Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Battery Park City on Monday.
“This Columbus Day, the celebration of Mother Cabrini is even more appropriate than when we announced it last year because of the difficulties that we are facing,” Cuomo said. “We all know that these are challenging times, but we also know that in the book of life, it is not what one does when the sun is shining that tests our meddle – it’s what one does in the fury of the storm, and that’s where we are today.”
Cuomo established the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission last year to oversee the creation of a statue in her honor.
Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress and a member of the memorial commission, told this paper about what it means to reveal the statue to the public.
“I was honored to serve on the Mother Cabrini Statue Commission,” he said. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Mother Cabrini – an icon to the Italian community and to all immigrants – will finally have a special place overlooking New York Harbor, Ellis Island and her beloved borough of Brooklyn.”
The commission was established after Mother Cabrini was excluded from plans of the She Built NYC initiative to build statues of six women across the city, despite finishing first in a citywide vote.
Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who was at the unveiling, praised the statue’s creators and said their design does justice to Mother Cabrini.
“I am so happy that there were so many people who supported this effort and I am happy with the unique design which shows Mother Cabrini in motion and taking care of children,” DiMarzio said. “We hope that people who visit this memorial will recognize that history should be repeated, that there was a care for the outcast and marginalized which Mother Cabrini understood, and we need that same care today.”
The Diocese of Brooklyn has also raised funds for the construction of a Mother Cabrini monument in Brooklyn. Details will be announced at a future date.
Additional reporting from an article by John Alexander