Cabrini Reactions

Cabrini Reactions March 15, 2024

In my reflections on Cabrini Cabrini Was Awesome | A Catholic Movie Review Of Angel Studios Cabrini Movie. ( I referenced several other people’s thoughts on the film.

Here are some more thoughts.

Leah Fisher And THIS is how I would have started the movie!
(written by St. Frances Cabrini):
“My loving Jesus, I enclose myself in You and surrender myself completely in Your loving Heart. Enlighten my mind with a ray of Your light, move my heart and soul and make me do whatever pleases You and is for Your greater glory. Jesus, I love You so much…but I am so weak that in my ignorance and sinfulness I still do not know how to correspond, even partially, to all the special graces and loving tenderness with which You surround me. I will think of You and rest in You, my beloved Jesus. Behold Your servant- do with me whatever You want! Amen.”

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s not every day you get to see yourself or your friends on the big screen. Children and young adults from across Western New York have that opportunity Thursday, however, two years after the filming of the historic drama “Cabrini”.

Gian Carlo, Michael and Samuel Caico, Capri Clark, Angelo Eckert, Rachel Teresi and Ashley Szczerbacki all met on set in the summer of 2021 and created a bond like no other. The long working days as extras and multiple layers of period piece clothing could not deter them from participating in the movie magic. Last week, they got to see the film come to life at the North Park Theater. Local young actors featured in “Cabrini” reflect on filmmaking experience | News 4 Buffalo (

Many folks who’ve seen CABRINI want to understand how we balanced the historical record with the art and craft of filmmaking. It’s a fascinating and complex question.

I should begin by saying that we had no interest in making a documentary-style movie of Cabrini’s life, with a strict adherence to factual accuracy. Our goal was to make a beautiful dramatic movie that captured the essence of Cabrini the person – the truth of her heart and soul. This necessarily required creative license.

In my opinion, a good biopic is closer to poetry than it is to a book of history. Movies use the language of images and dialog, the power of music and lighting and acting, to communicate a deeper and more immediate human truth than straight history could ever express.

That said, my writing process began with months and months of factual historical research. I read innumerable books and articles on Mother Cabrini – anything I could lay my hands on. (If you’re interested in reading more about Cabrini from a historical perspective, I list a few of the most useful books in a brief bibliography at the end of this page.)

Executive Producer Eustace Wolfington and I also visited all of Mother Cabrini’s main sites in Italy, walked in her footsteps, and conducted lengthy interviews with historians of her Order.

Out of these travels and discussions emerged a few essential insights – and even specific scenes – without which the movie would not be what it is.

Every single moment of the movie – whether invented or factual – was informed by historical research. Here are just a few prominent examples, from among many I could have chosen:

What is True in the Cabrini Movie? | Angel Studios

What I most admire about Cabrini has nothing to do with its subject matter nor its excellence in craftsmanship. It’s the release date. They finally released a quality Lenten movie during the season of Lent. Perfect timing, folks!-Nick Alexander

Fr. Peter Wojcik@ChicagoPriest· ( 2024) You may have seen the movie trailer. You may know a little bit about the woman. Did you know that Mother Cabrini was a parishioner @StClement? As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we encourage you to join us! Register Cabrini Film Panel Discussion/Dinner | Saint Clement Church – Chicago ( #cabrinimovie

The Ugly

I don’t think the filmmakers meant to be sacrilegious, but in leaving out the central motivation of Mother Cabrini’s life. – Jesus – they are essentially tellingly a lie about her.
 I think it comes down to that  many faith based critics- know little about movies and think they don’t really matter too much anyway. Or else, I think they think that if the filmmakers call themselves Catholic that everything they do should be supported. Both ideas are very wrong.
I was very curious to see the film because so many secular critics were giving it positive reviews. But then having seen it, I realize that the Left is happy to support a movie in this particular election year which champions a feminist fighting for immigrants against white male Americans and Catholic clerics. They like the film BECAUSE it is irreligious.Barbara Nicolosi –Marc7at 8:24 PM
Keep that last line in mine when reading some of the positive reviews.

The Not So-Positive

Am I the only one who’s had enough ‘Cabrini’ already? Folks, it’s just a movie. Let’s move on. – Michael J. Matt

Despite the marketing, “Cabrini” says it is self-consciously meant not to be the kind of religious movie that excites the converted, or that makes converts.

But it’s not really a character-driven story that explores human complexity — including or excluding faith — either, or that even deeply explores this particular person.

She’s rounded off to appeal to the least common denominator, but that makes her too shallow to actually be very appealing.

So what movie actually is it? An inspiring tale about a lady we never really get to know.

Cabrini is aesthetically beautiful, and I loved the music.

But in her film, Cabrini insisted that the children she cared for deserved the best, no matter the cost. The saint deserves that too. And her movie just didn’t deliver.

St. Fina, ‘Cabrini’, and bishop birthdays (

drumboniff67@irishlass45 (, 2024) My husband, son & I saw the movie last night. Where did the explosion take place, in lower Manhattan or Westchester County? When she went to see the pope in 1889, why did the pope look more like Pius X (1903 to 1914) than Pope Leo XIII (1878 to 1903)?

Positive About Film
Negative About Other Issues

The film is quite accurate in its depiction of the hostility these Italians faced, not just from native-born New York Protestants, but also from fellow Catholic Irish who’d arrived decades before them. No social services yet existed, the politicians were scornful, and predatory proto-Mafia criminals preyed on their own people. But Cabrini is undaunted, and her faith that “He who strengthens me” will make anything possible drives her to build, from almost nothing, a real “empire of hope,” a chain of charity hospitals, orphanages, schools, and other institutions to serve anyone in need which now stretches around the world—including Asia.

It’s a powerful story which does full justice to one of the greatest American women in history, one whose body is still miraculously incorrupt decades later and resides on the grounds of one of her high schools north of Manhattan. I like to imagine it sitting in a glass case in the gym, presiding over basketball games and student proms. I love being a Catholic.

And the great Mother Cabrini deserves to be remembered. I certainly cannot forget her, since my own mother received the Last Sacraments and breathed her last in a beautiful hospice founded by Cabrini’s order, which proudly bore that saint’s name. So for me “Mother” and “Cabrini” will always be said together.

John Zmirak-The Gorgeous New Movie ‘Cabrini’ Will Break Your Heart – Chronicles (

I wanted to touch on reviews of those who didn’t really like the movie. But I honestly don’t’ want to focus on the negative because in my opinion it’s a great film and want to highlight the joy others had over the film. If you want to find reviews that trash this great contribution to Catholic art, you can find them. But take a look here to see why some liked the film. There not irreligious and leftist folks who don’t know anything about movies as stated above. Some are quite conservative in their writing and opinions. And yet they liked the film.

More Positive Reviews

Some Glowing..

Before Mother Teresa of Calcutta, there was Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), the first U.S. citizen to be canonized a saint. A model of the spirituality of trust and the works of mercy, the Italian-born founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart established “an empire of hope,” an international network of orphanages, hospitals, and other charitable works, in spite of illness, American xenophobia, and every obstacle. Her story has been told beautifully in the Angel Studios movie “Cabrini,” now showing in theaters everywhere. To learn more, visit: Divine Mercy (official)
Melody Lyons@melodymlyons (, 2023) Friendly reminder that the litmus test of your Catholicity (or your neighbor’s) is not whether or not you like the Cabrini movie.

Mother Cabrini was a busy woman, conquering all that she did with great energy despite her poor health. Yet all of her accomplishments were fueled through a deep, abiding prayer life that gave her strength beyond expectations. That is what truly made her a saint. We rarely see that in the movie, and never once see her at Mass. Such scenes might have slowed the pace of the film, but even a short glimpse or a single line of dialogue would have given us this added touch.

Regardless, this is a well-made film, and I eagerly recommend it as inspirational viewing for the Lenten and Easter seasons.

Ann Margaret Lewis –Inspiring biopic Cabrini has few flaws in depicting life of saint (March 1, 2024) (

ChurchPOP@Church_POP: Regardless of one’s perspective of the film, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini lived a holy life worthy of becoming a canonized saint in the Catholic Church.

It is a movie about Catholics, but not a “Catholic movie,” and it was never intended to be.  It is a movie about a Catholic saint, but not a “saint movie,” and it was never intended to be.  It was never intended to be a Song of Bernadette, a Reluctant Saint, or a Passion.  We should not hold this movie to a standard it was not trying to meet.

Additionally, I think it is providential that the movie came out on the Friday of the Third Week of Lent.  The Gospel of the day is the account of Our Lord and the Woman at the Well (John 4:5-42).  Our Lord did not begin the conversation by saying “I am the Christ and you are a sinner.”  Rather, He began by saying something more innocuous – “Give Me to drink” of the water of the well.  Then, from this beginning, He went deeper.  I think this movie is something similar – it is only the beginning of the conversation, a conversation which can, and hopefully will, go deeper.1  But, if it started too deep, if it was too heavy-handed, so to speak, it would most likely put folks off.
Fr. William Rock, FSSP  Thoughts on the Cabrini Movie – Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (

Lavinia Fontana’s Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (source)

Mike@NelwynToes (Mar 12, 2023) Another tight-assed Catholic pontificating about a wonderful movie. Saw it this afternoon and have recommended it to everyone we know. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. There is no doubt she’s religiously motivated..

Some Cath­o­lics, some of them in­flu­encers, seem to love point­ing to other Cath­o­lics who have al­leg­edly com­pro­mised with the world.

The latest reason for their finger-pointing is the new movie “Cabrini,” because (they say) it is not overtly enough a Catholic movie. It’s not “The Song of St. Bernadette” or “A Man for All Seasons” (in which, as it happens, St. Thomas More is more a modern existentialist than a Renaissance Catholic, but they don’t seem to notice that). There’s lit­tle ob­vi­ous pi­ety and no heart-warm­ing de­vo­tion, no in­di­rect preach­ing, no scenes of any­one rapt in prayer, no ob­vi­ous mir­a­cles.

Just a saint who loved God and man be­ing shown giv­ing her life lov­ing the peo­ple God cre­ated and man abused. I’d think that would be enough, but no.
David Mills: The people who look for traitors — like Catholics who liked ‘Cabrini’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Christine Niles@ChristineNiles1: When you have a persistent conviction or dream or hope in your heart, sometimes that’s God’s way of saying: Keep trying, keep praying, persevere. Watch:
FORWARD BOLDLY: Why You Must See ‘Cabrini’

Spaces With Josie Clips@SpacesWithJosie (, 2024) No one who worked on the film Cabrini is profiting off it– all proceeds will go to various charities to help the orphans, the widows, and the poorest of the poor, in the spirit of Mother Cabrini

From Steven D. Greydanus‘s  pending review of Cabrini for The Catholic Spirit:

Repeatedly Mother Cabrini is told to “stay where you belong” or scolded for “wandering into rooms where you don’t belong.” In a flashback to a key childhood incident—a near-fatal drowning that left her with compromised lungs and a lifelong fear of water—we hear a doctor declaring that “her bed will be her life—that is where she belongs.”

Today Saint Frances Cabrini is celebrated as a pioneer: the first U.S. citizen to become a canonized saint, the first Catholic woman to lead an overseas mission, and the trailblazing founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which runs charitable institutions the world over. Yet Cabrini emphasizes that none of it would have happened had Mother Cabrini been content to remain in spaces deemed appropriate for her by the powerful men around her. Opening on March 8, International Women’s Day, Cabrini evokes the much-misattributed remark of American historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich that “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” (Stay tuned!) ‘Dune,’ ‘Cabrini,’ and my listless movie year (

Fr. Martin@BVMConsolatrix: The same criticisms raised against the movie “Cabrini”, namely, not enough mention of God and a strong willed woman as protagonist, can be made against the Book of Esther.
So what is Cabrini? It’s easier to say what it’s not. It’s not just a movie for Catholics: the film celebrates the works flowing out of Cabrini’s faith, works reflective of the principles of Catholic social teaching. But it’s also not a reduction of Catholicism to social justice: the sisters pray before a meal, minister under the Sacred Heart image on their wall, and remind themselves that they’ll rest in heaven; Cabrini, at a low point, takes refuge in a chapel, and the language of Scripture—even the threat of God’s wrath—springs readily to her lips multiple times.
In the warm, atmospheric, almost dream-like cinematography of Cabrini, the Statue of Liberty appears twice—and both times at a distance, like a kind of mirage. It’s a powerful suggestion of the unrealized ideal of the words it bears, an ideal that Mother Cabrini, rooted in her Catholic faith, might just help us collectively aspire to again: one united nation caring for the tired, poor, huddled masses washed up on, and tossed aside between, its shores. ‘
MATTHEW BECKLO “Cabrini” Is Taking Over Theaters—and Overtaking Divisions – Word on Fire
Lila Rose@LilaGraceRose (Mar 13, 2024)
“Cabrini” was absolutely amazing and inspiring. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. My honest take (plus scene clips!) 
In NYC over 100 years ago:

Mother Cabrini founded dozens of institutions to selflessly serve immigrants, the sick, & poor

Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood to push contraception & the destruction of immigrants, the sick, & poor

One brought love & one brought destruction

We hardly know how to measure strong women anymore; modern feminism has so bent the ruler. Feminism, once a virtuous philosophy worthy of St. Edith Stein and St. John Paul II, has become a cesspool that Catholics, women and men, instinctively avoid. So, is the tale of a particularly strong woman, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who set in motion more genuine help for those in need than anyone in this country’s history, a “feminist” tale?

I think not.

Cabrini is basically an action movie, a David and Goliath tale. You can’t help but cheer for the underdog who feels God’s call so intensely. Cabrini is a rough-and-tumble adventure, not a devotional, and for that, it’s top of the class. It will capture young viewers with the risk and excitement of the Christian life, so different from their assumptions about a dull and constricted existence under Christ. Sheryl Collmer Mother Cabrini’s Empire of Hope: The Movie – Crisis Magazine

[Editor’s Note: For those interested in learning more about the life of St. Frances Cabrini, Sophia Institute Press is releasing three new books about her life: Mother Cabrini: A Heart for the World (a children’s book), The Mother Cabrini Companion, and The World Is Too Small: The Life and Times of Mother Cabrini.]

The movie provides an emotional and harrowing depiction of Mother Cabrini’s mission to serve the least of God’s people despite doubts about her capacity as a woman and Italian. The film includes embellishments, but much of it is truthful, including one scene when a clergy member doubts Cabrini’s ability to lead an overseas mission as a woman. She boldly replies, “Mary Magdalene brought news of the Resurrection to the Apostles. If the Lord confided that mission to a woman, why should he not confide in us?” ‘Cabrini’ shows uniqueness of the feminine heart | Blaze Media (

Paul Moses@PaulBMoses (, 2024) The abuse that Mother Cabrini endured as an Italian immigrant in 1890s NY has obvious parallels to what today’s migrants face. My take for @commonwealmag on the new film “Cabrini,” a much-needed call for compassion for immigrants. #CabriniFilm A Saint We Need | Commonweal Magazine

One way to celebrate the life of a Catholic saint and celebrate Women’s History Month all at once is by seeing “Cabrini,” now in theaters. In its nearly 150-minute run time, “Cabrini” tells an enduring story of love, faith, and courage. May we all be inspired by the life of Mother Cabrini to follow God’s purpose for our lives despite all adversities. –Samantha Smith Review: ‘Cabrini’ strikes the right notes of nun’s missions to America (

The film is gorgeous to look at, filmed in a dramatic, even operatic style. As Mother Cabrini, Italian actress Cristiana Dell’Anna is soulful and superb. Her supporting cast includes stellar American actors David Morse (St. Elsewhere), as New York’s Archbishop Corrigan, and John Lithgow as Mayor Gould, along with Italian legend Giancarlo Giannini as Pope Leo XIII.

Cabrini also offers an interesting counterpoint to HBO’s The Gilded Age, which takes place in New York City at roughly the same time.

Julian Fellowes’ elegant drama moves among the elite of Gotham society in the upper reaches of Manhattan, while Cabrini spends much of its time in lower Manhattan in the Five Points, a rough slum already made famous in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

But, if The Gilded Age’s tough-minded society dame Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and bold society upstart Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) ever met Mother Cabrini, they would have encountered a kindred spirit … if one animated by faith and the love of humanity, rather than ambition or social standing.
KATE O’HARE ‘Cabrini’ Director Says ‘Her Life Is A Prayer’ | Kate O’Hare (

Not a Review But This Fits…

Enhanced Interrogated Poet@agraybee ( Every lifelong Catholic I’ve ever met is like “I think we’re supposed to give this food to poor people” and every adult convert is like “the Archon of Constantinople’s epistle on the Pentacostine rites of the eucharist clearly states women shouldn’t have driver’s licenses.”

The Next Big Catholic Biopic

Flannery O’Connor

Mark Brumley on FB:  I very much liked this film. I know some of the film makers.

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