Delving Deeper

As an elementary school teacher, an education of the heart means delving deeper than the child’s grade point average and benchmark proficiency.  On a small scale, this can include their favorite color, recess games and after school activities.  Even more powerful is knowing what their family life is like and their ever-changing hopes and dreams for their future.  Though all this seems to make an already demanding job even more challenging it actually profoundly aids in classroom management while promoting higher level learning that will last beyond their years in your classroom.  Children are very intuitive and know innately whether a teacher sees them as a student or as an individual; the ladder being greatly empowering.

Submitted by:  Jacqueline Small Knowlton/Alumna ’06

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Cabrini Immigrant Services, NYC Hosts Health Workshops

This spring, Cabrini Immigrant Services NYC is hosting a series of health workshops and outings. The goal of the series is to educate the community about affordable options to eat and live healthy.  Workshops include tips on healthy eating, cooking demonstrations and  much more. In addition there are scheduled field trips to local establishments that provide fresh fruits and vegetables including a local Community Supported Agriculture site (CSA) and local Green Market.  All workshops are bi-lingual in English and Spanish or English and Chinese. The workshops are scheduled for April 17 and May 1.

Just Say Yes! To Fruits and Vegetables  Workshop participants and facilitator.

Just Say Yes! To Fruits and Vegetables Workshop participants and facilitator.

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

Posted in Together on the Journey: News from the Missionary Sisters

Teaching: A Humble Vocation

For me, teaching is a calling, a humble vocation.  When I meet with student teachers, I tell them that academic success is not enough. I remind them of the words of Mother Cabrini.  Exemplary teaching is a marriage of the head and the heart. Teaching children to count is not as important as teaching what counts. “I do not teach with my mouth alone.  I do my best teaching when my heart is open.” (Esther Wright)

Submitted by:  Linda Noll/Student Teaching Supervisor

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Hand Bell Choir at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in NYC

Sr. Mary Ann Hawes, MSC, directs the shrine hand bell choir.  On Easter Sunday, the bell  choir helped to celebrate the feast of the Resurrection and played  at the 11am Mass.   The St. Frances Cabrini Shrine is part of the parish of the Church of St. Elizabeth, 268 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY. Masses are held at the shrine on Sundays at 9am and 11am.  You can view and hear the hand bell choir here.   You will recognize the familiar hymn, Come Thou, Almighty King.

Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise.
Father, all glorious,
O’er all victorious,
Come, and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

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

“More than Improving the Minds of Students”

The phrase “Education of the Heart” means that Cabrini College does more than improve the minds of its students. This mission educates the whole student. An education of the heart works closely with the student and takes into account their passions, background and personality, so that they succeed in academics and in every other facet of life. An education of the heart also inspires people to help others through what they have learned inside and outside of the classroom.

Submitted by:  Melissa “Missy” Matsanka/Sophomore Education Major

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What They Teach

Devotional intercession of canonical Saints is a heartwarming, soul-affirming practice. Just as God becoming man in Jesus gave our laughably small intellects a context, shape, and form to understand a boundless, infinite Deus, our identification with Saints gives context, shape, and form for how faith can be expressed in this often-baffling world.

Saints existed in this messy world and they blundered through it just like we do now, with the same wonderment at both the majesty and tragedy of this reality. Of course they were unique as holy women and men, which made them noteworthy enough to catch the special attention of the Church.

However, what people often like most about Saints is not what beatific things they did, but instead is how human they are—in spite of being Saints. We identify with Saints because they too struggled, and what the Saints teach us is how to overcome.

Saint were afflicted with all forms of human suffering, including what grandmothers used to call “dark days.” To be more modern and clinical, like many of us Saints too suffered from the mental illness called depression.

Just a few decades ago, saying a Saint suffered any mental illness would be blasphemous. Yet, as the Church progresses incrementally—often in centurial increments—we have accepted that suffering through mental illness does not diminish a Saint’s saintliness. Instead, it actually elevates them because often they were healed through faith, perseverance, sacraments, prayer, medical attention, and with the support of a network of friends and a community of believers—all good things.

Mother Cabrini suffered “a sense of depression” at least once in her life. We shouldn’t go so far as to presume that the Saint suffered from clinical depression, but she was having “dark days.” The Saint battled back, and as Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, Ph.D., noted in her biography of the Saint, any “serenity” attributed to the Saint wasn’t God-given. No, it required work. Sullivan tells us:

The serenity which impressed her contemporaries was neither natural to Mother Cabrini nor achieved without much prayer and determination of will. In the first years of her new institute she confided to her spiritual notes a sense of depression which she felt. We read in 1883: “Neither in God nor my superiors do I find the comfort I need for my soul in this moment of tremendous need. My God, what sadness!” As time went on, it becomes apparent that she made great efforts to lift her own spirits so that she could lift those of others: “I will not be…cast down even when various events in life seem to indicate that all is lost.” Cabrini made frequent references to suffering, personal desolation, loss of courage and disappointment, and resolved: “In adversity, in misfortune, in unpleasant announcements, I will try to keep my spirit calm, my face serene.”

Even Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini—for all that she accomplished in her life—the axiom still applies: We identify with Saints because they too struggled, and what the Saints teach us is how to overcome.

By Christopher Grosso, Senior Writer, Cabrini College

Posted in Mother Cabrini's Philosophy of Living

Aristotle said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

He believed the heart was the true center of our human intelligence and not the brain. To be a student of the heart is to study God’s blueprint for mankind. We are more than a bundle of biology. We are heart, mind, soul and spirit – we are each one, unique in the world, and yet all of us share the same human bond.  An education of the heart is a lifelong process – we have to be willing to be both student and teacher. Sorry, but there probably will not be an app for that.

Submitted by:  Ann Marie Brown/Administrative Assistant/Academic Affairs

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