On Nov. 17, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York celebrated Mass at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in Manhattan. The Mass was the first in a series of Masses in the archdiocese, dedicated to the Church’s celebration of the Year of Faith. The Mass recognized the Catholic Church’s history of service to and enrichment by immigrants. It was fitting that the Mass was held at the Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants. “In his words of greeting, Cardinal Dolan said he and Father Brian McWeeney, coordinator of Year of Faith activities in the archdiocese, decided a visit to the Mother Cabrini Shrine was in order right away.” In his homily, Cardinal Dolan said, “The fruit of faith is holiness and we have a tremendous example of faith and sanctity here in Mother Cabrini.” “Cardinal Dolan said that Mother Cabrini believed in the doctrines of the Catholic faith and put her trust “absolutely” in God that “things would work out.” Mother Cabrini was a woman who reached out “in love and charity” to orphans, the homeless and immigrants, especially Italian immigrants whom Pope Leo XIII sent her to America to serve in 1889. As the cardinal spoke, he did so in the presence of Mother Cabrini’s earthly remains, which are contained behind glass at the base of the altar in the shrine that bears her name. A mural illustrating her life story in service to those in need covers the wall in the rear of the sanctuary. All around the shrine church were examples of those following in her footsteps, most notably the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sister Pietrina Raccuglia, M.S.C., provincial of the Stella Maris Province, welcomed Mass-goers to the shrine with remarks in English and Spanish. The voice and handbell choirs from Mother Cabrini High School provided the music at the liturgy. After Communion, the school’s president, Bruce Segall, presented Cardinal Dolan with gifts, including a spiritual bouquet. In the church’s rear vestibule, under a gigantic stained-glass window of Mother Cabrini, workers from archdiocesan Catholic Charities and Cabrini Immigrant Services were available to answer questions about immigration. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, the general intercessions were recited in five languages: English, Spanish, Creole, Tagalog and Italian. Cardinal Dolan said our nation has been “slow to learn the lesson” about immigrants that the Catholic Church has understood for at least 200 years. Welcoming the immigrant is more than a matter of justice, it is also a matter of patriotism, he said. “The immigrant is good for America. America is enhanced and strengthened by the arrival of the immigrant,” the cardinal said to applause from the congregation.” —by John Woods in Catholic New York 11/28/12.