.- Archbishop Pedro Meurice Estiu, who has retired as Archbishop of Santiago in Cuba, called on Catholics in that country to work for reconciliation during a farewell Mass on February 18th.
In his farewell remarks, Archbishop Meurice pointed to the need to “renew our pastoral practices.”
“Even in our formation,” the archbishop said, “we need to change many things around from how they are right now. That is, first we must work for reconciliation.”
“I hope to see the dawn of a splendid day, a day of sunshine in which all Cubans can think the way they think; believe or not believe in God; be where they are, whether in Cuba or outside of Cuba; with everyone suffering for Cuba and hoping for Cuba, the day will come in which so much pain and so much suffering, so much work, so much sweat, will not be in vain. It will all bear fruit, and abundantly. And we will all be able to celebrate joy, peace and unity,” the archbishop said.
Likewise, the retiring Cuban prelate noted, “There is no Christianity, there is no Catholic Church, without true worship of God in Spirit and in Truth, without worship there is no Catholic Church…If there is no prayer, there is no faith, if there is no worship of the true God, there is no growth in the faith,” he went on. “We are disciples of a one who was crucified. If the cross is not in our midst, if we do not live the cross, then we are simply not Christians,” he added.
Archbishop Meurice thanked God for his 75 years of life and for his “40 years as archbishop,” and he also thanked his family and friends, especially “Archbishop Enrique Perez Serantes, who anointed me priest.”
In a “final request” to the faithful, the archbishop said, “Cuba will not change if we do not pray to God with insistence and renewed constancy. We must pray, pray, pray…in order to get that grace from God, through the intercession of our Mother, Our Lady of Charity,” he said in conclusion.