Reflecting on an Education of the Heart: Carrie Nielsen

When asked to describe what the phrase “Education of the Heart” means to her, Carrie Nielsen, Assistant Professor of Biology said: “I teach environmental science because I want students to make connections between their actions and the world around them. In order to be the kind of people we want to be, we have to understand how we fit in with other people and the world around us. That awareness takes knowledge and critical thinking which I believe Cabrini College works to cultivate in all our students.”

Submitted by Lisa Ratmansky, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

Posted in Community Reflections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cabrini Mission Corps, Radnor, PA

Following two weeks of orientation for their year of  service, three of the missioners returned to Radnor, PA where they will be serving at Cabrini College. An important component of their year is community, sharing prayer, meals and life with the Missionary
Sisters. The missioners met with CMC Director, Gina Scarpello, Sr. Grace Waters, MSC, and Sr. Christine Marie Baltas, MSC, to discuss community plans and expectations for the year.

CMC Director Gina Scarpello (standing) led the discussion of community life with from left: Sr. Grace Waters, MSC, CMC missioners Matt Kaehler, Martin Garcia, Sr. Christine Marie Baltas, MSC and missioner Connor White.

CMC Director Gina
Scarpello (standing) led
the discussion of community life with from left: Sr. Grace Waters, MSC, CMC missioners Matt Kaehler, Martin Garcia, Sr. Christine Marie Baltas, MSC and missioner Connor White.

From the MSC Update, Sept. 11, 2014; Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

 

 

Posted in Together on the Journey: News from the Missionary Sisters | Leave a comment

Mother Cabrini the “Guinea Pig”

Among today’s most vocal anti-immigration, pro-deportation activists, you are certain to find some Italian Americans. Some of the vitriolic language these anti-immigration Italian Americans employ, or at least endorse, is reminiscent of what Mother Cabrini heard herself in this country as an Italian immigrant.

When Mother Cabrini arrived in America in March 1889, she immediately began ministering to Italian immigrants in Manhattan. The Italian neighborhoods on the island weren’t the chic enclaves that they are today and the tenements she discovered upon her arrival were rancid with indescribable poverty.

In fact, it wasn’t until muckraker photojournalist Jacob Riis’ groundbreaking 1890 photobook “How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York” that the wider world came to comprehend the magnitude of impoverishment in those infamous dwellings.

In addition to those poverty-infested tenements, what welcomed Mother Cabrini and her Sisters to America were racial slurs like “guinea pigs” shouted at Italian immigrants. The rampant anti-Italian immigrant sentiment in late-19th and early-20th Century America is not as well documented as tenement poverty, but was equally appalling.

In “Mother Cabrini, Italian Immigrant of the Century,” Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, Ph.D., wrote:

It did not take long for Mother Cabrini to become acquainted with the ethnic slurs and prejudices of the day. After less than two weeks in New York she wrote to Italy requesting material for additional habits and veils for the Sisters so that they might present themselves well in public: “… otherwise they will call us ‘guinea-pigs’ the way they do the Italians here.”

And later:

Her [Mother Cabrini] deep concern for the Italian immigrants was noted in Mother Cabrini’s early correspondence from America. “The field is so vast to do good for our poor Italians who are abandoned and very much looked down upon by the English-speaking people … They cannot bear the sight of the Italians.”

Missionary Sisters who accompanied Mother Cabrini wrote in their journals. “… The fathers spoke of the unhappiness of the poor Italians who were treated like slaves … There are various factions here against the Italians, even among those who pretend to be our friends …”

Mother Cabrini’s comment on these early New York days: “To succeed in this City, it is first necessary to go through a novitiate of extreme want.”

In her biography, Sullivan concludes, “The tension between Italian heritage and American identity ultimately led Frances Cabrini to formulate an educational method blending knowledge and pride in national ancestry with the practical need to adapt to American language and customs.”

Today, Mother Cabrini—the Patron of Immigrants and the first American citizen saint—is beloved and universally applauded in America for building hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes and schools across the star spangled country. She is cited as the epitome of bootstrap Americanism. She is an example of the industrious, self-made woman. She is beloved today for having been a consummate doer in our “Just Do It” American culture.

Yet, she was also an Italian immigrant in America before becoming a U.S. citizen in 1909. A “guinea pig” who nativists (including some high ranking Catholic clergy) encouraged to return “home” during those early days in New York.

Little did they know then that for Mother Cabrini—who went on to establish her Missionary Sisters across the globe—the entire world was her home. She was an “engaged citizen of the world” and calls us to be the same.

By Christopher Grosso, Senior Writer, Cabrini College

Posted in Mother Cabrini's Philosophy of Living

Reflecting on an Education of the Heart: John Brown

When asked to describe what the phrase “Education of the Heart” means to him, John Brown, Associate Professor of Mathematics said: “I think of the words of Christ in Luke’s gospel, ‘Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.’ We may not always appreciate, or even be aware of, the many gifts we’ve been given. But just by virtue of us having the resources and ability to be at a college–whether we’re students, faculty, staff or administration–we have so many advantages over the majority of others on the planet whose hardships we can’t even begin to imagine. To me, an Education of the Heart is becoming aware of and developing the many gifts with which we’ve been entrusted and heeding the words of Christ to use them to better the lives of others.”

Submitted by Lisa Ratmansky, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

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Patriot Day, September 11

On this Patriot Day, as we remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001, it is difficult to imagine the pain of those who lost loved ones.  Only through the eyes of faith  can we even begin to make sense of things.  Only faith will help us to understand St. Paul’s words,  “We know that all things work for good for those who love God,* who are called according to his purpose.”   (Romans 8).

Father Joseph Bayne, chief chaplain of the Erie County Emergency Services, and chaplain of the Buffalo Fire Department in Buffalo, New York responded to the call for help at ground zero.  Fr. Bayne explains,

“I roamed around Ground Zero in my turnout gear, speaking to the rescue personnel as they came off the smoking burning pile that was holy ground. I shook hands, hugged, gave bottles of water and often prayed quietly with them. I even mustered some smiles and laughter. I met the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, the man who lost over 700 of his staff. I spoke with cops and fire fighters. In true St. Francis of Assisi style, I patted and blessed the rescue dogs as they came off the pile after their shift.”

“In the days following the tragedy, some said they saw the face of the devil in the smoke at Ground Zero. Many asked me about the same, and my answer hasn’t changed in 10 years. No, I did not see the devil’s face at Ground Zero. I saw the face of God in the people working, caring, sweating, crying, rescuing, recovering and being very spiritual in their very humanness. I was moved and changed and felt God’s hand in the goodness that followed such tragedy. My ministry embodied the prayer of Saint Francis, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

To read Chaplain Bayne’s reflection in its entirety, please see:  An Instrument of Peace at Ground Zero.

 

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

Posted in Together on the Journey: News from the Missionary Sisters, Uncategorized | Leave a comment