The president of the Cuban Bishops' Conference said the Church is doing everything possible to help the thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy, and urged the country to continue trusting in God.
“Here in the Church we are trying to fix the things that can be fixed so that communities can continue celebrating the Eucharist with some dignity,” Archbishop Dionisio Garcia told CNA on Nov. 5.
“We need to pick ourselves up, the time for rebuilding will come.”
Archbishop Garcia said Sandy battered the eastern provinces of Cuba for almost four hours last week, nearly devastating the city of Santiago.
“We Christians were praying to God, and I am very sure that most people turned to God, because this is a religious people, even though they do not systematically practice their beliefs.”
“What I heard from people on the street was that the hand of God prevented more misfortune from occurring than already did,” he added.
“The people asked, what is God trying to tell us with this? What should we think? Because God is able to bring good out of bad things for those who love him. We have to learn how to read the signs of the times,” Archbishop Garcia said.
Cubans must “put great trust in Him, let us strive to seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice, and everything else will be added,” he said.
Archbishop Garcia said eight churches in Santiago were totally destroyed, and the Cathedral which was already under repair, was also severely damaged. Eight-five percent of the parishes in the archdiocese suffered some level of damage, he explained.
The priests, religious and faithful of the archdiocese, together with Caritas, “are trying to help people by visiting them and bring them the little that, thanks be to God, we have to distribute, with a priority for those most in need.
Priests and laity from other dioceses have also come to help. And we are very close to the people, because that is what we can do: be with them,” the archbishop said.