FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2020
LIFE OF CATHOLIC SAINT HONORED: BISHOP DIMARZIO CITES NEW MOTHER CABRINI STATUE AS INSPIRATION TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER
The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, this afternoon joined Governor Andrew Cuomo and fellow members of the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission at the official statue dedication in honor of the life and service of Mother Frances Cabrini. The sculpture was unveiled at a ceremony in Battery Park City, behind the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where the statue now stands overlooking the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The statue was designed by Jill and Giancarlo Biagi.
“I am so happy that there were so many people who supported this effort and I am happy with the unique design which shows Mother Cabrini in motion and taking care of children. I know for the artists it was a work of passion, and this statue does her justice. We hope that people who visit this memorial will recognize that history should be repeated, that there was a care for the outcast and marginalized which Mother Cabrini understood, and we need that same care today. This is not just history, we want to make history with a new understanding of how we take care of people,” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the Co-Chairman of the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission.
Last year, Mother Frances Cabrini received the most nominations in the “She Built NYC” competition, but was not selected for a statue to be built in her honor. The program was designed to create more statues throughout the five boroughs honoring women.
At the time, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio organized an effort to raise funds and public support to get her statue built in spite of the City’s decision. Last year at the New York City Columbus Day parade, Bishop DiMarzio rode aboard a float with a statue of Mother Cabrini which was cheered along the entire parade route. At the conclusion of the parade, Governor Cuomo announced New York State’s commitment to work with the Columbus Citizens Foundation and the Diocese of Brooklyn, to ensure Mother Cabrini was permanently honored.
“This statue of Mother Cabrini recognizes both her contributions as an Italian immigrant woman, as well as those of all Italian American and immigrant women. She is a shining symbol of what it means to care for the other person, the sick, the uneducated, the economically challenged and the stranger, always putting the needs of society’s most vulnerable above her own. I hope that people will see this heroic statue, ask questions, learn about her outstanding life and work to imitate it as we all build New York’s future together,” said John Leo Heyer II, a member of the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission.
Mother Cabrini was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1889. Through her efforts, she would go on to establish 67 hospitals and schools and orphanages. In 1946, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her service to all people. She was named the Patroness of Immigrants in 1950.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has also raised funds to pay for the construction of a Mother Cabrini monument in Brooklyn. Those project details will be announced at a later date.
Photos attached courtesy of DeSales Media Group.