Religious House Opens at Castro´s Request

Facility Is in Memory of Papal Visit

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ROME, MAY 25, 2001 ( At Fidel Castro´s request, St. Bridget´s Order of the Most Holy Savior opened a religious house in Cuba, in memory of John Paul II´s January 1998 visit.

Mother Tekla Famiglietti, general abbess of the order, recently inaugurated the house. She arrived in Cuba accompanied by Mother Elisa, vicar of this religious family. The nuns were received by Caridad Diego, head of the Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.

The house, which will be directed by eight religious, will offer retreats after it is restored. It should be operational within a year. Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of Havana, made the property available.

«It has given me a beautiful impression, as we must see everything with the eyes of faith,» Mother Famiglietti said on her return to Rome after visiting Cuba. «I have seen that there is much hope and faith in the heart of many of the people I met. Seeing a religious in habit, they came up to me and said: ´Thank you for coming; stay with us.´»

Mother Famiglietti said that Castro sent a letter to the Pope, mentioning his desire that the house serve as a reminder of the pontifical visit.

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