H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Francis Xavier Cabrini
Founder of religious institutions
Mother Cabrini was born
in Italy and took her religious vows in
1877. In 1880, with a desire to become a missionary, she
obtained approval from the Vatican for a new religious order,
the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Mother Cabrini was
sent to New York City in 1889 to organize charitable and
religious work for Italian immigrants. She became a U.S. citizen
In the United States,
her religious order became a model of social action. Her outlook on life
was summed up when she said: If it is possible, it can be done.
If it is impossible, it must be done.
She was invited to Chicago
in 1899 to organize the Assumption School, for many years the only Italian-American
parochial school in Chicago. In 1903, Mother Cabrini purchased an abandoned
hotel on Lakeview Avenue and renovated it into the original building for
Columbus Hospital. She also
established the Columbus Hospital Extension, 811 South Lytle Avenue, now
St. Cabrini Hospital.
Mother Cabrini died
in a small room here, in the original Columbus Hospital building, 2520 North
Lakeview Avenue, in 1917. The room has been preserved as a shrine and is
open to the public. Her benevolence and good works were recognized by the
Catholic Church in 1946, when she was canonized by Pope Pius XII.