By Tim Harfmann
Lady Liberty is going to have a new neighbor.
After months of controversy, Manhattan’s Battery Park City will be home to Mother Cabrini memorial.
“It’s a good thing that it’s finally resolved, with the state’s intervention,” said Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. “Hopefully [the statue] will be something that does give Mother Cabrini the honor that she deserves.”
Bishop DiMarzio championed the cause to honor the patroness of immigrants — known for serving the needy, opening schools and orphanages.
“The statue will be facing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, connecting Mother Cabrini’s mission of reaching out to the immigrants with the national story of immigration symbolized in the Statue of Liberty,” said John Heyer.
Heyer is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Mother Cabrini Commission, co-chaired by Bishop DiMarzio and the Columbus Citizen Foundation’s Angelo Vivolo. The statue will be erected on state land.
“They will make sure the statue is taken care of in perpetuity,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
“This was the most-deserving woman, and we’re delighted the governor stepped in and had us be able to create this statue,” said Vivolo.
The commission was established in October. Now, they’re accepting proposals from artists. One idea is to have Mother Cabrini stand with children.
“Most of her work was with children, either in the orphanages or in the schools. She did other work, too, but that would be appropriate,” Bishop DiMarzio explained.
The commission plans on having the new statue erected by next October.
Catholics in the Diocese of Brooklyn are also being encouraged to voluntarily pitch-in to help rejuvenate Mother Cabrini Park in Brooklyn and set another memorial to the saint right there. Bishop DiMarzio and Governor Cuomo back the plan.
Contributions are being accepted through the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens at cfbq.org/cabrinistatue.