NEW YORK - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has thrown his support behind the idea of building a statue honoring Frances Xavier Cabrini, known best as Mother Cabrini, an Italian immigrant who founded dozens of schools, orphanages and hospitals across three continents.
“Let’s stand up, let’s demand respect for our community, let’s lead the way by taking action and let’s build a memorial to Mother Cabrini and I pledge my full support tonight,” Cuomo said at the Columbus Citizens Foundation gala on Saturday evening.
Cabrini received the most nominations in New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray’s city-wide campaign to install seven statues of historic women.
“If anyone fits the criteria today, it’s Mother Cabrini. She came from Italy, she was an immigrant to this country, she worked on the Lower East Side, she worked in Brooklyn helping immigrants.”
“Despite that, the city commission picked seven other women to honor and excluded Mother Cabrini,” Cuomo said.
In an interview with Good Day New York, Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, argued otherwise.
“It is an inter-agency process,” Finkelpearl said. “That list was looked over, looking for sites with the Parks Department, Cultural Affairs, all over the city.”
Now, the Diocese of Brooklyn is moving to build a memorial in Mother Cabrini’s honor, with over 1,000 people gathering to march in support of the statue last week.
“If anyone fits the criteria today, it’s Mother Cabrini. She came from Italy, she was an immigrant to this country, she worked on the Lower East Side, she worked in Brooklyn helping immigrants,” said Monsignor David Cassato, Director of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Italian Apostolate.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has also announced that it will feature a Mother Cabrini statue aboard its parade float at New York City’s Columbus Day Parade on Sunday.