enough money to return to their native land. Cut off from their accustomed ties, some drifted into the criminal underworld. For the most part, however, they lived forgotten, lonely and homesick, trying to cope with new ways of living without proper direction. "Here we live like animals," wrote one immigrant; "one lives and dies without a priest, without teachers, and without doctors." All in all, the problem was so vast and difficult that no one with a soul less dauntless than Mother Cabrini's would have dreamed of tackling it.
After seeing that the new establishments at Rome were running smoothly and visiting the old centers in Lombardy, Mother Cabrini wrote to Archbishop Corrigan in New York that she was coming to aid him. She was given to understand that a convent or hostel would be prepared, to accommodate the few nuns she would bring.
Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding as to the time of her arrival, and when she and the seven nuns landed in New York on March 31, 1889, they learned that there was no convent ready. They felt they could not afford a hotel, and asked to be taken to an inexpensive lodging house. This turned out to be so dismal and dirty that they avoided the beds and spent the night in prayer and quiet thought. But the nuns were young and full of courage; from this bleak beginning they emerged the next morning to attend Mass. Then they called on the apologetic archbishop and outlined a plan of action. They wished to begin work without delay. A wealthy Italian woman contributed money for the purchase of their first house, and before long an orphanage had opened its doors there. So quickly did they gather a house full of orphans that their funds ran low; to feed the ever-growing brood they must go out to beg. The nuns became familiar figures down on Mulberry Street, in the heart of the city's Little Italy. They trudged from door to door, from shop to shop, asking for anything that could be spared—food, clothing, or money.
With the scene surveyed and the work well begun, Mother Cabrini returned to Italy in July of the same year. She again visited the foundations, stirred up the ardor of the nuns, and had another audience with the Pope, to whom she gave a report of the situation in New York with respect to the Italian colony. Also, while in Rome, she made plans for opening a dormitory for normal-school students, securing the aid of several rich women for this enterprise. The following spring she sailed again for New York, with a fresh group of nuns chosen from the order. Soon after her arrival she concluded arrangements for the purchase from the Jesuits of a house and land, now known as West Park, on the west bank of the Hudson. This rural retreat was to become a veritable paradise for children from the city's slums. Then, with several nuns who had been trained as teachers, she embarked for Nicaragua, where she had been asked to open a school for girls of well-to-do families in the city of Granada. This was accomplished with the approbation of the Nicaraguan government, and Mother Cabrini, accompanied by one nun, started back north overland, curious to see more of the people of Central America. They traveled by rough and primitive means, but the journey was safely achieved. They stopped off for a time in New Orleans and did preparatory work looking to the establishment of a mission. The plight of Italian immigrants in Louisiana was almost as serious as in New York. On reaching New York she chose a little band of courageous nuns to begin work in the southern city. They literally begged their way to New Orleans, for there was no money for train fare. As soon as they had made a very small beginning, Mother Cabrini joined them. With the aid of contributions, they bought a tenement which became known as a place where any Italian in trouble or need could go for help and counsel. A school was established which rapidly became a center for the city's Italian population. The nuns made a practice too of visiting the outlying rural sections where Italians were employed on the great plantations.
The year that celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus' voyage of discovery, 1892, marked also the founding of Mother Cabrini's first hospital. At this time Italians were enjoying more esteem than usual and it was natural that this first hospital should be named for Columbus. Earlier Mother Cabrini had had some experience of hospital management in connection with the institution conducted by the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo, but the new one was to be quite independent. With an initial capital of two hundred and fifty dollars, representing five contributions of fifty dollars each, Columbus Hospital began its existence on Twelfth Street in New York. Doctors offered it their services without charge, and the nuns tried to make up in zeal what they lacked in equipment. Gradually the place came to have a reputation that won for it adequate financial support. It moved to larger quarters on Twentieth Street, and continues to function to this day.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy frequently to oversee the training of novices and to select the nuns best qualified for foreign service. She was in Rome to share in the Pope's Jubilee, celebrating his fifty years as a churchman. Back in New York in 1895, she accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to come down to Argentina and establish a school. The Nicaraguan school had been forced to close its doors as a result of a revolutionary overthrow of the government, and the nuns had moved to Panama and opened a school there. Mother Cabrini and her companion stopped to visit this new institution before proceeding by water down the Pacific Coast towards their destination. To avoid the stormy Straits of Magellan they had been advised to make the later stages of the journey by land, which meant a train trip from the coast to the mountains, across the Andes by mule-back, then another train trip to the capital. The nuns looked like Capuchin friars, for they wore brown fur-lined capes. On their unaccustomed mounts, guided by muleteers whose language they hardly understood, they followed the narrow trail over the backbone of the Andes, with frightening chasms below and icy winds whistling about their heads. The perilous crossing was made without serious mishap. On their arrival in Buenos Aires they learned that the archbishop who had invited them to come had died, and they were not sure of a welcome. It was not long, however, before Mother Cabrini's charm and sincerity had worked their usual spell, and she was entreated to open a school. She inspected dozens of sites before making a choice. When it came to the purchase of land she seemed to have excellent judgment as to what location would turn out to be good from all points of view. The school was for girls of wealthy families, for the Italians in Argentina were, on the average, more prosperous than those of North America. Another group of nuns came down from New York to serve as teachers. Here and in similar schools elsewhere, today's pupils became tomorrow's supporters of the foundations.
Not long afterward schools were opened in Paris, in England, and in Spain, where Mother Cabrini's work had the sponsorship of the queen. From the Latin countries in course of time came novice teachers for the South American schools. Another southern country, Brazil, was soon added to the lengthening roster, with establishments at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Back in the United States Mother Cabrini started parochial schools in and around New York and an orphanage at Dobbs Ferry. In 1899 she founded the Sacred Heart Villa on Fort Washington Avenue, New York, as a school and training center for novices. In later years this place was her nearest approach to an American home. It is this section of their city that New Yorkers now associate with her, and here a handsome avenue bears her name.
Launching across the country, Mother Cabrini now extended her activities to the Pacific Coast. Newark, Scranton, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, all became familiar territory. In Colorado she visited the mining camps, where the high rate of fatal accidents left an unusually large number of fatherless children to be cared for. Wherever she went men and women began to take constructive steps for the remedying of suffering and wrong, so powerful was the stimulus of her personality. Her warm desire to serve God by helping people, especially children, was a steady inspiration to others. Yet the founding of each little school or orphanage seemed touched by the miraculous, for the necessary funds generally materialized in some last-minute, unexpected fashion.
In Seattle, in 1909, Mother Cabrini took the oath of allegiance to the United States and became a citizen of the country. She was then fifty-nine years old, and was looking forward to a future of lessened activity, possibly even to semi-retirement in the mother house at Cadogno. But for some years the journeys to and fro across the Atlantic went on; like a bird, she never settled long in one place. When she was far away, her nuns felt her presence, felt she understood their cares and pains. Her modest nature had always kept her from assuming an attitude of authority; indeed she even deplored being referred to as "head" of her Order. During the last years Mother Cabrini undoubtedly pushed her flagging energies to the limit of endurance. Coming back from a trip to the Pacific Coast in the late fall of 1917, she stopped in Chicago. Much troubled now over the war and all the new problems it brought, she suffered a recurrence of the malaria contracted many years before. Then, while she and other nuns were making preparations for a children's Christmas party in the hospital, a sudden heart attack ended her life on earth in a few minutes. The date was December 22, and she was sixty-seven. The little nun had been the friend of three popes, a foster-mother to thousands of children, for whom she had found means to provide shelter and food; she had created a flourishing order, and established many institutions to serve human needs.
It was not surprising that almost at once Catholics in widely separated places began saying to each other, "Surely she was a saint." This ground swell of popular feeling culminated in 1929 in the first official steps towards beatification. Ten years later she became Blessed Mother Cabrini, and Cardinal Mundelein, who had officiated at her funeral in Chicago, now presided at the beatification. Heralded by a great pealing of the bells of St. Peter's and the four hundred other churches of Rome, the canonization ceremony took place on July 7, 1946. Hundreds of devout Catholics from the United States were in attendance, as well as the highest dignitaries of the Church and lay noblemen. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American to be canonized, lies buried under the altar of the chapel of Mother Cabrini High School in New York City.


Luke 17: 26 - 37
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man.
They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Likewise as it was in the days of Lot -- they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built,
but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all --
so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.
On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back.
Remember Lot's wife.
Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.
I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left."
And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."

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