Over 16,000 students representing 107 Archdiocesan high schools, parish and regional elementary schools, schools of special education, and Independence Mission Schools throughout the five-county region attended screenings of the movie Cabrini.

Cabrini is a film that tells the story of Italian immigrant Francesca Cabrini, who would become a saint. It shares her tale of great hope, resilience, and the transformative impact of one person’s dedication to making a positive change.

Students in grades 7 to 12 had the opportunity to see the movie Cabrini in theatres through a grant from the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education, the successor name to the Archdiocesan Educational Fund. This charitable organization was created and funded by Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr. (1893-1973), building contractor and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland (1962-64), in 1967 to advance Catholic education and evangelization throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The name of the Fund changed in February 2020.

Students from Archdiocesan high school and schools of special education saw the movie in local theaters March 6-8. Students from parish and regional elementary school and students from Independence Mission Schools attended the screenings on March 11-12.

Students also participated in pre and post movie activities that included exploring the life of Mother Cabrini through a short video and exploring the history of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart; exploring the history of immigration in late 19th century America; discussing how the movie impacted the students;  discussing key quotes from the movie; and an impact research activity exploring the historical context of Mother Cabrini’s mission.

Senior leadership from the Office of Catholic Education included this movie as part of the curriculum because of its potential to inspire meaningful discussions and reflections on important themes relative to Missionary Discipleship and service to others. Cabrini offers valuable lessons about empathy, compassion, empowerment of all people, and the ability of individuals to be catalysts positive change in their communities.

Background information on Cabrini

Cabrini is a powerful film that tells the inspiring story of Italian immigrant Francesca Cabrini. Witnessing the dire conditions of disease and poverty in the slums of New York, Mother Cabrini embarks on a daring journey. Her mission is to persuade a hostile mayor to provide housing and healthcare for hundreds of Italian orphaned children along with convincing Pope Leo XIII and Archbishop Michael Corrigan that a religious woman on a mission possessed the capabilities beyond anyone’s expectations. It is a narrative of great hope, resilience, and the transformative impact of one person’s dedication to making a positive change in the world.