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Celebrating Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini: Life of Service
by Patricia Mathson
Frances Cabrini cared about children and all people.
Click HERE for a fun take-home activity page about St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.

Frances Cabrini cared about children and all people. When students came to school hungry, Frances made sure they had something to eat. Even the day before she died, she helped make Christmas treats as a surprise for the children. With all her heart, Frances Xavier Cabrini shared God’s love with others.

Overcoming Disappointment

Frances was born in Italy and was often sick. She wanted to become a religious sister, but was turned down because of her poor health. Instead of being discouraged, she founded her own order of sisters. All her life she had wanted to be a missionary to China, but the pope asked her instead to go to the United States. So she went, and she made a difference in the lives of thousands of people—all because she did not give up.

Patron Saint of Immigrants

Mother Cabrini, as she was known, arrived in the United States in 1889. She worked in cities such as New York and Chicago to help the immigrants who had recently come from Italy. Many of them faced hardships in their new country. She founded hospitals for those who were sick and started schools and orphanages for children. Frances worked tirelessly to help people in need. She is the patron saint of immigrants.

Continuing the Work

Today Mother Cabrini’s work is continued by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart around the world. They bring hope to others following her example. They care for those who are homeless, sick, elderly, and poor. We celebrate the life of Saint Frances Cabrini on November 13.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s act out the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). We need someone to be the traveler, the robbers, the people who walk by, and the Samaritan. We can talk about the actions in the story and then role play it.
* Let’s talk about the importance of treating people of all nations and backgrounds with respect. Each person is created in God’s image and likeness. We want to work for justice for all people.
* Let’s collect items for an after-school tutoring program for children in low-income housing: notebook paper, folders, pens, pencils, markers, dictionaries, index cards, copy paper, scissors, calculators, math games, and backpacks.
* Let’s make a list of people who are poor, sick, elderly, homeless, and hungry, and those who are refugees. Let’s pray for these people now, as a community of God’s people. Let’s also pray for these people at home as well.


God of all people, thank you for the example of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. She served people in need, as we are called to do as well. Open our hearts to the needs of others. Help us to serve others as Jesus Christ showed us. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a Master of Religious Education degree. She is currently the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of ten books with the latest titled 70 Sacrament Starters for Children (Twenty-Third Publications).

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