The Miami Herald reports that over 800 people are slated to be part of a pilgrimage to Cuba next week organized by the Miami Archdiocese for the pope’s visit to the island. While Catholics in Cuba are being attacked, beaten and arrested by Castro State Security in recent weeks, the Miami Archdiocese has been directing its resources and efforts to more pressing matters, such as ensuring there is plenty of Pope Benedict XVI water bottles to quench the thirst of Miami pilgrims in Cuba’s hot, tropical sun.You know, they will be the ones “on the ground.”
More than 800 to participate in Miami archdiocese pilgrimage to Cuba
As the days draw down before Mariana O’Naghten makes a pilgrimage to see Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba, she heads to the chapel of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in South Miami for a daily hour of prayer.
“I’m preparing myself spiritually,’’ said O’Naghten, a Dame of the Order of Malta, one of the Catholic Church’s oldest lay religious orders. “There is a tendency to see this trip through political eyes, but I see it as something spiritual. I’m traveling to support the Church in Cuba.’’
O’Naghten is one of more than 800 people expected to participate in a pilgrimage organized by the Archdiocese of Miami. The pope will arrive in Cuba for a three-day visit next Monday.
Some 320 pilgrims have purchased a special package that will take them to Santiago where the pope will deliver the homily during a twilight mass before flying on to Havana for a mass celebrated in the Cathedral by Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, a tour of religious sites and the finale — Benedict’s mass next Wednesday morning in the Plaza de la Revolución.
Nearly 500 other people are expected to fly to Havana on separate charter flights and join the archdiocese group there, said church officials. And still others are making their own travel plans to coincide with the pope’s visit.