Last week New York City was deluged for days. On Friday some parts of the city had 8 of rainfall. Streets flooded; many subway lines shut down. Needless to say, all our pilgrimage groups either canceled or rescheduled. On Friday as I left I stopped to say good night to Mother Cabrini. “If you want pilgrims, you’ve gotta help!” I told her. The next morning I arrived at the Shrine at 8:15. At 8:30 the phone rang. A man asked, “What time do you open? I have a group coming to the 9:30 Mass.” “Are you here now?” I asked, startled. I checked my calendar. But no, there was nothing listed other than the groups that canceled in fear of Saturday’s weather. “Yes, we’re outside.” I peeked out the window. Indeed, a school bus was parked outside the stone wall. “I’ll let you in.” And just like that, in trouped several pews’ worth of teenagers and chaperones from a church in a rough part of Brooklyn. I chuckled. Mother Cabrini not only sent pilgrims, but she sent the best kind: her kind of kids. City kids who don’t know Jesus well yet, who need all the love that can be poured out on them. Kids who need to know that others – saints included – endure unfairness and prejudice and sickness and learn to love and serve God in the midst of hardship.We had a great talk about Mother Cabrini’s life and faith, and about how she dealt with difficulty. Afterwards the catechist who had organized the trip said, “I think I needed this as much as they did!” And then, throughout the cloudy day, came a slow but steady stream of other pilgrims. There were three women who arrived to seek clarity about a work situation, a family of five from Mexico needing intercession for green cards, two men and a woman from Argentina, a New Yorker originally from Ecuador with friends who were visiting. There were neighbors who wandered in, priests, curious tourists headed home from the Met Cloisters, and a pair of regular visitors who drove from the far reaches of Queens for a 10-minute prayer. We did not expect even one of them. Which is why they are all our pilgrims of the month. Julia Attaway Executive Director

Backpacks stowed in pews while the teens watched the video on the miracles that supported Mother Cabrini’s canonization.

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