Dyker Heights

Post office to be renamed to Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Post Office Building on Tuesday

December 21, 2020 Jaime DeJesus, Brooklynreporter.com

Community leaders and others will preside over a Zoom conference on Tuesday to change the name of the Dyker Heights Post Office, 8320 13th Ave., to the Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Post Office building.

The renaming is being done to honor St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, also known as Mother Cabrini, an Italian-American nun who was the first American citizen to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Last year, U.S. Rep. Max Rose introduced legislation to rename the post office after the Italian immigrant and New Yorker. It was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

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“From looking out for the poor to helping immigrant families, Mother Cabrini exemplified the values that make New York City the greatest city in the world. Renaming the Dyker Heights Post Office in her honor is another part of ensuring her legacy and memory forever lives on,” Rose said.

“I was proud to work with my colleagues across New York to make this happen,” he added.

Along with Rose, Msgr. Thomas Caserta, pastor of the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette, and postal officials, are slated to attend the conference.

An official unveiling of a plaque at the site dedicated to her is slated to take place in the spring. Once unveiled, the plaque will read, “This building is named in honor of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini by an act of Congress Public Law 116-201, Dec. 3, 2020.”

This past October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Battery Park City. Last year, Mother Cabrini received the most votes from New Yorkers after the “She Built NYC program” asked people to recommend statues to honor women, but the selection committee, chaired by NYC first lady Chirlane McCray, ignored the recommendation.

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Mother Cabrini came to New York City in 1889 with six other nuns on the advice of the Pope, who asked them to help the Italian immigrants who were them emigrating to this nation in large numbers.

She obtained the archbishop’s permission to open the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum in West Park, N.Y. — later renamed to the St. Cabrini Home. Cabrini also organized catechism and education classes for the Italian immigrants and provided for the needs of the many orphans.

Mother Cabrini worked at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church on President Street in Brooklyn in 1892, the first predominately Italian-American church on Long Island, which was later merged into the Church of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and St. Stephen.

She also helped Brooklyn Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell to establish the St. Charles School at President and Van Brunt streets with Brooklyn Bishop McDonnell to serve the children of newly arrived Italian immigrants.

Mother Cabrini died on Dec. 22. 1917 at the age of 67.


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