Closing of the Jubilee Year: 170 years since the arrival of Maria Antonia Paris in Cuba

25 May 2023

On 26 May 1852, five young women arrived at the port of Santiago de Cuba, their souls full of enthusiasm to begin on this land what the Lord had determined from all eternity: the birth of our Congregation. The voyage lasted a little more than three months and, although it was marked by great risks and dangers, led by Divine Providence, they managed to reach their destination. 

On Saturday 20 May 2023, the closing of this Jubilee Year was celebrated. In the afternoon we gathered in the parish of Trinidad, where we celebrated the Eucharist, presided by Monsignor Dionisio García, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. Then, in the courtyard of the Claret Centre, we made a “Festive memory of this Jubilee Year”, going through the experiences of the year with audiovisuals, witnesses, songs, comments… and at the end we all shared a snack together! 

Thanks be to God for so much goodness, as Mother Antonia Paris prayed. We thank God and all those who have accompanied us on this 171-year pilgrimage along the paths of the world and of history. A history woven of dreams, risks and fragilities, but, above all, of God’s fidelity. A history in which the Charism that God has granted us through Paris and Claret is alive, even in its smallness and weakness, in four continents and 27 countries of every language, culture, race and nation… The small seed sown in a small convent in San Germán Street 171 years ago spread throughout the world, working to live and proclaim the Gospel and “making the path easy for others”. 

Throughout this year we have often brought to our hearts and minds the memory of the courage of this group of young women who, in the middle of the 19th century, were able to leave their families, their culture, their known and safe world, to set out and, throwing themselves into the hands of Divine Providence, cross the seas and enter a different and distant world, placing all their security in the God who called them. What we celebrated throughout the year was that courage and fidelity that made them capable of setting out, arriving here and continuing their journey, always trusting in the God who calls and accompanies. 

Thanks to God for everything we have experienced and thanks to all those who, with their creativity, work, dedication and commitment, have made it possible. 

During these days, the text “María Antonia París, friend and companion in the journey” is being distributed.