President of Caritas Cuba, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana sent a message last week to the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of Cuba encouraging spiritual and material solidarity with victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
In his letter read on January 17 in all parishes, the cardinal said, “In response to this tragic situation the already impoverished Haitian people are experiencing, I appeal to your charity to hold a national collection in support of these suffering people. I am aware of the difficult economic situation we are enduring, but in situations such as these we must lend a hand to share with our brothers and sisters the little that we have.”
Cardinal Ortega said the money from the collection would be sent to Caritas International, which “is responsible for delivering our aid to the Haitian people.”
He said it was essential to also offer spiritual encouragement and reflected on the biblical passage from the Gospel of Luke: “in which Jesus was in the Temple, and looking up, he saw a rich man placing his offering into the treasury, and he also saw a poor widow who only put in two coins.”
“At that moment the Lord said to his disciples: Look, this poor widow gave more than everyone, as the others gave from their surplus, whereas she gave of the little that she had (Lk 21:1-4). In similar way as the poor widow, I invite you to share, from our poverty, with our sister nation of Haiti,” the cardinal said.
Cardinal Ortega concluded his letter with a prayer “to the Lord for the people of Haiti, for those who have died, for the wounded, and for all those who have lost everything they had but have kept what is most important: life.”