Holy Name Cathedral to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini with a Special Mass and Unveiling of a Newly Commissioned Statue on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022
Chicago, (Oct., 11, 2022) – Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St. in Chicago, will celebrate the life and legacy of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini with a special Mass and unveiling of a newly commissioned statue on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. Bishop Emeritus Daniel Turley, OSA, of Chulucanas, Peru, will be the main celebrant and homilist of the noon Mass which will include the blessing of her first-class relic embedded in a bas-relief that will be placed in a reliquary inside the cathedral. Very Rev. Gregory Sakowicz, rector of Holy Name Cathedral, will bless and dedicate the statue after the Mass.
Mother Cabrini, the first United States citizen to be declared a saint, worked tirelessly on behalf of her fellow Italian immigrants, opened schools, hospitals, and orphanages in Chicago and across the United States.
“During her time in Chicago, Mother Cabrini would come to Holy Name Cathedral to pray and it is an honor for her statue to be here, in the heart of the city she loved, for all to visit,” said Sakowicz. “Her missionary spirit and message are just as timely today as when she was tirelessly working for immigrants and the needy. We continue her legacy of welcoming and supporting those seeking new opportunities, safety, care and hope.”
The six-foot-tall bronze statue of Mother Cabrini, donated by Dr. Carol Christiansen, will be the focal point in Holy Name Cathedral’s north garden that will include updated landscaping, benches for prayer and reflection, and commemorative memorial pavers. Sculptors Lou Cella and Jessica LoPresti of Rotblatt and Amrany Studios in Highwood created the statue with LoPresti sculpting the bas-relief.
Holy Name Cathedral is also launching its Mother Cabrini Legacy Program that will include an upcoming pilgrimage of walking in the footsteps of St. Frances Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a novena and celebration Mass honoring Mother Cabrini, and a symposium on notable Catholic women and how the spirit of Mother Cabrini influenced their mission and ministry.
Catholics in Chicagoland are celebrating a jubilee year in honor of the saint. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, petitioned Pope Francis through the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Vatican to declare a special jubilee year honoring the 75th anniversary of Mother Cabrini’s canonization, beginning on Nov. 13, 2021, and ending on the same date in 2022. The Holy Father granted the petition and gave permission to begin promoting the jubilee year privileges immediately. The theme for the jubilee year is “Christ’s Love Heals the World.”
Cabrini helped shape America’s social and health care systems in the early 20th century, which had a consequential impact on Chicago, including the opening of Assumption School in 1899, the first Italian school in the city that served the neighborhood’s Italian-speaking community; establishing Columbus Hospital in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in February 1905; becoming a U.S. citizen in 1909; opening Columbus Hospital Extension on the west side of Chicago in February 1910; and purchasing a 32-acre farm (in what is now Park Ridge) in 1917 so patients at her hospitals could have fresh food. Mother Cabrini died on Dec. 22, 1917, in a private room at Columbus Hospital at age 67.
Mother Cabrini was beatified on Nov. 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI, and canonized on July 7, 1946, by Pope Pius XII with an estimated 120,000 people filling Chicago's Soldier Field for a Mass of thanksgiving celebrating her canonization. In 1950, she was named Universal Patroness of Immigrants because of her efforts in helping immigrants around the world.
More information about the jubilee year celebration and Mother Cabrini’s life can be found at https://www.cabrininationalshrine.org/ and https://www.archchicago.org/news-and-events/jubilee-year. More information about Holy Name Cathedral’s Mother Cabrini Legacy program can be found at https://tinyurl.com/Cabrini1015.