The Church celebrates the feast of the Patroness of Immigrants on November 13th each year. In a succinct text, the collect for the feast at the beginning of the Mass, draws attention to her legacy:
God our Father,
who called Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy
to serve the immigrants of America,
by her example,
teach us to have concern for the stranger,
the sick, and all those in need,
and by her prayers help us to see Christ
in all the men and women we meet.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
In his homily today in Seton Hall’s Immaculate Conception chapel, Msgr. Robert Coleman drew attention to the statue of Mother Cabrini directly behind Penn Station in Newark on a small triangle of land in the “Iron Bound” section of the city. As in many other cities with a large migration from Europe, Newark and Kearny were benefactors of her community’s care for strangers, widows and orphans.
During the 101st anniversary of Mother Cabrini’s death, Catholics are invited to pray for guidance in our efforts to express hospitality to those who seek refuge from oppression and other dangers to their families. “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers (and sisters), you did for me,” says the Lord (Matthew 25:40).