Happy Monday Saints! To start our week off right, our Campus Minister, Father James Dalton, will share a story of a Saint, along with a reflection to help us consider how we can learn from their example.
Who was the first American to be canonized a saint? You would somewhat be correct to answer St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was born in New York City, however, you would only be partially right. The correct answer is Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), who became a naturalized American in 1909. Pope Pius XII canonized her in 1946.
Frances was an Italian-born founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. She became famous as the saint of the immigrants during nearly three decades of service in the US.
Frances arrived in New York City with six other missionary sisters in March of 1889. The Most Reverend Michael Corrigan, the Archbishop of New York, was doubtful that this newly arrived woman could overcome all the problems involved.
In time, she won over the Archbishop. For the next 28 years Mother Cabrini traveled throughout America, founding schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Her approach was simple. She and her MSC Sisters organized catechism and education classes for the Italian immigrants and provided for the needs of many orphans. Before she died, she founded 67 missionary institutions to serve the sick and poor (long before government agencies provided extensive social services.)
In Philadelphia, she founded St. Donato School (405 N 65th St). Today, it is known as St. Frances Cabrini Regional School. Mother Cabrini was a powerful woman. Who would have guessed that at age 19 she was denied admission to an Italian religious congregation? She was told she was too frail for the rigors of religious life. Her life proved the opposite to be true.
You can learn more at about St. Frances Xavier Cabrini here: loom.ly/ssR58Qg
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.