Party to be held to celebrate Infante’s 104th

By Joe Holden
February 15, 2001

Joe Holden

“She’s just incredible.”

Lucy Traino says it all in a few simple words. She pauses and hesitates to find words to convey the positive experience she has had working with Sister Ursula Infante, MSC, foundress of Cabrini College. Traino, secretary for the Cabrini Sisters Nursing Home, works daily with Infante and the other senior sisters.

On Sunday, Infante will close the book on yet another year and turn 104.

“I don’t think I’m so old. I don’t feel it,” Infante said. “Mentally I feel the same.”

The community of sisters and friends will gather together on Sunday for the birthday celebration at the nursing home at 67th and Callowhill streets, Overbrook.

A special lunch will also be served in Infante’s honor.

Infante, standing less than five feet tall, battled to open a Catholic college for women on the Mainline of the Philadelphia suburbs. In 1957, she won the battle and the doors of Cabrini College were opened.

Infante remained president for the next ten years. She then took other appointments for the order throughout the country and returned to the college in 1984.

She was given the task of translating over a thousand of Saint Frances Cabrini’s letters from Italian to English.

These days, Infante spends much of her time praying and reading.

“I mostly like to read newspapers and magazines,” Infante said. The staff of the nursing home sees her time spent a little differently.

“Last Friday, Ursula went to the Imperial Inn in Chinatown for Chinese food and then to a chamber music concert at the convention center,” Traino said.

“The concert didn’t start until 8 p.m. People half her age have trouble going out late and here she’s 104 and the concert ended after 10:30 p.m. She’s out all the time.”Infante will not be expecting any sort of party or surprise for this birthday.

“She will be surprised when she sees the party,” Traino said. Though 104 is no small accomplishment, Infante sees it as just another day of the year.

“It’s nothing special,” Infante said. “It’s just another number.”

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Joe Holden

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