By Tim Harfmann and Allyson Escobar
MANHATTAN — It’s not a statue, but it is an honor.
The Diocese of Brooklyn will have a float of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini at Manhattan’s Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 14. The float will be two or three car-lengths long, and will include youth and adults, according to a report.
“It’s very fitting that the Diocese of Brooklyn will feature a float with Mother Cabrini. In conjunction with Futures in Education, because one of Mother Cabrini’s greatest gifts is working with the poor, children and immigrants, which is exactly what Futures in Education tries to do — we educate children and those in need,” said John Heyer, director of the diocese’s Annual Catholic Appeal and special assistant to the vicar for development.
“To have her on that float to honor and tell her story, so that others could see her as a model and celebrate her, especially on a day that we celebrate Italian-American culture and heritage,” he said.
Catholics and local Italian- Americans have publicly expressed their outrage over the snub of Mother Cabrini by first lady Chirlane McCray’s She Built NYC program that’s overseeing a project to build statues of women throughout the city.
The decision to exclude Mother Cabrini from the first phase of the project was made despite a citywide vote in August in which Mother Cabrini received the most nominations of any of the 320 women on the list. Only seven were chosen.
On Oct. 6, more than 1,000 people rallied in Carroll Gardens in support of a statue for Mother Cabrini, and the Catholic Foundation is raising money to build its own statue at Brooklyn Borough Hall.