The Blessing Ceremony at the Pentecost Service at The Cabrini Shrine, New York City
from Stuart Diamond – June 9, 2019
The Spirit Cross was inspired by the work and spirit of Mother Cabrini, The Patron Saints of Immigrants.
This statement is not an abstract homily. It is concrete, as it refers to the work and spirit of the people that I have come to know who are connected to the mission of Mother Cabrini- and fulfill Mother’s Cabrini call that “Love must not be hidden. It must be living, active and true!’
I would like to give my thanks to these brilliant women and men.
First, I would like thank Colin Lewis and my good friend John Hoover, who took my original design and concept of the Cross and turned them into models, prototypes, and finally into this compelling, physical reality.
Thank you to Gudrun Buhler and Phyllis Katz, for your exquisite artistry and blessing us with such consistently professional musical performances.
Thank you to Miriam King, the Director of the Shrine. She is more than a business manager. She is a wonderful artist in her own right, who understands the true meaning of manifestation, and how to make all things happen at The Shrine.
To Cherie Sprosty, the Director of Liturgy – a master moderator, who takes diverse thoughts and perspectives and weaves them together– so that all voices can be heard – to make a tapestry that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
And of course, to Sister Dianne McKenna, who every day shows us what it is to “Live Your Truth”. She is an exemplar of a subtle evolution in the House of God.
And though not directly a member of the Shrine, I would like to thank my wife Nevena – who listens more acutely and sees far deeper into the Realms of the Invisible than anyone I have ever known. And whose support is essential to what has happened here.
Finally, I would like to thank my friend, Jane Best – who is not here today. She lives in California. Jane is the co-founder of God’s Love We Deliver. God’s Love We Deliver prepares and delivers approximately 2 million nutritionally customized meals a year to homebound sick and disabled people in New York City. No questions asked. Yes, that was two million meals a year.
A little more than a year ago, Jane and I were walking past The Shrine. We decided to go in. That is when Sr. Dianne and Jane first met and discussed the connections between the Cabrini mission with Jane’s work and the beginnings of God’s Love We Deliver. The full story is too long to tell here. But a door opened then for me, and I understood what the spirit of Mother Cabrini truly meant.
God’s Love We Deliver began in the 1980s, when Jane and her roommate cooked a single meal and delivered it to one, destitute young man, dying of AIDS. That is how God’s Love We Deliver began – with one simple act of kindness.
Mother Cabrini wrote in her travel diaries:
As I see it, the mission is this: loving other human beings – wherever they are in the world, and letting them know that there is a God, who loves them unconditionally, now, as they are.
That is the living spirit of Mother Cabrini – and how the greatest of endeavors often begin – with one simple step.
The Spirit Cross is a testament to the unconditional love that can change the world.
And I suspect, our journey together has just begun. Thank you.