March 3, 2021, was a day of joy and gratitude for the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba. In the Basilica of N. S. de la Caridad del Cobre, with a solemn Eucharist we initiated the Claretian Year, to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the arrival, on February 16, 1851, of Claret as Archbishop of Cuba. This day was chosen remembering that, “… we went to visit the Image of the Most Holy Virgin of Charity in the city of El Cobre… where with great devotion by all the inhabitants of the Island the image is held …”. (Aut. 510)
The Eucharist was presided over by Mgr Dionisio García Ibáñez, Archbishop of Santiago, and accompanied by the Nuncio, the Episcopal Conference, priests, religious, the Diocesan Pastoral Council and seminarians. The covid-19 did not allow for more participation.
A Coordinating Team for the Year of Claret was created by the bishop Dionisio, to reflect and seek that, through the activities that are organised, the Claretian memory may be a source of inspiration for the living out of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan: Missionary Disciples. We want to know Claret better so that his life commits us more, in those pastoral tasks that, with so much effort and generosity, he undertook: “Missions and Pastoral Visits”, “Catechesis and missionary work”, the Social Pastoral and Care of the clergy and the seminary.
Many of the proposals are being “put aside” by covid-19, but we will carry them out as far as possible. Among them, very important is the Exhibition on the life and work of Claret, highlighting his time as Archbishop of Santiago, which is being prepared in the new Diocesan Museum. Soledad G. rmi