St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)

Reading this morning about St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, founder of 67 Catholic institutions across the USA to serve the “poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick” made me wonder who is doing such Catholic missionary work today and even whether such work is possible in today’s environment. She was the first US citizen to be designated Saint.

You can read about her at Franciscan Media, Catholic Online, and Wikipedia.

Original St. Cabrini Home in 1890

Most of the institutions she founded have ceased to operate for various reasons. One of the saddest stories is about St. Cabrini Home, founded in 1890 in West Park, NY. After serving orphans and homeless for seven decades, it was incorporated in 1959 as St. Cabrini, Inc. “which brought changes in governance.” By 2004, St. Cabrini Home had become a “facility licensed by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.” Some unfortunate following scandalous incidents described in the linked article resulted in closure in 2011.

And, some things with which she had nothing to do were named after her, Chicago’s infamous Cabrini Green for example.

Loveless solutions to extreme poverty are usually found lacking.


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