Saint Among the Skyscrapers: The American Afterlife of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini

Jun 10, 2021
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Kathleen Sprows CummingsUniversity of Notre Dame


$10 registration fee for the online event. Registration required. A link to the livestream will be sent to registrants on the day of the event. 


You can now register for this in-person event taking place at the University Club of Chicago (76 E. Monroe St.) from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cosponsored by the University of North Carolina Press

Drawing on the recent book, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), this lecture will focus on St Frances Cabrini, an Italian missionary who arrived in New York in 1889 and died in Chicago in 1917. Cabrini and the congregation she founded, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, made their mark on Chicago and her other foundations throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. Cabrini progressed quite rapidly through the process of canonization, the elaborate series of steps through which the Catholic Church affirms that a holy person entered God’s eternal presence at the moment of death. This lecture explores her “afterlife” in historical memory, examining the role that Chicago played in presenting her as a saint for their city, the nation, and the world.


Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, where she is also professor of American studies and history at Notre Dame. She is an accomplished scholar, having also written New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) and published two edited volumes: Catholics in the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History (Cornell University Press in 2012) and Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event (Cambridge University Press, 2017). She is a public scholar, appearing on NBC’s live coverage of the conclave in March 2013, the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in April 2014, and the papal visit to the United States in September 2015. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times and other media outlets on Catholic subjects.