Dear Editor: It is a noble gesture to honor Mother Cabrini by establishing a fund to erect a statue of her in Brooklyn (“Mother Cabrini, a Heroine Who Should Be Recognized,” Put Out Into the Deep, Sept. 28). But it grants the city, by preemption, its responsibility to recognize what the majority of recently surveyed New Yorkers consider Mother Cabrini to be as a public figure, and as a woman who made “extraordinary contributions to the city and beyond.”
Yes. She worked foremost for Italian immigrants with the catechism in one hand, but by her sheer practical ingenuity with the other hand, she established hospitals, schools and orphanages that served all New Yorkers — all bolstered by the social justice doctrines that were innate in her heart and indifferent to the faiths and racial makeups of the many needy beneficiaries she encountered.
She did this as a champion of social causes. She did this as much as the “progressive” women the decision makers of the SheBuilt NYC initiative rather prefer and are so eager to honor, but yet, at the same time, so very disingenuous as to so blatantly ignore Frances Xavier Cabrini, notwithstanding the rather secular marks of her progressive social achievements still evidenced to this day in this city.
The SheBuilt NYC initiative should know that we have no objections to those women who have already been selected, but we are ever so determined to have them include Cabrini in their roster as a matter of justice, and as a matter that is complimentary to their own solemn rhetoric of diversity and equality.
Victor J. Papa
Editor’s note: Papa is a member of the Committee for a Cabrini Statue.