Conneaut Parish Keeps the Legacy of Patron Saint Francis Cabrini Alive

The world is getting an intimate look into the life of Italian immigrant Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Mother Cabrini, as she’s often called, overcame tremendous odds to establish orphanages and schools in a poverty-stricken New York City in the late 1800’s.

“We’re very fortunate to have a relic of St. Francis Cabrini. I believe it’s a first-class relic as well,” says Corpus Christi Parish Diocesan Pastoral Associate, Nicholas Perkoski. 

Some 130 years later, her presence is still felt all over the country. Here in the Diocese of Youngstown, Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patron saint of this Conneaut church that bears her name.   

St. Frances Cabrini Church of Conneaut was founded in 1954.

Perkoski and lifelong friend, Permanent Deacon Nicholas Iarocci, both grew up and continue to serve at Corpus Christi Parish. They say Mother Cabrini’s story continues to resonate with them. 

“What she stood for as far as reaching out to the poor and helping those who are in extreme need, that’s been the tradition of this parish. Alongside the walls of this parish church, there’s the Corporal Works of Mercy,” says Perkoski. 

In her 67 years on earth, Mother Cabrini established 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals, and orphanages.

She was canonized a saint in 1946, the first US citizen to receive that designation and forever known as the patron of immigrants. 

Both men, who have Italian roots, say they genuinely enjoyed the Cabrini movie. The film touched on how one person can really make a difference, despite prejudice, ill health and taking on the evils of society. However, Iarocci says, there is just one thing he would have changed about the movie. 

“They really didn’t focus on her prayerfulness and spirituality as much as I would have hoped. But otherwise, it was an awesome movie,” says Iarocci. 

And they say, Catholics need to understand the importance of Saint Cabrini and the role she played in the history of the church. Her message continues to resonate across the globe—even during these trying times. 

“This wasn’t just to help people. This was to bring Jesus into the lives of those she helped. It helps us appreciate our patron saint. I’m thrilled the move came out at this point in time,” says Iarocci. 

“This is a very important message, that as a church, we need to take care of those who are in most need, especially the immigrants. That spirt that she led in her lifetime, inspires us today,” says Perkoski.

Diocesan Pastoral Associate Nicholas Perkoski and Permanent Deacon Nicholas Iarocci both grew up and continue to serve at Corpus Christi Parish.

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Dennis Biviano

Dennis Biviano serves as the Public Relations and Media Specialist for the Diocese of Youngstown as the diocese’s chief point of contact with journalists. Biviano brings 20 years of TV News reporting experience to the Communications Department. He is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Warren and Kent State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism. He has worked as a Multimedia Journalist in the Mahoning Valley for WKBN & WYTV, as well as Charter Communications (Spectrum News 1) for seven years. Biviano is an active member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Niles with his family.
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