I recently wrote to the New York City Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers about the decision of its She Built NYC arts program to reject the erection of a statue in honor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini despite the fact she received the highest number of nominations from the public. I argued that statues are made and preserved for generations for the purpose of commemorating and celebrating important persons and their events or actions. Therefore, the statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, if built, would be an important recognition that Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions, including orphanages, schools and hospitals.
From Uganda, I gave an example about St. Pope Paul VI, who canonized the Uganda Martyrs in 1964 and became the first pope to visit Africa and Uganda in particular. Personally, I did propose that there was a need to honor the historic actions of St. Pope Paul VI through the naming of roads and creating statues after him. While the road has been named, the works on the statues are pending due to lack of funding. The statue of St. Pope Paul VI, when built, will stand as a commemoration of the 50 years since St. Pope Paul VI visited Uganda in 1969.
In conclusion, I therefore requested the New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers to consider the public decision on building the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini statue so that not only the Catholic New Yorkers but also the visitors to the city can always commemorate the works of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.