No wine. No vaccine. No Mass

By: Antonio Miguel Fontela Lamelas

Cola en espera del pollo en la calle Santuario, Regla.

When I look at the remaining millimeters of oil, the exhaustion of the toothpaste tube or the transparency of the soap laminilla that still rests at the bottom of the soapbox, I think forcefully at the Weddings of Cana, because every moment has its shortages; in the bride and groom’s, wine; in ours, others, and both current and preterite, it is appropriate to ask for the intercession of Our Heavenly Mother for her Son to perform some miracle that reduces deficiencies.

We were going through a serious crisis for various reasons, which has been exacerbated in recent months by the arrival of SARS-CoV-2, which has managed to top off our daily life by making it even more rugged. It is currently necessary to make long tails with zero insulation to acquire the basic hygiene and food items.

Toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, detergent and deodorant are the “fighting” elements in this necessary lockdown period, which are as deficient as oil, beans and chicken. You can never buy all the inputs that people require at once, to achieve this they must make other rows in other stores. Sometimes they are forced to stay even several days “marking” until “enters” the chicken, which is by antonomasia the wine of our present day.

Fortunately, thank God and the work done by health and civil authorities, the number of patients by the new coronavirus has been reduced and the country has begun to open up to a neo-normal.

A number of regulations have been implemented that will be applied on public transport when they are crossing the provinces through each of the three phases envisaged, as set out through all the media. Measures include reducing the number of passengers on each bus.1

Under no circumstances has there been any comment on the frequency of routes, presumably they will keep the same route they had before quarantine because of fuel shortages, spare parts shortfalls and American blockade. All of which means the trips will be slower.

The same applies to maritime transport, so important to the rule; it can be assumed that its carrying capacity will also be reduced by a part of that in normal times, without altering its thirty-minute frequency, when three boats are being serviced. This will result in it taking an hour and a half to get through the bay in the new normal.

In the capital we are already in phase 1 and the maximum capacities will be reduced in hotels, restaurants and cafes, just as it has been carried out in the other provinces.

It is logical to assume that the same will apply to religious ceremonies. In the case of Catholic temples, a contraction similar to that of restaurants and cafes is expected. Assuming that the reduction of people to religious celebration is 50%, for example, this would amount to the closure of half of the capital’s temples, if the number of Sunday masses held before the pandemic was not doubled, an assumption that is made considering that all buildings have the same capacities and equal number of attendees , identities that do not take place.

Some sites, to avoid agglomeration due to the high influx of believers, would have to triple the number of celebrations so that all parishioners can attend Mass on Sunday in the temple of their choice. These are the cases2 of the churches of San Lázaro, Las Mercedes, La Caridad and La Virgen de Regla.3 Here lies the importance of televised Sunday masses: with them the harmful crowd and the displacement of the faithful is avoided through poor public transport, on a non-working day.

In addition, there has been an underlying problem in our homeland since the 1960s, which has solved the above difficulty: there are not enough priests available and many of them serve several communities distant from each other.

The great challenge presented by the above-mentioned adjustments lies in the value of the extra frequency of the service affected: social, religious or not; transport of passengers, land or not.

Of course, the anomalous situation described will end on the day an effective vaccine against COVID-19 is discovered, but today the date of the long-awaited event is not clearly distinguished. As long as that moment does not come, it is advisable to prepare for a difficult and slow opening. Presumably, the civil and religious authorities have taken these aspects into account.

It is indisputable that, even without the COVID-19 vaccine, restrictions will be lifted shortly in its entirety, because no economy is able to sustain an entire country by paying wages at 60 or 100% without working and without s leaving breakfast, lunch and eating daily.

It is also undeniable that Catholics based between Maisí and San Antonio went through a new crisis, added to those we already had, because last Sunday, June 28, televised masses were permanently suspended. In deciding the termination, the spiritual need for the Eucharist that the faithful have, especially in these announcing moments of a future overshadowed by a more bushy sandstone than that of the Sahara, has not been taken into account.

These celebrations – which could have been held until the vaccine was applied to the population – in no way harmed the central authority of the country or the citizen organization, and in them, the celebrant with the faithful, we took advantage of this irreplaceable opportunity – and without any contagion – to plead with Our Lady of Charity of Copper, to help us get out of our shortage , like his boyfriends in the esponsals of Cana.

Unfortunately, the only result obtained from the sudden disposition is that we Catholics are now without wine, without vaccine and also without mass.

May God have mercy on us. Ω


[1] Tabloid: Post-COVID-19 recovery stage. Measures to be implemented in its three phases. Political Editor, Havana, June 17, 2020.

2 Ibid. “Generals. Phases 1, 2 and 3”, p. 8.

3 Ibid. “Social. Religious institutions,” p. 14.

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