Pope John Paul II sent a message to mark the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Cuba, in which he encourages Catholics on the island to âserenely enlightenâ the national society with a peaceful dialogue dominated by âliberty, justice, truth and love.â.-
In the message, which was addressed to Archbishop Pedro Meurice EstiÃº of Santiago, the Holy Father âencourages each parish to foster through civic and religious formation the integral education of those who approach the Church with the desire to grow in humanity.â
The message, which was signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vaticanâs Secretary of State, says the Pope is counting on the collaboration of missionaries, catechists and the laity to foster âhuman promotion and social assistance to those most in need.â The Pope likewise invites âthe pilgrim People of God of Santiago, Cuba, under the protection of the Our Lady of Charity,â to be witnesses of âthe unity and fidelity of the message of Christ.â
Celebrations began in Santiago with a Mass concelebrated by 10 Cuban bishops. An art exposition entitled Glorious Anniversary was also inaugurated, with more than 100 historical, religious and cultural works of art on display.