Cabrini (2024) Movie Script

Oh dear,
Off the sidewalk.
Please help me!. My mother is dying!
I beg your pardon?
Can you see that Im
speaking with someone?
My mother, she's dying!
I dont understand you.
She's outside.
My mother is dying, please help!
Go to a hospital
that takes Italians!
Come on,
She's dying! Help her! She's my mother, help her!
Filthy little Dago,
lets go! Out!
Wheres your father?
Do you have any other family?
Johnny, dont
waste your time --
those monkeys dont
understand a thing.
Two days and shes in the
Potters Field.
Where are you taking her?
I'm fine.
It was just one of those e nights..
Mother Cabrini, are you sure?
I'm fine, Concetta.
Thank you.
A telegram! From the Vatican!
I should leave for Rome at once.
It is an invitation...
not an approval.
Mother Cabrini
Your Eminence, thank you for this chance to state my case --
In fact, you've already s stated your case eleven times.
Your Eminence, an explosion of poverty is ripping through Asia,.
hitting children hardest, in China --
Mother, this office has responded
to your proposal. many times, to no avail.
So we felt it necessary to deliver.
that same response in person.
Your Eminence, if I could --
You're building an orphanage in Lombardy, are you not?
Then continue your good work there.
Stay where you belong, Mother.
Your daughter is very weak
and will be so as long as she lives.
She almost drowned in that river.
Now her bed will be her life.
That is where she belongs.
Your Eminence
Mother Cabrini
This decision..
is it yours or the Holy Father's?
assure you there is no difference.
If there is no difference..
I'd like to hear it from His Holiness Himself.
Or I'll be forced to keep writing letters.
Your Holiness
For one little woman, you make a lot of noise.
Your Holiness,
want to found a network of orphanages. first, throughout China --
You have stated your case exhaustively.
But I'm told you want to hear. the final verdict directly from me.
Lombardy is the scope of your work.
Now, His Eminence
tells me that this is your first trip to Rome...
your first trip out of Lombardy for that matter.
I do encourage you to take a few days,
visit the museum, see the sights --
Is it because. I am a woman?
Is that why I must t limit my scope?
There has never been an independent order of missionary women..
Wasn't it Mary Magdalene who brought news of the Resurrection to the Apostles?
If God confided such a mission to a woman.
why should He not confide in us?
May I remind you that His Holiness has the power
to censure or even disband --
Just a moment, Silvio.
Why China, Cabrini?
Because we've forgotten the East.
I shall start in Peking and move west..
and create a body of charities that t will reach into Afghanistan, then into Persia --
you intend to build...
...a worldwide order!
Your Holiness
the world is too small for what I intend to do.
See what I mean?
And you have sufficient funds to..
...conquer the world?
Had I waited for sufficient funds.
would have built nothing.
Not my schools,. nor my orphanage in Co dog no.
Begin the mission. and the means will come.
Your Holiness,
may I remind you of your next. appointment?
I'm having tea with Cabrini.
This morning, in an alley, I found the frozen body of a boy
...with newspapers as his only blanket.
We came to America believing the streets. were paved with gold....
... Only to find they're paved with abandoned children.
This box... a tomb of dreams. OC
It's filled with letters from immigrants
Italians from New York.
Forgive me, Your Holiness.
Why are you telling me this?
They tell me that..
you were rejected by. three different orders.
Each time for "weakness of constitution.
We can serve our weakness,
or we can serve our purpose.
Not both.
If I made you the first woman
...ever to lead an overseas mission
the whole church would Io ok to you as proof...
of what t women can..
... or can not accomplish.
You understand this?
I will approve e your mission
on one condition :
Begin in the West.
not the East.
If the world is too small for what you intend to do...
why does it matter where you begin?
As women..
...without men, we will be expected to fail.
More than ever, we must trust in ourselves...
and in the purpose of our mission.
As we set sail
for America.
New York.
And from now on, my sisters,
we speak English.
We will be greeted at the port
by a priest named Morelli.
He can no longer manage his
orphanage in Five Points,
so we will gain
possession of it,
and give the abandoned children
the love they so badly need.
If we are to build an
empire of hope,
my sisters,
it seems we must first
conquer New York.
And so we begin.
Weve waited long enough.
Excuse me, how much
to Five Points?
Dont go to Five Points
at this hour.
Please, sir. We dont know--
Im sorry.
Open your eyes.
See everything.
This is who weve come to serve.
Get out of there!
This is not a place for you.
Did you see three little girls? They came right past here.
Look in the daylight you get killed at this hour.
We should listen to her, Mother.
Do you know where we can find a room nearby?
For you? In Five Points?
We need a place to sleep --
just for tonight.
I can't help.
I beg you, we don't know where to go.
Barricade the door.
And unless you want to get beaten don't let Geno see you.
Open the door!
Nobody stays here for free!
Open up!
You think I care that you're nuns?
If I catch you here again...
I'll make you regret it.
Oh my...
Father Morelli?
Francesca Cabrini.
You're here.
I knew this would come back to bite me.
So, you did not receive. the letter from the Archbishop?
The one I sen t t you?.
No we didn't
your mission was denied. By the Archdiocese.
What do you mean, denied?
You really should see the Archbishop.
Would you be kind enough to take us to our orphanage e first?
We couldn't raise enough to keep it open.
Not with the cost of the hospital.
Enzo, Paolo! You again?!
Get the hell out!! Go!
No, don't go...
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
Even the older ones are still children.
The Archbishop's Office is on 53rd.
It will be a long walk before you find a streetcar.
Welcome to America.
Filthy dagos,
-they just keep coming.
-We oughta ship em all back.
Who are you looking at,
Guinea Pig?
Come on. Lets go.
If youre saying that
there is an Italian problem,
-then yes, there is.
-Quite a large one!
-Now, I... Its not safe --
not for you, not for your wards.
Now, Im terribly sorry
that you sailed the
Atlantic to hear it,
but that is my letter in brief.
Then I take it
as a great sign,
I did not receive it.
Because Im staying.
Well, uh...
I made my decision,
so Im afraid theres no choice
but for you to get on a boat
and go back home.
Now, my office
would be pleased to assist you
in arranging a steamer,
if that might-
I was sent
here by the Pope.
I would not want to
disappoint him.
Of course, I am delighted that
the Pope wishes you well.
But please know that I am
empowered by Him
to make decisions for
the Archdiocese
entirely as I see fit.
So if you are to
remain in New York
it is only because I allow it.
Is this clear?
This should be just fine.
Look, Mother.
This one.
But this is nice too and it
does cost less.
Well save on other things.
Our children deserve the best.
They will notice.
Stay where you belong, Mother.
My name is Doctor Murphy.
A couple good samaritans brought you here.
Stay where you belong.
they are...
My lungs are very compromised.
I know.
How do you say it?
Post-tubercular symptoms...
We can speak English, Dr.
I need the practice.
Youre fortunate I was
here tonight.
I only volunteer on occasion.
I take it you
know your prognosis.
Im afraid its not a
cheerful one.
The doctors tell me five years.
In my experience... two,
perhaps three.
-Five would be a miracle.
In that case,
I should get to work.
-Thats if you rest, Mother.
If you have another
episode like this...
it could very well
spell the end.
Shes here.
Where were you, I Mother?
Are you okay, Mother?
Dont worry about me.
There will be a time...
There will be a time
when I am away.
Thats why you have to learn
to face your fears,
to not just carry on
but to lead.
And to demonstrate
you can do all things,
all things in Him who
strengthens us.
Whether I am here or not.
This is a beautiful
place to live in.
Now we need to fill it
with children.
You have a lot of nerve coming back here.
I'd like to speak to Vittoria.
She's busy.
Now leave.
Get the hell out!
Go! Go!
Don't come back.
Your pretty little habits won't protect you from him.
Did he do this?
I need your help to find those girls, Vittoria.
Get your lamps.
This was the door to my home.
Put that a way!
Mafia boy.
They're just nuns.
We'll take the bread.
Enzo, Paolo...
There you are!
I've been worried about t you.
Just give us the bread.
Take the bread, what do you eat tonight?
Come as our guests and you'll have...
What is Sister Serafina making?
Rigatoni and peach cro stata.
Plus the bread.
We'll take the bread.
But it's cro stata..
The choice is yours.
I've never had a crostata before.
Sorry, but I'm going.
This cro stata is great!
We'll stay for a little while..
...and what about your parents, Paolo?
Papa killed himself.
Mama died of typhus... a wheelbarrow.
Go take a look.
Look how handsome you are.
Your mother would be so proud.
You lying whore!
You're gonna work a double shift to make it up!
Let her go!
Coward! He's just a kid.
Let her go!
If you harm her, Mr. Geno...
God's wrath shall descend upon you...
...and it shall be better for you had you never been
I'm going to repeat it to you one last time.
Move to the side.
I said let her go!
Give me the gun.
Paolo, this is not the way we do things!.
Put it down!
Geno is leaving.
Listen to her, boy..
Lower the gun.
The pimp will be fine.
So an orphan..
shot a pimp,
while you blocked the door keep a prostitute inside.
Be careful, Mother, or this
place will eat you alive.
Sit down, Paolo.
That was the gun my papa used on himself.
I removed the bullets but the gun is yours...
The children and I. would like to know
The choice is yours
And youve been in
America for how long?
A few weeks.
Then, I suppose
you can be excused
for not knowing that the
City of New York
is not in the business of
giving assistance
to people of...
...the Latin persuasion.
Of course, I wish you the
best in all your-
Is this
the Mayors decision
or is it yours?
Pardon me?
Id prefer to discuss this
with the Mayor,
if you dont mind.
The Archdiocese
simply cannot allow you
to solicit funds from City Hall.
Because Im Italian?
The Archdiocese has worked
many years indeed,
to earn the support of the
highest echelons of this City.
I will not put that at risk.
I need your help.
I need an orphanage
with more room,
where my children can
be children,
and I dont have to worry
that a pimp will smack
them in the face.
All right.
This is all I can do.
Once-a-year contribution.
That should help a little.
But allow me to make
myself clear,
are not to solicit money from
any American institution--
or any American individual
for that matter.
I will not have you
begging your way
through the Upper West Side.
You are to solicit from
Italians only.
You ask me to
fund the needs of
impoverished Italians...
entirely from
impoverished Italians.
I am giving you an order,
Ah, Vittoria!
Where have you been?
You'll pay for what you did to me!
Enough! Geno!
I'm a prostitute.
Been one since was a girl.
And now I have blood on my hands.
There's not enough water in the world to make me clean.
When I look at you, do you know what I see?
I see a strong woman.
I see courage.
I see it glowing all around I you.
It takes a lot of courage... become who we're. meant to be.
We have something in common.
We are both survivors.
We don't get to choose how we come into this world.
But God gave us the freedom to choose... we live in it.
There's a dead girl!
Rats have it better than the children of Five Points.
And no one cares.
But do people know
that rats have it better than the children of Five Points?
Those people would never visit a sewer.
Then we. should bring. the sewer to them.
The problem is, I have to write
articles that people read.
Do people know
that in America, the
greatest nation on earth,
rats have it better than the
children of Five Points?
I sincerely doubt that.
Then you clearly...
havent been to Five Points.
Vittoria, if you
would be so kind
as to get Mr. Calloways hat.
Even Rats Have It Better. By
Theodore Calloway.
Over the last several months,
a group of dark-eyed nuns,
led by a frail woman
named Cabrini,
have been taking the
risk of entering
certain forbidding places
where not even police
dare to enter.
To each child,
Cabrini makes a promise,
Soon we shall have a
bed for you.
These kids are coming home
with us tonight.
They learn in English,
so they can be
American citizens,
great ones,
proud of the land where
they now live.
...will always be protected
by the government.
And they sing in Italian,
so they can be proud of the
land they came from.
She imbues these castaways
with a dignity their
parents never knew.
For she believes the wounds
these children bear
can only be healed through love,
and through an
education of the heart.
Take the case
of the little waif
whose body was found
upon the street
by one of Cabrinis orphans.
No one stepped forward as
the girls family,
so Cabrini and her children
claimed her as their own.
Dear Reader,
New York is built upon the dead.
Her mighty rails,
her tunnels...
her shining streets,
all are set upon a bedrock
of immigrant bone.
Is this bone not ours as well?
Did we not all arrive
as immigrants?
Do we not owe these
children -- our children
-- a life better than a rats?
Dear Reader,
what kind of New
York do we want?
The one imagined by City Hall,
where the Italian is voiceless,
quarantined in slums?
Or do we want the New York that
Cabrini imagines --
where the Italian is our
equal in dignity,
and their children have a
chance to live?
Oh, but didnt the
Archbishop say--
The Archbishop ordered us
not to beg here.
So we wont.
We will live here instead.
Give this to Dr.Murphy.
He comes in Thursday and Saturday..
Thank you, Mother, thank you!
Send Giacomo my blessing.
Mother, it's my nephew..
The cops put him in jail but he did nothing. wrong.
So she didnt need
your permission.
Thats not exactly how
she operates.
So you let a woman
push you around,
an Italian woman.
--Is that how you run
your Church?
Ive got the whole
Upper West Side
climbing down my throat.
They look out their window,
and what do they see?
A wave of brown-skinned filth
parading up their street,
with a nun
as their pied-piper.
But dont be mistaken,
this is not about a
This is about New York.
This is about the kind of
New York we want.
About our New York.
A beacon of prosperity.
Somewhere, somehow,
a line must be drawn.
Well I am a shepherd, Mr. Mayor.
And, perhaps inconveniently,
the Italians are among my flock.
And the people of Crown Heights
and Corcorans Roost,
are they not among your flock?
Wouldnt it be a shame
if a few permits got between
all those good people
and the new churches
they deserve?
And all those Irish kids
on their city grants,
my grants
are we going to let some
puffed-up dago nun
get in the way of all that?
A shepherd like you,
a good shepherd...
he knows where his sheep belong.
Bottoms-up, Your Grace.
Oh come now --
youre a good Irish man,
Inspector Hennessy,
Housing Department.
Maybe I can show you
the classrooms, Inspector...
youve broken 14 city codes
and stuffed 71 children
into a space appropriate for 20.
Italians like to stay close.
Its unsanitary.
Then surely youd
like to inspect
the cellars where they
used to live.
What Id like you to do is
to keep your crime
and your filth out of
this neighborhood.
What crime?
You have seven days to make
all modifications
and pay all fines or you will
be evicted at once.
At which time,
you can move back to
Five Points,
packem in there like
herrings in a barrel.
Youve acted in direct
disobedience, Mother.
I was ordered not to
solicit Americans,
and I did not.
America came to me.
Oh, thats clever.
But youve strayed into waters
that are far too deep for you.
Maybe you could run to
the papers again,
maybe you could raise enough
to pay the fines,
but the Mayor will find a
way to get you out
-- if he has to have
his rowdies plant
a dead body in your yard, he
will get you out
-- and your children will be
right back in the rubbish dump.
Now, I dont want to see that
any more than you do.
So, I have a proposition.
The Jesuits own a property
just north of here,
one theyd be willing to part
with at a discount,
but only for the right cause.
Theres fifteen acres,
views of the Hudson,
and room to play.
You know I couldnt
possibly afford this.
How much can you afford?
Have you come to make
fun of me...?
Let me ask this way
-- how much do you have right
now in your bank account?
Nine hundred sixteen dollars
and twelve cents.
Mostly pennies.
Lets call it a thousand,
Ill chip in the difference.
And the Jesuits, they
will accept, but...
the property does
have a certain...
Well, its a challenge.
So how about we just discuss
that while were there,
shall we?
I shall be buried here.
May I meet you at the carriage?
Yes, those
are the wells.
As I said, there is a challenge.
Theres no water?
None at all?
The Jesuits spent a lot
of money looking.
But they had 300 men.
Far too many to support
without a well.
If you keep your numbers low,
maybe you can find a way.
The Jesuits failed.
That does not mean we will.
The Jesuits dug here,
and on the south side.
So we will start from the north.
They dug every fifteen meters,
we will have to dig
every ten meters.
Umilia, establish two shifts,
and work your way south.
The older children can also help
when theyre free from class.
In the meantime, we will make
the river work for us.
It's two in the morning.
Want to join me?
You should d rest more.
You're dying. Why aren't you a afraid?
Of course I'm afraid.
That's why I'm out here digging.
When I work it seems like....
I'm stealing one more day of life.
If I rest...
that's when dying becomes..
...very, very real.
We just moved in
to this huge, huge place..
and we already barely fit.
She just keeps bringing in more kids.
She's crazy.
We should help her somehow.
Can you find us some work?
They'll take us both.
Twenty cents for the night shift!
Perfect! What are we doing?
Faster, boys! Faster!
Keep that boiler hot!
Or I toss you out!
Go! Go!
Have you seen Enzo?
Keep that tight.
I need someone to go to Mt.
Now! Tell them I need
morphine and chloroform!
And doctors!
I can pay, please.
We are not a
supply store.
But we need help!
Sorry. We cant help.
We need doctors! Please!
People are dying!
I found Enzo!
I You wrote to me..
...that my girl is calling for me
the one who left her behind.. still far away.
No, I won't be coming back to her.
I'll stay gone
and keep on working for us all..
I have lost my home. my homeland and my honor...
I'm butchers meat.
I am an immigrant.
The explosion pushed
Morelli over the edge.
As far as I can tell,
the hospitals bankrupt.
He plans to shut it down,
go back to Italy.
But they need that hospital.
Even if its just a
place to die.
Thats more or less
why Ive come.
I know its mad to even
think about it...
but if anyone could
make a go of it...
itd be you.
We live bucket-by-bucket, Dr.
I couldnt possibly take
on a hospital.
Heres the cold hard truth.
If that had been Mt.
Carmel Hospital,
Enzo would be alive.
As would a good many
of those men.
My lunch begins in an hour and
fifty-three minutes,
not nearly enough time for me to
list all the reasons
this bank will never make a loan
to anyone who looks,
smells, walks, or
talks like you.
If youre asking my permission,
I wont stop you.
If youre asking my advice,
I think that you are
barking mad.
Why even consider it?
Because people died that
should not have.
How can we sleep knowing that?
I need funding.
From Americans!
We don't make loans.
Then what about the Italian Senate?
I can go to Rome,. I can sail tomorrow.
I wouldn't sail to Rome to hear it.
May I help you?
I am here to see
signore DiSalvo.
Im sorry but Mr. DiSalvo
does not accept any
uninvited guests.
Im sure he wont mind!
To Americans, the great Verdi,
Michelangelo, DaVinci,
they are one thing.
The men digging tunnels,
dying without a doctor,
these men are quite another.
Poor men,
from Sicily,
like you were.
We have to show America that we
are all people of dignity.
As indeed we are.
But Im afraid
I will not participate in
your adventure.
Now, if youll excuse me
its time for me to go
to the Opera.
This is about helping
your people...
I have never been late
to the theater
and today is not going
to be the first.
But you must understand, this is
not an issue you can just-
No, no, no.
-- you must understand.
I will never
participate in any scheme
that involves... the church.
Show her out.
Evening George.
Dr. Murphy.
- Yeah.
May I have a moment?
No one is going to invest in
a failed hospital,
in a rat-infested building that
was once a brothel.
But we could found a hospital
like this one, a great one.
How would we begin?
We would need a real building
with a board of directors
comprised of men of influence,
who are also sons of immigrants
-- Irish, Polish, Jewish.
Can you introduce me
to such men?
- My father came here from
Ireland to work the rails.
Cheap labor,
just like the Italians in
that pump station.
I figure anyone who came here on
a boat, anyone at all,
I owe them a hand.
As does Mother Cabrini.
When I stepped off the boat,
gentlemen, not so long ago,
I had to learn words that were
not in my dictionary.
Dago. Guinea pig.
Words said with such disdain,
such hate,
that they cut just like a knife.
When your fathers
first came here
did they not also have
to learn words
such as Kike, Mick, Polack?
And even now,
in this fine neighborhood --
dont you still hear
those names whispered
behind your back?
I ask you to take those names,
and turn them into a hospital.
I propose purchasing
this property
and renovating it for 400 beds,
with services fine enough to
attract the wealthy.
The fees we earn here,
we use to fund the needs
of the immigrant with nothing.
Who will also be treated by
the finest doctors,
so that America will learn
we are more than Kike and Polack
and butchers meat.
But you dont even
have the funds
to sustain the hospital
in Five Points.
Begin the mission and the
means will come.
This mission begins tonight,
in this room,
with you, gentlemen --
or it does not begin at all.
Gentlemen, have you all met?
Thank you for being here.
As you can see...
...and if
Abrams makes a pledge
I see no reason why
his colleagues
wouldnt follow suit.
It wont put a dent in the
grand total but...
its a start.
Dr. Murphy...
see if you can add another
zero to his pledge.
There are 200 here.
And with the pledges that
came in this week,
its... 617-
Sonk Mantan Piant
Hello friends!
Watch out!
They are Americans!
Oh no! Please, do not put me
in jail. Please!
No, no jail! They need you to
clean their toilets.
You take money
from a kid?!
You coward!
PoliceTime to
clear the park!
Get out, Dagos!
Go, go!
Youre under arrest.
on behalf of the Mayor,
I promise you that this is the
last time New York will ever
see an Italian Festival.
The fines, including those
attended upon your arrest,
amount to 3,111 dollars,
which happens to be exactly the
amount we collected.
Its your lucky day.
I need to speak to the Mayor.
Oh do you?
This money
belongs to the poor!
I will speak to the Mayor,
Who the hell do you
think you are?
I am a woman!
And I am Italian!
And I am done with
little men like you!
With hearts the size
of a peanut!
Officer Rentschler!
Too blind to
understand the truth!
To know that we are all
human beings!
We are all the same!
Children of God!
And you dismiss us at
your own peril!
please escort this guinea
back to Five Points
where she belongs.
I can walk myself!
I warned you!
But you were blinded
by ambition!
Naked ambition!
You chose to disobey me
and now your actions
have become the problem of
the Archdiocese,
and the souls under my care!
You have left me no choice
but to inform you that
your institutions
are to be disbanded,
and you and your sisters are
to return to Italy.
I assure you
that the Archdiocese
will handle your wards
You mean my children.
Your mission is over, Mother.
My mission has barely begun.
Mother Cabrini-
You ask me to destroy my houses
and run back to Italy
like a criminal.
You were arrested, were you not?
This problem will be with us
in a hundred years.
Theres no point
working yourself
to death trying to change it.
Some things never change.
Forgive me if I dont have the
strength to think like you.
Well, despite that, the Italians
have survived without you,
and somehow they will
continue to do so.
You are to leave New York
and never return.
This is an order of obedience.
It is an order of
obedience, and must be obeyed.
Corrigan gave us 30 days,
I intend to use them.
In my absence, Concetta will
manage all New York operations.
Until we hear otherwise,
we will continue the
work weve begun.
As Mother says, we have plenty
of time to rest in Heaven.
So, lets get back to work.
Do you t think the Archbishop will Iet me stay here without you?
A hooker from Five Points?
I'm going to Rome to fight. Sooc
...with every last ounce of my strength.
We are survivors...
are we not?
We are.
Would you take me with you?
You fascinate me, Cabrini.
I can't tell where your faith ends...
100 and your ambition begins.
I must agree with the Archbishop.
This project is overly a ambitious,
perhaps s unrealistic.
Only after little David killed giant. t Goliath.
did he become king.
You intend to be a king?
I intend to build an empire. Your I Holiness.
An empire of hope.
If you can prove. e that your. plan has any real chance...
any at all.
I could consider your request.
In the meantime, I can not and will not...
...override the Archbishop
Sorry for the wait, Mother...
We are late for a dinner.
If you don't mind walking with us..
The committee has reviewed your application,
but has regretfully declined your loan..
Senator, the project works perfectly, we can host --
Good evening!
So many children --
Mother Cabrini
the Senate does not even make I oans of that size.
We do however wish you the best.
The Senate has made its decision, my dear.
There's nothing else you can do -
But please, just take a look...
Mother Cabrini!
You've wandered into rooms..
where you simply don't belong.
Are you well?
We're making. dinner, come. and eat something.
need to rest
The first time I saw you...
you were marching t through
the most dangerous alley in New York
in your long black cape.
You wore it like a suit of armor.
Like nothing on Earth could stop you.
I don't know what you're
I don't know anything about the Pope or the Senate..
But I know you're not supposed to stop.
You said you'd fight with. every I ast ounce of your strength.
You must put your armor on.
Open your-hearts
to the refugee...
to the Italian immigrant who traveled across the ocean!.
In America,
in the great city of New York,
the life of an Italian immigrant --
Officer! Escort her out now.
Stop, my dear!
Not one step further!
Officer, you are to remove this woman.
You did not permit me to speak earlier,
Senator B odio.
So I shall speak here,
Throw her out!
Because I speak for the immigrant --
Only men are allowed to speak here!
I speak for your countrymen..
who wager everything on America.
to discover what?
'Even rats have it better!
This is an outrage!
speak for those little girls
abandoned to the streets.
Who somehow survive... only to become prostitutes.
speak for families,
stacked in tenements.
For fathers,
who die alone in gutters..
like dogs.
In one voice they tell you..
they don't want your pity.
For they are Italian.
They are proud.
But they also tell you --
Enough! This is no place for a woman!
--one small g gesture of love..
can change everything.
A word of hope.
A touch.
The medicine of a loving hand.
These are the things that change the world.
And in one voice they ask the great Senator B odio, hear their case.
For at the hour of our death
we will all be asked one question.
What did we do for the poor?
The sick?
The homeless?
For those stripped of dignity?
What did we do?
Such a loan. would be risky enough if made to a man.
Isn't a building worth the same no matter who owns it?.
If I fail
I offer as collateral a prime piece of Manhattan real estate.
all my holdings in Lombardy,
and my property on the Hudson.
In other words, gentlemen.
if I fail, everything I have is yours.
I am overriding his order but..
it may cost you everything.
We are bold,
or we die.
That is how I learned to live in America..
Thank you, Your Holiness.
Mother Cabrini!
Your Grace.
What an honor that you
came to greet us.
May I?
No, thank you. I can manage.
When I was a boy,
-I would sit in a parlor
-with my father and his cronies.
-All of them fresh from Ireland,
all of them illiterate.
when the whiskey hit my father,
he would pin me
with his blue eyes and say,
Listen to me, Mikey boy,
our generation
is digging the whole bloody
tunnel from old Croton Dam.
So you lads can drink cool
water from a tap.
And dont you forget it.
Well, I never did forget.
Please dont think I
dont understand.
Or that I dont on some level
admire what youre doing.
But please know, Mother,
that you have swatted the
hornets nest.
And neither I nor the Pope
can protect you from
what may come.
Good morning, Mr. Merton.
Francesca Cabrini.
Shall we begin?
Of course half of the
workers must be Italian.
Italian? No, no, no. Sorry,
We built Rome, I am sure we
can build a hospital.
Im afraid-
It is not negotiable.
And all workers --
including Italians --
must get the same pay.
Well see what Dr. Murphy has
to say about that.
Youll have to do as I say, Mr.
And from now on, the sisters
and I sleep here.
No, no Salvitore...
I have a favor to ask, Mr.
I will see the Mayor.
Now, Mr. Jenkins.
You will never see the Mayor.
Mr. Calloway wants a
front page story.
And Mother is the only one
holding it back.
So Id do as she says.
Mr. Mayor.
Mother Cabrini.
Your Honor.
Wheres Calloway?
Id like to speak to
the Mayor alone, Mr. Jenkins.
- Do you know why I am here, Mr.
Not in the least.
Are you aware of the fire at my
construction site?
If I was kept abreast of
every fire in this--
It was arson.
The Detective Unit is on
the third floor.
Is there anything else I
can help you with?
Lives were
almost lost...
And I am willing to believe
that whoever did this
thought the place was empty.
Careful, Mother.
I am not here to accuse.
Mr. Calloway, however,
has his own ideas.
I believe I am being
threatened by a nun.
If Mr. Calloway-
Mr. Calloway is a lying
son of a bitch!
Mr. Calloway
is a friend.
Who would be delighted to hear
that you have put your support
behind my hospital
and the good work of-
Oh, no, no, no!
If you think youre gonna march
in here and tell me-
I want the best hospital!
For your people
and for mine!
Oh, what rot!
You may think we are
lazy, dirty animals,
but someday, sooner
than you think,
there will be an Italian
in this office!
-And he will not be cleaning it!
-He will be running New York.
Because most of these Dagos
are already Americans!
You have an election coming up,
do you not?
- Support my work now,
and you will have their loyalty.
That I promise.
And if I cannot have
your support,
I will settle for
your protection.
Mr. Calloway will be very
happy to hear it,
as will the voters of
Five Points.
And I thought you
were new at this.
Yes, please.
Now, I need to know that this is
the end of all the fires,
of any kind.
And I am willing to take
your word for it,
because you are a good man,
and good men dont lie to nuns.
Its a shame that youre
a woman, Mother.
You would have made an
excellent man.
Oh no, Mr. Mayor.
Men could never do what we do.
An Empire of Hope, by
Theodore Calloway.
My dear friend, Frances
Xavier Cabrini,
arrived in New York with nothing
but a small suitcase
and a few sisters --
and went on to become one of the
great entrepreneurs of her time.
Her first hospital --
built amid the smoke of
controversy --
was soon considered one of the
finest in all New York,
and was a source of
pride and healing
and hope for immigrants
of all nations.
Cabrini and her sisters went
on to found hundreds
of hospitals, orphanages,
and aid centers all
around the world...
on every continent...
including institutions
deep in China.
It was the largest
charitable empire
the world had ever known --
an accomplishment equal to that
of any Rockefeller
or Vanderbilt.
And all of her institutions
were run by women.
Cabrini continued to defy death
until the age of 67.
She was buried at her
grand orphanage
high above the Hudson,
just as she predicted.
She was canonized
at St. Peters Basilica
in the Vatican.
The great plaza --
across which she had
walked alone
so many years before -
was packed to bursting.
Just as Cabrini had
wrapped her arms
around the forgotten immigrant,
America now embraced her as
one of its own.
A celebration was held
in her honor at
Chicagos Soldier Field,
while hundreds of thousands more
listened on radios all
across the country.
Cabrini was the first
American saint,
and is the patron saint of
all immigrants.
And even now she
begs us to ask
what kind of world do we want?
And what will we do
to achieve it?