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The National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Now Open in Chicago

11/1/2012 - 11:38 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

CHICAGO, IL (November 1, 2012) - On Sunday, September 30, The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus celebrated the reopening of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Cardinal Francis George presided over inaugural Liturgy and Rite of Blessing at the Shrine's opening mass, which welcomed former employees of Columbus Hospital, pilgrims from around the world, devotees of Mother Cabrini and those instrumental in preserving this sacred place in the heart of the city.

"This holy place will give our community a place for prayer, contemplation, education and spiritual renewal," said Sister Joan McGlinchey. "It is through the sacredness of the space and its liturgical offerings that Chicagoans and visitors from all over the world will find and enhance their own relationship with God."

The reopening of this historic space, which was once the chapel of Columbus Hospital, has been a decade-long undertaking of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Founded in 1905 by Mother Cabrini, Columbus Hospital was torn down in 2001yet the chapel remained in possession of The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sisters and their collaborators, including Ricker Murphy Development and the architectural firm of Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson, worked tirelessly to save and preserve the Shrine to ensure future generations could learn about the life and mission of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Universal Patron Saint of Immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized.

In her lifetime, this Italian born woman had an enduring influence locally and internationally. Mother Cabrini tirelessly looked after the spiritual, educational, and healthcare needs of immigrants and other vulnerable populations everywhere she served. She founded a total of 67 institutions, including schools, orphanages, hospitals and parish ministries on three continents and in Chicago where she lived, worked and died.

Now open to the public, visitors can learn more about the life and mission of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and her congregation of religious sisters, The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Chicagoans and pilgrims from afar are welcome to tour the Shrine where all the furnishings and personal belongings of Mother Cabrini are displayed in a replica of the room where she died. All are welcome to attend Catholic Mass in the restored chapel and enjoy the hand-painted frescoes, fine marble statuary, gold mosaics, precious Florentine stained glass, and delicate decorative carvings which fill the worship space. Celebratory concerts, Eucharistic adoration, community events, and professionally guided tours will take place at the Shrine in the coming months to ensure neighbors and visitors from around the world have a sacred place in Chicago for prayer, worship, reflection and learning about the life and holiness of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.

For more information about the reopening of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini or to make a donation, please visit


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