Dear Sisters and Partners-in-Mission,
On July 7th we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Mother Cabrini’s canonization. Saint, lover of Christ, businesswomen, entrepreneur, advocate for the vulnerable, audacious, servant, educator, hard worker, mother… St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, lived prophetically, a woman beyond her time, human and humanizing, and until today a beacon of hope and life. She gave her all to bring the love of Christ to the ends of the earth. I encourage each of us, individually and collectively, as we celebrate this hallmark anniversary, to reflect on the past years of our personal affiliation with the MSC. As sisters and lay in partnership, you have been light and salt, continuing her legacy. When did you hear your vocational calling? What drew you to be a Sister or to apply for your position in partnership with the MSC? What about Mother Cabrini continues to inspire you today?
Now more than ever the world needs courageous bearers of God’s love to audaciously and intelligently confront the injustices, ills, and challenges of our time. This past quarter is not an exception. The pandemic continues to rage in various parts of the globe. We celebrate that the great majority of our Sisters are vaccinated as are others in our Cabrini World. While on the world level some have managed to be vaccinated, with many high-income countries having vaccinated more than 50% of their population, only 0.9% of individuals in low-income countries had received one dose by June 30, 2021. We think of the devastating effects of the pandemic especially on countries where we serve, like Brazil and Argentina. Political unrest continues in Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and now Eswatini. The effects of global warming and climate change are devastating our common home, as can be seen by the deadly heat wave experienced in Northern America. 2020 was the hottest recorded year in history. These realities inevitably have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable of our societies.
Thank you to those of you who faithfully continue to provide services despite all the hardships you are facing. Your presence and actions are evidence that love is alive and active. Whether through our sponsored ministries, our emerging ministries, our pastoral care, or our Sisters’ communities, know that as we act locally we should continue to think globally. All of our actions and voices together help advocate for and shape our response to the biggest crises of our times.
Looking forward to the next 75 years and the legacy that we will leave future generations, the Extended Council is actively reviewing our sponsored ministries according to the Chapter Mandates, and in a process about making recommendations for each one. Let us continue to ask Mother Cabrini to pray for us, in our discernment, and daily in all we are asked to do. Pray and act so that we may respond effectively to the most pressing needs of our time. While much has changed in the world the past 75 years, what we hold to is not an object or an organization, but the mission of spreading God’s love to all the ends of the earth.
I also use this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the Mother’s Day gift for the Sisters, we were truly overwhelmed by your kindness, thank you for accompanying us. As MSC we continue to grieve the loss of many of our Sisters in the past months, each one of them precious, and all of them carrying a piece of our history. They are exemplars, having dedicated their lives to the outworking of the charism like a golden tapestry on this earth.
Embodying Philippians 4.13, Mother Cabrini continually shows us that as we lay down our lives, so we truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. In her words: “God has done it all, I have only been a spectator of God’s work.” Letter 779 Volume 2 of the Letters written to Mons. Rota in Codogno, on 5.11.1896. Let us continue to hold one another and the work of our ministries in prayer as we navigate through these times.
Yours in the Heart of Christ,
Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC