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Our heritage

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) in whose name we were founded, remains key to our identity and mission. She was born in 1850 in a small town in Italy. She committed her life from a young age to expressing God’s love in practical responses to people in need.  In 1880 she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Cabrini Sisters' first missionary endeavours were among the Italian immigrants in New York City.  By the time of her death in 1917, Mother Cabrini had established 67 health, education, social and spiritual ministries in the USA, Latin America, Europe and England. She was canonised in 1946 and later named the Universal Patroness of Immigrants. 

Cabrini Australia’s story began in 1948 when ten Cabrini Sisters left Italy bound for Melbourne. They had been invited by the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Daniel Mannix (1864-1963) to take over St Benedict’s Hospital in Malvern and to minister to the Italian migrants arriving in Australia.  In 2018, we mark the seventieth anniversary of the Cabrini Sisters' arrival in Melbourne.

The XI (eleventh) General Chapter of the Missionary Sisters, held in Rome in 1990, was the catalyst for Cabrini's Australian mission to broaden its activities beyond healthcare.  The Chapter Conclusions reaffirmed the Cabrini’s Sisters' missionary identity and directed all of their institutions to support their commitment to serve the poor and needy. This was the start of the Cabrini Outreach story.

For more than 20 years Cabrini Outreach has been providing services and programs both in Australia and overseas that foster better health care, seek social justice and alleviate social inequality.  To learn more;

Our mandate

Cabrini Outreach’s Mission is to address social disadvantage and contribute to the development of more compassionate communities.  We seek to create a better future together.