Our Cabrini Legacy
Monday, 19 March 2012 18:00

From its origin, Cabrini High School has enjoyed a legacy of greatness, created more than 125 years ago. It began even earlier in the dreams of a young Italian girl, Maria Francesca Cabrini, who had a burning desire to teach others about the faith that burned so fiercely in her heart.  She was the first woman to establish a missionary order of women.  In 1889, nine years after the beginnings of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Leo XIII requested that Mother Cabrini and her sisters undertake service to immigrants in the United States.

At the age of 40, she and a group of her Missionary Sisters crossed the ocean for the first time to begin her work in America. Throughout her life, she pioneered the building of schools, hospitals, clinics, and orphanages around the world. She was not satisfied with simply establishing facilities. She worked in them by teaching English, encouraging immigrants to acquire their citizenship, and build new lives for themselves.

Mother Cabrini once said, "The greatest heritage to a girl is a good education."

In her schools, intellectual interests were cultivated, which prepared the girls for intelligent civic and social activities. Education in the necessary, the useful, and the beautiful was offered to them, completing the whole student academically and aesthetically.

She opened her first New Orleans Orphanage in 1892 on St. Phillip Street in the French Quarter. In 1905 she built the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum at 3400 Esplanade Avenue. In 1959 the buildings of her orphanage were reborn as Cabrini High School.  Since then Cabrinian women have been encouraged to develop fervor within, to not be contented with mediocrity, and to achieve greatness in life. They are guided to be proud of their ancestry and citizenship, to be grateful for their education and simple luxuries, and to be sympathetic to those less fortunate. They are taught to respect all realms of academia as they thrive in a personal atmosphere where each girl has the full commitment of her teachers to help her find her unique passion and achieve excellence.

Cabrini High School is blessed by surroundings that not only had sacred beginnings, but were also lived in, worked in, served in, and prayed in by a saint. Cabrini students often recall how Cabrini High feels like home to them, a feeling that is easily sensed because Cabrini quite simply is a home and was home to Mother Cabrini. Cabrini High School is a place to nurture young women in the likeness of God and empower them to excel in whatever passions they hold dear, much like the principles Mother Cabrini lived by in her own life. In essence, the young women of Cabrini High School are the legacy of Mother Cabrini.

As protectors of that legacy, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the faculty and staff of Cabrini High School continue what Mother Cabrini began. They have dedicated their lives to her mission of education through ministry.  Each student is precious and watched over as if their own.

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