New York spring break trip to retrace the footsteps of patron saint of college

By Gillian Davis
February 26, 2009

The Office of Campus Ministry will be sponsoring a trip to New York City to retrace the footsteps of Mother Cabrini from March 8-16, the week of spring break.

Throughout the Mother Cabrini spring break trip, participants will become familiar with what Mother Cabrini experienced when she immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. The trip includes visits to the Cabrini Immigrant Services, the Tenement Museum and Ellis Island, Cabrini Nursing home and Rehab and Cabrini High School.

Mother Cabrini was sent by the Pope in 1889 to New York City to work with Italian immigrants who lived on the margins of society. There she founded an orphanage known as the Saint Cabrini Home.

It was the first out of 67 homes she had established in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver and Los Angeles. Her legacy ended with becoming the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Campus Minister Christa Angeloni organized the spring break trip. “The trip was run a few years ago by different staff members and then it did not run for two to three years,” she said. “We are bringing it back with a new focus on mission in our lives and the footsteps of Mother Cabrini.”

Students will also be allowed to retrace their family’s history on this trip.

“If we get the chance to, I’ll definitely try to research my family’s history,” Kristie Bergin, junior social work and religious studies major, said. “I know they came in through New York in the ’20s and ’30s.”

The focus of the trip will be placed upon the students becoming educated about the wider Cabrini community, including Mother Cabrini’s history and journey. They will learn where she came from, why she came to America and what she did when she arrived.

“I hope to expand my perspective of service as well as become involved in the world around me,” Matt Slutz, junior English major, said.

“I do a lot of work with my parish and just this past school year I began working with Teen Motivators, which is a program to encourage Norristown youth to continue their education,” Slutz said.

Angeloni hopes that the students will be inspired by Mother Cabrini’s missionary spirit and will understand that a person can live with a mission in life without becoming a missioner, priest or nun.

“I think the New York trip will certainly give me more insight and opportunity to work in the larger community,” Slutz said. “I hope to learn more about the present Cabrini ministries and I am excited about going to New York, which is an entirely new milieu for me.”

Students will pay $25 as a deposit and will be working together to fundraise to help pay for the rest of the trip.

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Gillian Davis

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