Pope Sends Message to Cuban Seminarians

National Seminary Inaugurated in Havana

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

By Nieves San Martín

HAVANA, Cuba, NOV. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting the future priests of Cuba to identify themselves everyday with Christ, and to engage in a careful preparation for the priesthood.

The Pope said this in a telegram sent Wednesday to the archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, on the occasion of the inauguration of the archdiocese’s new seminary, named in honor of St. Charles and St. Ambrose.

In the brief message, sent on behalf of the Pontiff by the Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope expressed the wish that the center will focus itself on the «careful human, spiritual and academic preparation of those who in this institution walk toward the priestly ministry.»

The note was read at the inaugural ceremony by one of the auxiliary bishops of the capital, Bishop Alfredo Petit.

«The Pope invites [the seminarians] to identify themselves increasingly every day with the sentiments of Christ, Good Shepherd, through assiduous prayer, serious application to study, humble listening to his Divine Word, the fitting celebration of the sacraments, and audacious witness of his love as genuine disciples and missionaries of the Gospel of salvation,» the note said.

«With these wishes,» the message concluded, «the Holy Father, while entrusting the whole community of that teaching institution to the protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, who under the title of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre is invoked with fervor in the beloved Cuban nation, imparts his heartfelt special apostolic blessing, which he gladly extends to all those who contributed generously in the construction of the new building and to the participants in the inaugural celebration," the message concluded.

The new seminary is located approximately 30 miles from Havana, and it is the first religious structure built in Cuba in half a century. Pope John Paul II blessed the cornerstone of the institute during his visit to the island in 1998.

The president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, was among the some 300 guests as the seminary’s inauguration. Other political figures were also in attendance, as well as several guests from the United States. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami led a delegation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the event, and Carl Anderson, the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, was in attendance.

— — —

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30854?l=english

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation