How St. Frances Xavier Cabrini left her mark on New Orleans

Mar 20, 2024 1000

BY: Blake Pontchartrain

Cabrini High School on Esplanade Avenue offers the most tangible reminders of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s legacy in the city, but Mother Cabrini’s first stop in New Orleans was the French Quarter. It’s where she and her Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus cared for the poor, especially Italian immigrants just as in New York, as depicted in the new film.

Born in Italy in 1850, Cabrini came to New Orleans in 1892, just three years after arriving in New York. She purchased a building at 817 St. Philip Street which had been a mansion but was a tenement house by the time she bought it. She opened a school, day nursery and orphanage there. Soon a need arose for even more space for the nuns to care for the many New Orleans children who lost their parents in the yellow fever epidemic. 

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