Bishop to celebrate Mass honoring Mother Cabrini

STAMFORD—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate Mass in honor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants, on Sunday, November 7 at 10 am at Sacred Heart Church in Stamford.

Following the Mass, there will be a talk and presentation by Sr. Lucille Souza, MSC, a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a congregation of religious women in 17 countries worldwide that was founded by Mother Cabrini in 1880.

The Mass will be celebrated in Italian, and the homily will be in English. Sacred Heart is an Italian national parish with a diverse community of many cultures. Bishop Caggiano has celebrated the Mass honoring the saint in recent years. The event is sponsored by the Catholic Charities of Fairfield County.

Executive Director Michael Donoghue, said: “Catholic Charities is excited to honor the spirit and legacy of Mother Cabrini. It is an opportune time to recognize the work of Mother Cabrini, who served the poor and vulnerable in the immigrant community.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has been the great “unequalizer,” especially in Fairfield County, where immigrant families, many of whom work in critical service industries, became unemployed and have struggled to feed their families and make ends meet.

“It is a critical time for all of us to follow the example of Mother Cabrini to walk with our poor and marginalized brothers and sisters in the immigrant community,” Donoghue said. “With the help of many dedicated volunteers and donors, Catholic Charities is committed to seeing the face of Jesus in all of our immigrant neighbors as Mother Cabrini did.”

Sister Lucille, founder of the Cabrini Mission Foundation, has been recognized for her missionary spirit and service to immigrants, women and children in need.

Established in 1998, the Cabrini Mission Foundation responds to society’s needs by supporting programs and institutions of healing, teaching and caring sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

A non-profit 501 ©(3) corporation, Cabrini Mission Foundation seeks to maintain and enhance MSC works of the Guadalupe Province, which encompasses the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Australia, by providing philanthropic support through endowment and donor programs.

Cabrini Mission Foundation promotes programs and institutions that provide social services, healthcare and education for women, children, immigrants and elders.

While each Cabrini entity provides unique services, all express a commitment to help the disadvantaged in a society that is not always welcoming and where needs are not always met.

The organization supports programs of healing, teaching and caring that share the charism of the Missionary Sisters and seeks to foster hope as bearers of the love of Christ in the world.

Sr. Lucille has served in various roles within the Missionary Sisters, including CEO and founder of the Cabrini Mission Foundation, director of Cabrini Mission Corps, provincial councilor and resident superior of the Sacred Heart Convent Assisted Living Center.

Sr. Lucille received her bachelor’s in elementary education from Cabrini College in 1972 and her master’s in education from Fordham University in 1983. In addition to serving on the Cabrini University Board of Trustees, she currently serves on the Cabrini Mission Foundation Board. She previously served as a trustee at Cabrini College from 2003 to 2008 as well as the boards of Mother Cabrini High School and St. Cabrini Home in New York.

The Cabrini Mass commemorates the Italian-American founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who supported immigrants throughout the United States and established 67 institutions, including schools, orphanages and hospitals that cared for the poor and marginalized.

Mother Cabrini, who came to America in 1880 with seven young women, was the first naturalized U.S. citizen to be named a saint in 1946.

“Mother Cabrini felt compelled to serve the immigrant community and walk with them,” the bishop said. “How far are you willing to go? She left the comfort of Italy and traveled to this country, standing side by side with those who came here poor, illiterate and vulnerable. She and her sisters stood with them, worked with them, served them, fed them, clothed them and loved them to the end.”

He said that she would often beg for money with her sisters to raise the necessary funds to build schools and hospitals, and she trusted that “if she suffered with Christ, Christ would not abandon her.”