.- The cassocks and stoles used by over 150 priests and deacons during Mass presided by Pope Benedict in Santiago, Cuba on March 26 were crafted and sent from Peru “full of prayers.”
The vestments were created by Talleres San José (St. Joseph’s Workshop) in Lima, Perú upon the request of the Archbishop of Santiago, Dionisio García Ibáñez.
Verónica Lozada, a consecrated laywoman from the Marian Community of Reconciliation which oversaw the project, told CNA that they had encouraged artisans “to offer up their work for the Pope’s intentions so that the cassocks be full of prayers.”
“It was a very special order,” she said. “We are serving the Church. It’s the reason for our existence.”
The work of Talleres San José, which includes crafting a variety of liturgical instruments, is headed by the Marian community, a part of the Society of Apostolic Life in the Sodalit Family. The community is present in nine countries of North and South America, Europe and Australia.
Claudia Gómez, a community member known as a “Fraterna” who lives in the Dominican Republic, recalled meeting Archbishop Dionisio when he traveled to the country at the end of January.
She said the the local community used the trip “as an opportunity to show him the design of the first cassock.”
“He tried it on, and was very happy with the work and quality. That’s when he gave the ok to the cassock’s design, and so began the work in Lima.”
In all, Taller San José sent 80 embroidered cassocks, 180 stoles for priests and 20 stoles for deacons to Cuba for the Santiago Mass during the Pope's historic March 26-28 visit to the country.