“Let your example speak louder than your words" Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Who we are
Francesca Cabrini was born in Northern Italy in 1850. Inspired by her deep faith in Jesus Christ, she was a woman of great compassion and courage.
She saw her life as a mission to relieve suffering and serve those in need – particularly the poor and excluded. She established health, education and care centres in the USA and Latin America, in Europe and in England, becoming an inspiration to all whose lives she touched.
She was the first US citizen to be canonised a saint. At age 30, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to show God’s love for people through their compassionate action in the world.
Today their mission reaches around the world, and includes Cabrini Health in Australia.
Our Cabrini story started in 1948, when ten Missionary Sisters arrived in Melbourne to take over St Benedict’s, a small hospital in Malvern. The journey from Italy took 10 days as the plane could only fly during daylight hours.
The Sisters thought they were taking over a fully functioning hospital but unfortunately, this was not so. Without losing spirit, they worked hard to equip and make the place presentable so that they could re-open the facility.
At the time, Melbourne was not the multicultural city that we know today. People were cautious of these Italian sisters who dressed and spoke differently to the Australian religious of the time. Despite their best efforts, in the first few months there were many complaints about their strange ways.
However the Sisters recognised there were people in need and with courage and determination they laid the foundation for the comprehensive healthcare service we have become today.
The Sacred Heart is an open heart. It is open to pain and suffering and it responds to grief. It holds joy and happiness. It embraces the whole experience of the human being with care, compassion, integrity and respect. Our doors are open to all.
Our care for the sick, aged or disabled is founded on love and respect for the inherent dignity of every human being. Our mission is to assist people to live the best life they can live.
This means helping them maintain good health, endeavouring to save life when it is at risk, curing illness if that is possible or at least slowing the progress of disease, relieving distressing symptoms or otherwise caring for people.
And when the day comes that death can be gently accepted, our goal becomes keeping those in our care as free of pain and other suffering as possible, so that they may die comfortably with dignity and at peace with others and themselves.
This is in accordance with the code of Catholic ethical standards.
Our values form the base of our mission, are built around what we believe and drive how we act. They are drawn from Mother Cabrini’s life and reflect her heart, her spirit, her conviction and her approach.
Our drive to care is not just a professional duty to provide excellent quality care but is born of a heartfelt compassion for those in need, motivated by God’s love for all people. Integrity: We believe in the power of hope to transform people’s lives and remain faithful to the bold healing mission and legacy of Mother Cabrini.
We have the strength, determination, vision and conviction to continue the work of Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters.
We believe that every person is worthy of the utmost respect and the best possible health care. We know that our resources are entrusted to us to use for the benefit of others.