DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : WED. NOV. 13, 2013 - SHARE

2013











POPE FRANCIS "THE CHURCH TEACHES US TO CONFESS OUR SINS WITH HUMILITY..."

NEW PRESIDENT OF US COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS JOSEPH KURTZ

PAPAL NUNCIO ADDRESS TO BISHOPS OF ENGLAND ON MARRIAGE

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. NOV. 13, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT: NOV. 13: ST. FRANCIS CABRINI

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on the faithful Wednesday to humbly ask forgiveness every time they sin. As part of his catechesis during this Wednesday's General Audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis said, like Baptism, which washes away original sin and personal sin, the Sacrament of Confession can “open the door to a new life” as the merciful God “enters our lives.” The Pope invited Catholics to renew the grace of Baptism by going to Confession often and with a contrite heart: “The Church teaches us to confess our sins with humility, because only in forgiveness, received and given, do our restless hearts find peace and joy.”

Below, please find Pope Francis' remarks to English speaking pilgrims, read out in English by an assistant:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today I would like to continue our catechesis on the Creed by turning to the Sacrament of Baptism. Each Sunday when making our Profession of Faith, we pray: I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Let us look at each of these words. I confess – This solemn declaration highlights the importance of Baptism and affirms our identity as children of God. In the Sacrament, our faith is also linked to the remission of sins. When we confess our sins, we renew and strengthen our Baptismal identity. Baptism, then, is the point of departure for a lifelong journey of conversion sustained by the Sacrament of Penance. One Baptism – The word Baptism literally means immersion. Through the Sacrament, we are immersed spiritually in the death of Jesus Christ and we rise with him as a new creation. Regenerated by water and the Holy Spirit, we are illuminated by grace which dispels the darkness of sin. For the forgiveness of sins – Baptism forgives original sin and personal sin. The door to a new life is opened and the mercy of God enters our lives. But human weakness remains. The Church teaches us to confess our sins with humility, because only in forgiveness, received and given, do our restless hearts find peace and joy.”
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

RUSSIAN METROPOLITAN HILARION VISITS VATICAN


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Tuesday with Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Later this evening a "Concert for Peace" in honor of Pope Francis, will be offered by the Russian Orthodox Church, with music sung by a young Russian opera singer, Svetlana Kasyan, at the Auditorium in Via della Conciliazione.
The Pope’s meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion comes as the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, is in Moscow, meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
Exploring Orthodox spirituality and promoting reconciliation between Catholics and Orthodox is also the focus of life at a Benedictine monastery in Belgium, commonly known as Chevetogne Abbey. Founded in the 1920s, the monastery holds both Latin and Eastern rite services every day and runs the world’s oldest ecumenical journal entitled ‘Irenikon’.
During her recent visit to Busan, South Korea for the World Council of Churches’ 10th Assembly, Philippa Hitchen spoke with one of the editors of that journal,

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

NEW PRESIDENT OF US COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS JOSEPH KURTZ


USCCB REPORT: Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, was elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the bishops' annual fall General Assembly on 12 November, in Baltimore. Archbishop Kurtz has served as vice president of USCCB since 2010. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected USCCB vice president.

Archbishop Kurtz and Cardinal DiNardo are elected to three-year terms and succeed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Kurtz, respectively. The new president and vice president's terms begin at the conclusion of the General Assembly, 14 November.
Archbishop Kurtz was elected president on the first ballot with 125 votes. Cardinal DiNardo was elected vice president on the third ballot by 147-87 in a runoff vote against Archbishop Charles J Chaput, OFM Cap, of Philadelphia.
The president and vice president are elected by a simple majority from a slate of 10 nominees. If no president or vice president is chosen after the second round of voting, a third ballot is taken between only the top two vote getters on the second ballot.
Archbishop Kurtz was born on August 18, 1946, and ordained a priest of Allentown, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1972. He previously served as bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee from 1999-2007 before being appointed to Louisville. Cardinal DiNardo was born May 23, 1949, and ordained a priest of Pittsburgh on June 16, 1977. He previously served as bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, from 1998-2004 before being appointed to coadjutor bishop, then archbishop, of Galveston-Houston. Pope Benedict XVI named him a cardinal in 2007, making him the first cardinal from Texas.
The bishops also elected Archbishop George J Lucus of Omaha chairman of the Committee of Catholic Education in a 141-93 vote over George V Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio. Archbishop Lucas, who has served as interim chair of the committee since the May 2013 death of Bishop Joseph P McFadden, will begin his term at the conclusion of this week's bishops' meeting.
The bishops chose chairmen-elect of five other USCCB committees. The chairmen-elect will begin their three-year terms in one year, at the conclusion of the bishops' fall 2014 General Assembly. These were:
Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard A Hebda of Newark, New Jersey, to the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance in a 167-70 vote over Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago.
Bishop Mitchell T Rozanski, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, to the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in a 130-105 vote over Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, auxiliary bishop of Boston.
Archbishop-designate Leonard P Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, to the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in a 135-98 vote over Bishop John O Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
ishop Oscar CantĂș of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a 126-110 vote over Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois.
Bishop Edward J Burns of Juneau, Alaska, to the Committee on Child and Youth Protection in a 118-114 vote over Bishop Robert J Cunningham of Syracuse, New York.
On November 11, the following bishops were elected to the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS): Bishop William P Callahan, OFM Conv., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, and Bishop Cirilo B Flores of San Diego.
Also on November 11, the following bishops were elected to the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC): Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey, California, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.
In November 2012, Cardinal DiNardo was elected to chair the Committee on Divine Worship for a term beginning this week. Since his election as USCCB vice president prevents him from assuming leadership of the committee, the bishops elected Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey to chair the committee in place of Cardinal DiNardo, beginning November 14. Bishop Serratelli was chosen in a 114-112 vote over Archbishop Allen H Vigneron of Detroit. Bishop Serratelli previously chaired the committee from 2007-2010.
Source: USCCB

Conference Officers

President
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky 

Vice-President

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Nominees:
Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia
Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Washington
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami

Committee and Board Election Results

Chair, Committee on Catholic Education

Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha - 141
Bishop George V. Murray, S.J., of Youngstown - 93

Chair, Committee on Divine Worship

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson - 114
Archhbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit - 112

Chair-Elect, Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Auxiliary Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy of Boston - 105Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Baltimore - 130 

Chair-Elect, Evangelization and Catechesis

Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown - 98
Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo - 135

Chair-Elect, International Justice and Peace

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces - 126
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford - 110

Chair-Elect, Child and Youth Protection

Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau - 118
Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse - 114

Chair-Elect, Canonical Affairs and Church Governance

Coadjutor Bishop Bernard Hebda of Newark - 167
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago - 70

Catholic Relief Services Board

Three bishops with highest vote totals are elected
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, of Oakland, CA - 95
Bishop William P. Callahan, OFM., Conv. of LaCrosse, WI , - 13
4
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, FL - 142
Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego, CA, 123

Bishop Joseph W. Tobin, CSsr, of Indianapolis, IN 121

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Board:

The following bishops were elected:
Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami

PAPAL NUNCIO ADDRESS TO BISHOPS OF ENGLAND ON MARRIAGE

By  on Tuesday, 12 November 2013
The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)
The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)
CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: Dear brothers in Christ,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today as you open this plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. I am very grateful for your kind invitation not only to attend this important ecclesial event, but also to address you, once again, as Apostolic Nuncio in Great Britain.
First of all, I would like to convey to you, as the Bishops’ Conference, as well as to each one of you individually, the closeness, the affection and the esteem of the Holy Father Pope Francis, who most of you had the opportunity to meet personally, albeit briefly, last April in Rome. The Holy Father appreciates your generous pastoral zeal and has asked me to convey to you His Apostolic Blessing.
I also want to deeply thank you for what you have done in defending the real nature of marriage and its truth during the long months previous to the approval of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. I really admire your determined and steady commitment in trying to avoid this sad legislation and its negative consequences for the family. In a special way, I want to thank Their Graces, Archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith; I am sure that this sentiment of gratitude is shared by all of you as well.
Unfortunately, there are also many others challenges that our Church, both here in Great Britain and abroad has to face; I think, for example, of issues like religious and catholic education in schools; the serious consequences that will follow if the Right-to-die Bill is passed, etc. Though we are not living in easy times for the Church, we don’t get discouraged. As Pope Francis said during his homily on Palm Sunday, “Never give way to discouragement!”. Indeed, we are confidence in the help and assistance of God’s Providence.
Having said that, now I would like to dwell on the appointment of Bishops, a very delicate and important work, which all of us at the Nunciature are very committed to. In this regard, the Holy Father Pope Francis, addressing the participants in the Papal Representatives Days in Rome last June, indicated some criteria to be followed in the process of choosing candidates for the Episcopacy (I have made some copies of this paragraph in particular, so that each one of you can read and reflect on it).
For Pope Francis, one of the main criteria is that candidates must be endowed with the following human and priestly qualities: “pastors close to the people […] gentle, patient and merciful; may they love poverty, interior poverty”, without “the mindset of ‘princes’”, and so on. “May they be able – the Holy Father said – to ‘watch over’ the flock that will be entrusted to them, in other words to care for all that keeps it united”.
In this way, the Holy Father not only presents the profile of who should be taking into consideration as a candidate for the Episcopacy, the “bishops-to-be”, but – I dare to say – also Pope Francis shows how those who are already Bishops should live; actually each one of us! We are called to a permanent conversion in our ministry to imitate more closely Jesus, the Good Shepherd. May I invite you to read and meditate on these words of Pope Francis.
Changing to another issue I would like to say that following the beautiful and fruitful experiences of last year visiting the Dioceses of Birmingham, Hexham and Newcastle and Menevia, among others, this year as well I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit more of the Scottish dioceses, some others in England and Wales, recently Northampton and Wrexham. While I deeply express my gratitude to their Ordinaries for their warm and fraternal welcoming, I want to say that these visits have been of great help for me to get to know better, and at first hand, the reality of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and to recognize and appreciate the pastoral zeal and commitment of their Pastors. Certainly it has been for me and my collaborators a “strong experience of Church and communion”, full of spiritual fruits. Indeed, I have experienced as true what the psalmist affirms: “How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together as one!” (Psalm 133:1).
And I think that the same positive experience has been lived by the bishops as well. I have been very glad when afterwards I heard bishops talking also about the benefits of the Papal Nuncio’s visit to their dioceses. Therefore I would like to reiterate my willingness to visit your communities, if you think that this can be helpful for you and for them. For me it certainly proves to be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your “joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties” in your pastoral work.
I conclude by reassuring you of my prayers for your work during these days as a Bishops’ Conference as well as for each one of you and your individual Dioceses. While I fraternally ask you to keep me and my collaborators at the Nunciature in your prayers that we may better serve the Church in Great Britain. In this, the Dowry of Mary, I entrust you to the protection of Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, and, by Her intercession, I fraternally invoke upon you God’s blessing. May the Lord, the Good Shepherd, inspire all your works and support you in your ministry.
I thank you for your attention.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC HERALD UK 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. NOV. 13, 2013

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Lectionary: 493


Reading 1             WIS 6:1-11

Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial Psalm             PS 82:3-4, 6-7

R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: “You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

Gospel                   LK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

TODAY'S SAINT: NOV. 13: ST. FRANCIS CABRINI


St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS
Feast: November 13
Information:
Feast Day:
November 13
Born:
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
Died:
December 22, 1917, Chicago
Canonized:
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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Post a Comment