Mother Cabrini held up as model for Chicago's new auxiliaries
Friday, Nov. 27, 2020
CHICAGO (CNS) — St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s trust in divine providence flowed throughout her work with immigrants, schoolchildren and the poor and it should be an example to Chicago’s three new auxiliary bishops, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich said in his homily at their ordination Mass.
The cardinal invoked the saint, best known as Mother Cabrini, because the Mass at Holy Name Cathedral was being celebrated on her feast day, Nov. 13. He ordained as auxiliaries Bishops Kevin M. Birmingham, Jeffrey S. Grob and Robert J. Lombardo.
With restrictions on the size of the congregation due to COVID-19, the two-hour Mass was attended by 20 bishops and archbishops, a few dozen priests, deacons and seminarians and a small number of friends and family of the newly ordained bishops. The Mass was livestreamed so those who couldn’t attend could watch the celebration.
In his homily, Cardinal Cupich reflected on the life and witness of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, who came to the U.S. in 1889 at the request of Pope Leo XIII. At the time of her death, she had founded 67 institutions around the world, including Columbus Hospital, Columbus Extension for the Poor and Assumption School, all in Chicago.
Mother Cabrini died in Chicago Dec. 22, 1917. That day she had been wrapping candy for Christmas gifts for poor children. There is a national shrine to her across from the city’s Lincoln Park Zoo.
When Pope Leo XIII sent Mother Cabrini to America instead of China, where she wanted to go, she trusted in the successor of Peter and God’s will. So must the new bishops, Cardinal Cupich said.
“There is great freedom that comes in realizing that we’ve been sent, for it liberates us from the trap of seeking the approval of others who measure success by a different standard,” he said.