US bishops and priests in the Cuban diaspora send video message back home

Cuba protets Fernando Medina/Shutterstock

In an eight-minute video, about 30 American bishops and priests of the Cuban diaspora sent their prayers and a message of support to protesters on the island. 

Bishop Nelson Jesús Pérez, archbishop of Philadelphia and the son of Cuban parents, said in the video: “This is a message for the Cuban people who are suffering these moments of difficulty, injustice, oppression and lack of respect for human rights. Know of our prayers, our love, our affection and solidarity with all of you. May Our Lady of Charity hear our prayers, protect you and bring peace.”

Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez of Saint Augustine, Florida, of Cuban origin, said that "charity unites all those born in Cuba." He also asked Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of the country, to "save Cuba."

The Cuban-American auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Newark,  Manuel Aurelio Cruz, expressed his "respect and unity with my Cuban people." 

“I know the pain, the suffering of our people, and the time has come for our homeland to have freedom. Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, save, save our Cuban people. Amen,” he said.

“As a Cuban, I am faithfully praying for all of you. From the diaspora, we are asking only one thing:  Our Lady of Charity, save your people in Cuba,” said Fr. Fernando Hería, a Cuban priest and rector of the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Charity in Miami.

Msgr. Willie Peña, a priest of Cuban origin and pastor of the St. Bernadette church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and host of the Spanish language “As the World Turns” program on EWTN, assured his compatriots that “we are with you in prayer and solidarity."

“I send you a hug with all my heart. Keep on standing because we are with you. Our Lady of Charity, save Cuba!” he added.

Msgr. Mario Guijarro de Corzo, a Cuban priest and pastor of St. Peter the Martyr church in Verona, Puerto Rico, said that “the Cuban people have the right to live in freedom, to live in democracy, to seek their prosperity, to a change of life.”

"For Cuba it’s time, and that is why we’re asking Our Lady of Charity to save Cuba," he added.

Fr. José Luis Menendez, pastor of Corpus Christi church in the Miami archdiocese, said that “at this very special moment in our history, perhaps more than ever we must be united in heart, in mind and in prayer, at the feet of the Virgin, so that our homeland, once and for all, may achieve the longed for freedom.” 

Fr. Juan Sosa, who serves in the St. Joseph parish in the Miami archdiocese, said, “I believe that everything we have to do must be done at the feet of the Virgin, because she is the Mother who accompanies us wherever we may be.”

Fr. Manny Alvarez of St. Therese of the Little Flower parish in Coral Gables, Florida, said he was connected “with your Cuban roots and with every one of you by the priestly fraternal bonds, praying for each one in this difficult moment.”

“To my dear Cuban people, all my support and my prayers. The truth sets you free. Love conquers all. Love of God, country, the family. Our Lady of Charity, save Cuba,” said Fr. Carlos Céspedes, who serves at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami.

Cuban priest Fr. Enrique Corona, from St. Agnes parish in New Jersey, also sent a message. “I am with all Cubans, inside and outside of Cuba. We are here to let you know that you are not alone.”

Fr. José Enrique López, from St. Gregory parish in the Miami archdiocese, told his compatriots that "the Lord is the God of justice." 

"Your cause is just, the Lord is with you," he added.

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Fr. Roberto Ayala, from St. Matthew parish in the Miami archdiocese, said, “I ask God to give you the energy, the words, the courage, so that you can go forward. Know that we are with you.”

For his part, Fr. Salvador Díaz-Guerra, a priest of St. John Bosco parish in Miami, said: “Dear Cuban brother… take courage because God is on the side of those who make a homeland. Our Lady of Charity, save Cuba. Long live free Cuba!”

Fr. Delvis Mederos, who resides in Miami, told Cubans that "freedom is knocking on your doors." 

"Only in the Lord and with the help of the Virgin is your strength," he added.

Fr. Esney Muñoz Díaz, from St. Michael the Archangel parish in Miami, told Cubans that "you’re not alone." 

“The road is long and hard but Christ is with us. May Our Lady of Charity accompany you.”

Fr. Alfred Cioffi, professor of biology and bioethics at St. Thomas University in Miami, spoke to his brother priests in Cuba, to tell them that they are with them "in prayer."

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And Fr. Ricardo Ortega, from Annunciation of the Virgin Mary parish in New Jersey, encouraged his compatriots to continue "defending your own right to truth, justice, and love between brothers and compatriots."

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