New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is expressing his support for the creation of a New York City statue honoring St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
“Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has said that this is an affront and the Brooklyn Diocese wants to build a memorial to Mother Cabrini. They are right,” said Cuomo during an Oct. 13 speech at the Columbus Citizens Foundation Gala.
“Let’s stand up and demand respect for our community. Let’s lead the way by taking action and let’s build a memorial to Mother Cabrini, and I pledge my full support tonight,” he said.
There may be hope for the cause to commemorate St. Frances Xavier Cabrini — the patron saint of immigrants who is known as Mother Cabrini — with a statue in New York City.
The Italian-American saint was excluded by the She Built NYC initiative, an arts program headed by the city’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, that was created last year to build monuments of influential women in the city.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn/Staten Island) said that she was contacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office on Oct. 11 to say that Mother Cabrini is still in the running for the next round of statues to be built around the city.
“The Mayor’s Office contacted me this morning and informed me that they will be announcing another round of statues, and Mother Cabrini is still being considered,” Malliotakis said in an email.
“I am glad that they are reconsidering their decision and listening to the countless Catholics and Italian-Americans, as well as elected officials, who are pushing to get Mother Cabrini her rightfully deserved statue in city public space,” Malliotakis said.
More than 300 women were nominated, and seven were chosen in the first round. But Mother Cabrini, foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wasn’t one of them, even though she received the most nominations.
“As both a woman and daughter of immigrants, I believe it is fitting that our city recognize the many contributions Mother Cabrini made for new immigrants, children and those suffering with illness,” Malliotakis said.
More than one thousand people rallied on Oct. 6 in Carroll Gardens in support of a Mother Cabrini statue. She will also be publicly recognized on a float sponsored by the Diocese of Brooklyn at the annual Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan on Oct. 14.