Items filtered by date: September 2020
Certainly there are many reasons to be fearful today but Jesus teaches us that Love can and does overcome fear.
We are a generation of very privileged Cuban men and women witnessing profound social and political change. As a Church, we are living the unimaginable, similar to that experienced by the first Christians during the age of the catacombs.
We have witnessed the experience of a life of faith lived in a hostile environment.
We have lived a “special period” of time without losing our enthusiasm and our joy - a time of invention: come to mind home-made soap and grapefruit steaks… and so much more. We experienced receiving the visit of three popes.
One day, Father Miyares, president of Concur, asked me to accompany a priest belonging to CLAR for a tour of the country. He asked me with amazement, “How is it that, everywhere we go, everybody knows you?” Well, for us, that was very normal: the Cuban Church, from St. Antonio to Maisi (from east to west) is one big family.
We lived the prohibition of the dollar at the risk of imprisonment, the experience of simultaneously having two currencies in the country, the rationing of everything, economic change from 20 centavos to twenty dollar bills and, like the rest of humanity, technological progress with computer science – digitalization, etc.
We saw newborns too weak to “lift their heads” while today babies are walking before they leave their crib.
And, finally, we end up with the hard experience of a world-wide pandemic, the Corona virus, and the celebration of Holy Week at home. What else is to come; we don’t know and it is just as well we don’t.
I want to thank Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament dwelling in the tabernacle of my heart for all the friends with whom I share this life of unconditional love subjected to the trial of silence, of distancing and of illness.
Many have passed away but I am sure that the celebration and the joy of meeting again will remain as in the best of moments in this life.
Today, Holy Thursday, these words come from my heart a like as an everlasting thanksgiving and are addressed to those who have felt this covenant of love sealed in the great banquet of the Last Supper of the Lord.
Those who arrive at the last hour, but have felt the interior resonance of everlasting friendship, will not be excluded because true friendship is FAITHFUL.
As an Oblate Missionary of Mary Immaculate, I ascribe to what Father Parent, our founder, has said, “The oblate must be all things to all people.”
She is open to all milieus and is destined by vocation to go “everywhere Christ has rights.” For us Oblates it is important to witness through our daily life. We are not called to talk about God but to live the Gospel; doing so draws us close to the people – it is our way of evangelizing the world. Accordingly, I begin with my family, my friends, my parish community and all those people God puts on my path each day.
We have a precious treasure in our spirituality – that is the invitation to live the present moment. From day to day it allows me to start afresh living with love and through love.
What is my motivation? It is a debt of gratitude to God, who, in Lourdes in 1988, called me to conversion. Since that moment, my life has taken on a missionary thrust, in particular in relation to youth, who, in my estimation, is the category of the poorest and neediest of our time.
In Calabria, the southern-most region of Italy, I collaborate and work alongside the Oblate Fathers. During a presence of almost 12 years, we have carried out 35 popular missions in which I was involved with youth through a specific and direct evangelization.
As Pope Francis has said, “…we must open the doors of churches to reach the peripheries of existence.”
At the age of thirteen, I already knew the Institute and I observed more and more how these people lived the Presence of God and Charity in action in the midst of the world. This is what I was looking for; the opportunity to go all over the world to share and deepen the happiness of knowing the good God of the Gospel who was often presented above all as severe and punishing.
Not being attracted to community life, I entered the Institute at the age of twenty-one and continued to teach at the same school.
After fifty-five years as member of the Institute, I am filled with gratitude. I give thanks to God for grace of my vocation.