Chants – Tones – Songs

Reflections on Mother Cabrini
Patron Saint of Immigrants

at St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in NYC

Stuart Diamond (Wind Synthesizer), Don Slepian Digital Keyboard),
Ruth Cunningham (Voice), Karen Bentley Pollick (Violin)

Dances from the Middle Ages
Cabrini Prayer
The Journey of a Trusting Heart
The Skies of Thunder Moon
Videography by Renard Cohen    
©2018 Electric Diamond  All rights reserved.

Drawing upon musical text and themes sung in celebration of Mother Cabrini. 

The Ubi Caritas is a 11th Century liturgical poem sung to a traditional plainchant. The Ave Maria Stella text dates from the 8th Century and is rendered in a more contemporary musical setting. 

Ubi Caritas
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Where charity and love are, 
God is there. Christ's love has gathered us into one. Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love 
the living God. And may we love each other with a sincere heart.

Ave Maris Stella 
Ave, maris stella, Dei mater alma, atque semper virgo, felix cœli porta.

Sumens illud «Ave» Gabrielis ore, funda nos in pace, mutans Evæ nomen.

Hail, star of the sea, 
Nurturing Mother of God, 
And ever Virgin 
Happy gate of Heaven

Receiving that "Ave" (hail
From the mouth of Gabriel, 
Establish us in peace, 
Transforming the name of "Eva" 

TRAVELS: Dances from the Middle Ages
Texts selected from Travel Letters of Mother Cabrini

Based on the songs and dances of medieval Troubadours. The Troubadours were wandering minstrels, migrants of their time, who crossed frontiers, reached new lands, and met new people. Through their travels, music and poetry was shared, influencing cultures throughout Europe.

Ductia – French 13th Century
No matter how great the distance that separates us, we are always near one another.

Royal Dance - French 13th Century 
We all inhabit the small globe of this world, which to our little minds seems so big.

Tristan's Lament - Italian 14th Century
Your voice resounds and I will go to the ends of the Earth to do all that you want of me. I felt something I could not explain. It seemed as though I were no longer of this world.

Rotta – Italian 14th Century
My heart was filled with Glory. I know it was the Holy Spirit.

Trotta English 14th Century
The world is too small to limit ourselves to one point. I want to embrace it entirely and to reach all its parts.


Loving God, you led St. Frances Cabrini across land and sea to share your love around the world. 

By her example, teach us concern for the stranger. By her prayers, help us to see the Christ in our migrant sisters and brothers and all who welcome them.

By your guidance and Mother Cabrini’s inspiration may we love boldly and work tirelessly to correct injustice. 

May civic leaders recognize the dignitary of all people and the sanctity of the family. And may our nation and our hearts be places 
of welcome. Amen.

Texts selected from the “Journal of a Trusting Heart” by Mother Cabrini:

“God has surrounded me from my earliest years with his boundless love, encircling me as the waters of the sea surround and enclose a fish. “

“Heart of my heart and life of my life.”     

“Love, today, must not be hidden; it must be active, vibrant and true.”    

“As I see it, the mission is this: loving other human beings-wherever they are in the world, and letting them know that there is a God who loves them unconditionally, now, as they are.”

“Prayer is a great comfort. It is the life of the soul, though its effects are not always visible.”

 “Today, love must not be hidden.  It must be living, active and true!"


There was a time when the indigenous peoples were forced off their ancestral lands, forced onto reservations, and became immigrants within their own frontiers. In “The Skies of Thunder Moon” the music and poetry emerge from each other, drawing from authentic lullabies, melodies, and other songs from the Winnebago, Crow, Sioux, and Cheyenne people.

The sung portions are based on chants sung by Chief Membertou of the Mi’kmaq nation (Northern Maine and Nova Scotia.) These chants are the first notated music (circa late 1500’s) of any Native American people.


Francesca Saveria Cabrini was born in 1850 in a town south of Milan. Having grown up in poverty, she was a determined young woman who at first was turned down by a religious order because she was considered too sickly. Once she established the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she pursued a childhood dream of serving as a missionary in China. But Pope Leo XIII ordered her, “Not to the East, but to the West.”


The first U.S. citizen to be canonized, she was an immigrant to the United States who devoted her life to welcoming immigrants. Remarkably, she established 67 institutions aimed mainly at serving immigrants, including orphanages, schools, hospitals, and convents. She did so while overcoming the considerable discrimination she faced as an Italian and as a woman.


The Missionary Sisters continue their work in 15 countries on 5 continents. Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC provides a broad range of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to immigrants, refugees, asylees, and their families. CIS is located near where St. Frances Cabrini began serving the immigrants and refugees on the Lower East Side of Manhattan almost 130 years ago. This group of dedicated professionals and devoted volunteers meet the unique needs of diverse immigrant populations and promote self-determination for immigrant families, children, and youth.