The General minister visits the brothers in Cuba

From 14 to 17 April the general Minister Br. Michael Perry visited the brothers living in Cuba, accompanied by Br. Gerardo Vargas, Custos of the custody of Santa María de la Esperanza of the Caribbean, to which Cuba belongs. He was also accompanied by Br. Juan Mari Martínez Ilarduia, Minister of the Province of Arantzazu to which custody is dependent, and Br. Ignacio Ceja, general Definitor.

There is a single community of our order, which lives in the friary of San Antonio de La Habana in Cuba. This comminity is constituted by five Cuban brothers: Br. Frank Dumois 86 years old, Br. Félix Padrón 75, Br. Frank Miki 45, and two temporary professed brothers, Br. Luis and Br. Maikel, 40 and 36 years of age, respectively. Also living with them is a young aspirant named Yosvany.

In addition to participating in the life of the community during those days and meeting on several occasions with all the brothers, Br. Michael also met with members of the Franciscan family, with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana, with the Apostolic Nuncio Giorgio Lingua, and with the Ambassador of the United States, Jeffrey DeLaurentis.

On Friday the 15th, representatives of the Conventual and Capuchin friars and a group of Franciscan sisters joined us to share food and faith. On Saturday a meeting was held with representatives of all the SFO communities in Cuba, who expressed their situation and their concerns. The general Minister addressed a message of hope to them reminding them that they are called to be witnesses of brotherhood and sisterhood.

At the end of this visit comprised of brotherly meetings, prayer, dialogue, Br. Michael expressed his thanks to brothers for their fine Franciscan hospitality and openness to dialogue.