Mother Cabrini

11-14-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of joining some of my family to celebrate my mother’s birthday. We had dinner and cake at my sister Natalie’s home in Hillsborough. It was so good to be with both of my sisters and their husbands, and some other family as well. I hope the coming holiday season affords everyone some time to be with family and friends.

By the time you read these words, we will have celebrated Veterans Day. I want to make a special point of thanking all the veterans in our parish. We owe you a debt we can never repay. Thanks for all that you’ve done to ensure our freedoms, especially our freedom of religion.

Last week I told you about the devotions we will have in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Sunday, December 12th. Today I am pleased to tell you that we will have a special Mass to pray for the Protection of Innocent Human Life on Saturday, December 11th at 10 AM. Our Blessed Mother, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is often invoked in defense of the unborn and other innocent people. She is, as she said at Guadalupe, the ‘Mother of all.’

Weather permitting, we are hoping to follow that Holy Mass with a Eucharistic Procession from the Church to the Life Choices Medical Building on South Main Street. Please watch upcoming bulletins for further information, and join us if you can that day!

Next Sunday is the Solemn Feast of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. Commonly called Christ the King Sunday, it is a good day to think about what it means to have Jesus Christ as your King. Is He truly the Lord of your life? Is His Gospel the law by which you live?

One person who truly made Jesus Christ her king is Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, whose feast day (November 13) was this week. Mother Cabrini, as she is more popularly known, was an Italian nun who founded an order of religious sisters. They wanted to go to China as missionaries, and went to ask Pope Leo XIII to help them do so.

But Pope Leo had other ideas. Knowing that many Italian (and other) immigrants were pouring into America at that time, he told Mother Cabrini to ‘go to America– where there is great work for you.’ So, Mother Cabrini abandoned her dream of being a missionary to China, obeyed the pope, and came to America.

Over the next forty years, she would establish more than sixty institutions to help immigrants, and others. Soup

Kitchens, hospices, homeless shelters, and medical clinics were her most common establishments. It is hard to overestimate the number of people served by Mother Cabrini and her sisters.

Mother Cabrini embraced her adopted homeland. She learned English well and become a naturalized US citizen, and helped countless other immigrants do the same. She is honored in one of our stained glass windows, the last one on the rectory side of the Church.

Jesus Christ was truly Mother Cabrini’s king, as she showed by her willingness to serve His people and obey the pope, Christ’s Vicar on earth. Let us pray that she will help us do the same.

Please also pray that Hail Mary for me each day. I am so happy that so many of you do so, and assure you of my daily prayers.

Have a great week.
Fr. John