|Stained glass window of Mother Cabrini|
From St Josaphat Basilica, Milwaukee.
It was the Pope himself who recognized the need for special pastoral concern for immigrants in the Americas, and who personally commissioned St. Frances Cabrini as a "missionary" to the Catholic immigrants, rather than to the unbaptized in China (where she had intended to go).
We need the spirit of Mother Cabrini perhaps more than ever today in this U.S. Catholic community which will only survive (demographically speaking) because of Hispanic immigrants--and even then, only if we help them to keep the faith: something which may involve, as it did in Mother Cabrini's time, offering material and social support to keep their families intact, and support for their spiritual life in the language those families speak. It would seem a no-brainer, except for something I heard Sunday at the Bishops/Bloggers meeting: Uber-blogger Rocco Palmo (who has more connections to the Vatican than most bishops) commented that he never gets such vitriolic comments and e-mail as when he posts in Spanish for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Accusations of being "un-American"; of being a "bad American" can only come from Catholics who prioritize their citizenship over their faith, or who practice the faith as a particular kind of ornament on their patriotism. They seem not to realize that the Catholic Church in the U.S. will be again a Church of immigrant families, or it will not exist at all within a generation, and they have forgotten what Paul said about the Body of Christ: that there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, Parthian, Sythian, slave or free, but all are one in Christ Jesus.
St. Frances Cabrini, pray for us and for the Catholic Church in the United States, your adopted homeland!