As a million spectators lined Fifth Avenue for the Columbus Day parade, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a major announcement: the state of New York would deliver aid to help fund the construction of a Mother Cabrini statue.
On Thursday, the governor appointed a 19-person commission to study proposals for the statue’s design and location.
He also pledged up to $750,000 for the project, according to CBS News.
The development comes as welcome news to Italian-Americans, who were stunned to learn Cabrini would not be honored in the city’s widely publicized statue initiative.
Mother Cabrini snubbed
There are 150 statues in New York City, and only five are of women. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, recently launched an initiative to change that.
To help decide which women should be honored with statues, She Built NYC — a public arts program commissioned to handle such projects — conducted a poll to bring everyday New Yorkers into the selection process. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini overwhelmingly came in first place with 219 nominations.
Despite the public’s clear-cut choice, McCray decided to snub Cabrini and move on to other candidates.
ISDA urged Italian Americans to contact She Built NYC to protest the decision, and in response, the group pointed to Mother Cabrini’s shrine in Upper Manhattan, arguing the saint already had enough of a presence in New York City.
A true saint
Mother Cabrini was a true pioneer, who’s good will and compassion still aid and uplift people in New York City and around the globe today.
Consider the following:
- She founded more than 70 schools, hospitals, houses and orphanages dedicated to the sick and poor, and Italian immigrants
- She was the first U.S. citizen to be canonized
- She is the patron saint of immigrants
We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments, as Cuomo’s work gets underway.