Brooklyn Paper: Dyker Heights Post Office named after Mother Cabrini

The Dyker Heights Post Office will now bear the name of Saint Frances Cabrini after President Donald Trump signed the name change into law on Dec. 3. 

The Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Post Office Building, on 13th Avenue and 84th Street, will receive a plaque with its new name in the spring, USPS said. 

Local Congressman Max Rose introduced the bill to change the post office’s name after New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, declined to build a statue in honor of the beloved saint, even though Saint Cabrini “won” the most votes in McCray’s public statue building initiative.

The snub infuriated the parishioners of Bensonhurst’s Saint Frances Cabrini Church, who had mobilized en masse to vote for their patron saint. 

“It makes no sense,” said Rosalie Grazaino, who had attended the church for 50 years. “What happened to democracy?”

Brooklyn Catholics held protest and argued with Mayor Bill de Blasio about the decision, which they viewed as an act of discrimination against the Italian-American saint. Saint Frances Cabrini, known as Mother Cabrini, moved to New York City from Italy in the late 19th century, where she founded dozens of schools, hospitals, and other social service organizations for immigrants. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighed in on Columbus Day of 2019, and said he would work with the Brooklyn Diocese to fund a statue of the saint in Battery Park. The statue was unveiled in October. 

Southern Brooklyn Congressman Max Rose joined Cuomo in opposing the snub later in October, when he introduced a bill on the house floor changing the name of the Dyker Heights Post Office in Cabrini’s honor.

The bill initially received some pushback from locals, who argued that the slow and oftentimes unreliable post office was a stain on Cabrini’s name. However, many Catholics who had fought for the city to fund a statue for the saint said they were thrilled with the renaming.

“I think it’s fabulous!” Bensonhurst resident Ursula Agota, a parishioner at Saint Frances Cabrini Church, told Brooklyn Paper earlier this year. “Have to thank Max!”

Following Trump’s approval of the name change, the Postal Service held a conference on Dec. 22 — the anniversary of Cabrini’s death and her feast day — to celebrate the post office’s new name. 

“We believe that Mother Cabrini embodies the spirit of the postal service in many ways,” said USPS representative Amy Gibbs. “She served the public with equal opportunity. She did not discriminate. She was resourceful and proud, much like our organization.”

Brooklyn Paper