St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
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St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine

701 Fort Washington Avenue at 190th Street
New York, N.Y. 10040




Located in northern Manhattan just ten blocks from the George Washington Bridge, St. Frances Cabrini Shrine overlooks the tranquil banks of the Hudson River and the neighboring state of New Jersey.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini  
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini  
 Maria Francesca Cabrini was born July 15, 1850, in the town of San Angelo, south of Milan in Italy. She was the youngest of thirteen children. She helped her parents work the family farm, but from an early age she was drawn to a missionary life and service to God. In 1880, with seven other young women, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Shortly thereafter, Pope Leo XIII asked her to go to America to help with the care of the many new immigrants to New York. Although Mother Cabrini had always hoped to go to China as a missionary, she did as the Pope asked her.

Mother Cabrini arrived in New York in March, 1889. Immediately on her arrival she visited Archbishop Corrigan and told him of her plans to start an orphanage. The Archbishop was doubtful that this newly arrived woman could overcome all the problems involved in starting such an institution and tried to dissuade her. With her unshakeable faith in God, Mother Cabrini started her orphanage anyway. She won over the Archbishop and together they began raising money. By July, 1889, Mother Cabrini had managed to buy 450 acres along the Hudson river. For weeks the Sisters had to haul water from the river, but after praying to Our Lady, a natural spring was discovered on the property.

In 1899, Mother Cabrini discovered this property as she drove her horse and buggy to what was then a remote northwest edge of New York City. The only buildings in this very rural area of Manhattan were the villas of the wealthy. She purchased the present property at 190th Street and Fort Washington Avenue, and opened Sacred Heart Villa, a “residential school for young ladies.”

Mother Cabrini always found great peace of mind and personal tranquility whenever she visited this site. She often stopped and rested at the villa during her worldwide travels spent in the task of establishing sixty-seven schools, hospitals, and other institutions of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She became a naturalized citizen in 1909. At the age of 67 she died in Chicago’s Columbus Hospital on December 22, 1917.

The original buildings were demolished in 1928 to allow for the construction of the present main school building that was opened in 1930 as Mother Cabrini High School. The school became a center of national attention in 1933 when the Sisters brought the body of Mother Cabrini from West Park, New York, to the school chapel.

Effigy of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)  
In 1938, at the time of Mother Cabrini's beatification, her remains were placed in a glass-enclosed coffin to rest beneath the altar. On January 11, 1944, His Holiness Pope Pius XII signed the Decree of Canonization of Blessed Frances Xavier Cabrini. Pope Pius XII conducted the solemn ceremony of canonization in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome on July 7, 1946,

In 1957, ground was broken for the new Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, designed as a parabolic arch by De Sina & Pellegrino and completed in 1960. Mother Cabrini's remains, which are now kept in an urn, were transferred to the new Shrine, and a wax effigy is displayed in the altar for veneration. Surrounding the altar are mosaics depicting her life, and a two-story stained glass window of Mother Cabrini is at the West End entrance. The Shrine/Chapel is now part of the parish of nearby St. Elizabeth Church, located at 187th Street and Wadsworth Avenue.
               
  Tamburini Organ at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
Giovanni Tamburini
Crema (Cremona), Italy (1960)
Electro-pneumatic action
2 manuals, 27 stops, 29 ranks



The organ in St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, was built in 1960 by Giovanni Tamburini of Crema, Italy. It is installed in two chambers on opposite sides of the open gallery. The two-manual console is on a movable platform.
               
Grand'Organo (Primo Tastiera) – 61 notes
16
  Principale
61
2
  XV
61
8
  Diapason
61
    Ripieno grave II file
122
8
  Flauto
61
    Mixtura IV file
244
8
 
Dulciana
61
8
  Unda Maris
61
4
 
Ottava
61
8
  Tromba
61
 
     
 
     
Recitativo Espressivo (Seconda Tastiera) – 61 notes, enclosed
16
 
Bordone
61
1
  Piccolo
61
8
 
Viola di gamba
61
    Cornetto combinato [draws * stops]
8
 
Salicionale
61
    Ripieno III file
183
4
  Flauto
61
8
  Voce celeste
61
2 2/3
  Nazardo *
61
8
  Oboe
61
2
  Ottavino *
61
    Tremolo  
1 3/5
  Terza *
61
   
Campane [A46-F54]
20 tubes
               
Pedale – 32 notes
16
 
Bordone [unit]
44
8
  Bordone [ext.]
16
 
Subbasso [unit]
56
4
  Flauto [ext. Subbasso]
8
  Basso [ext. Subbasso]
    Campane
RE
               
            Forte Campane  
            Sordina Campane [mute]  
             
Accessori (translated and explained by Piero Ruffatti of Fratelli Ruffatti, Padua, Italy)
     
Pistoncini sopra la IIa tastiera
  Pistons above the [top] keyboard
A
  Annullatore   General Cancel
1–5
  5 combinazioni generali preparabili collettive con pedale proprio e con segnalazioni luminose   5 adjustable general pistons with indicator lights
Pistoncini sotto la tastieri   Pistons under the keyboards
Man. I
  A-1-2-3-4-5 (fixed and blind)   A = Annullatore (cancel)
Man. II
  A-1-2-3-4-5 (fixed and blind)    
T/P.
  Unioni Tastiera/Pedale (under Man. I)   Man. I/Ped. coupler reversible
T/P.
  Unioni Tastiera/Pedale (under Man. II)   Man. II/Ped. coupler reversible
UT
  Unioni Tastiera (under Man. I)   Man. II/Man. I coupler reversible
P.P.
  Piano Pedale (under Man. II)
[aka "Piano Automatico Pedale"]
  It normally works when Crescendo and Tutti are on, and it adjusts the volume of the pedal depending on which manual is played. On a two-manual organ, the moment manual two is touched some of the pedal stops are cut off. As the first manual is touched, they immediately go back on.
F
  Fissatore (setter)   White piston in left block of Man. I
S
  Sforzando?   Red piston in right block of Man. I
Annullatori per staffa del crescendo generale con graduatore: (cutouts for Crescendo Pedal)
T
  Tromba   Cancel Tromba
O
  Oboe   Cancel Oboe
R
  Ripieni   Cancel Mixtures
OS
  Ottava Supra   Cancel Superoctave Couplers
OG
  Ottava Grave   Cancel Suboctave Couplers
Pedaletti (sinistra)   toe studs on left side
    Man. I / Ped.   coupler reversible
    Man. II / Ped.   coupler reversible
    Man. I / Man. II.   coupler reversible
1–5
  5 combinazioni generali   adjustable and visibly moving stops
Pedaletti (destra)   toe studs on right side
R
  Ripieno or Ripieni   mixture(s) with chorus (8', 4', 2')
A
  Ance   reeds
F
  Fondi   foundations (8' and maybe 16')
T
  Tutti   full organ
Traspositore (-2/+2 semitoni)   transposer up/down 2 semitones
Staffe di Espressione   literally "stirrups" of expression
    Staffa del crescendo generale con graduatore   on left
    Staffa dell'espressione Man. II   on right
             
Tamburini Organ at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Tamburini Organ at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
     
Tamburini Organ at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
 
Tamburini Organ at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine - New York City (photo: Steven E. Lawson)
               
Sources:
     Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.
     Mother Cabrini High School web site: http://www.cabrinihs.com/
     Ruffatti, Piero (Fratelli Ruffatti, Padua, Italy). Electronic correspondence with translations and explanations of Italian console controls.
     St. Frances Cabrini Shrine administration. Courtesy Jenny Espinoza.

Illustrations:
     Lawson, Steven E. Exterior; Interior; Tamburini organ.