Today, the Third Sunday of October, the Church celebrates the Domund, which means: World Mission Sunday. The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, verses 11 through 16, tells us the last thing Jesus said to his disciples.
The Church fulfilled this mandate of Jesus in such a way that in the first century of Christianity the gospel was present in the four cardinal points of the world then known. Over the centuries, and today, our Church continues to go everywhere, however difficult, announcing, teaching, baptizing, celebrating the sacraments, and practicing works of charity.
On this Sunday, October 18, we congratulate all the missionaries Ad gentes, all priests, deacons, nuns, seminarians, laity, who come from their lands, are present in our parishes and Archdiocese of Havana.
Write a letter of gratitude and congratulations to the priests, nuns, deaco, seminarians, who have come from their countries to share with us the Christian faith.
On the occasion of this Missionary Day Pope Francis sends us a message: “In the sacrifice of the Cross, where Jesus’ mission is fulfilled, God reveals that his love is for each and every one of us and asks us for our personal readyness to be sent, because He is Love in a perennial movement of mission, always coming out of himself to give life. Out of love for men, God the Father sent his Son Jesus. Jesus is the Missionary of the Father: his Person and his work are in total obedience to the will of the Father. In turn, Jesus, crucified and resurrected by us, draws us in his movement of love; with his own Spirit, which encourages the Church, makes us disciples of Christ and sends us on a mission to the world and to all peoples.
“Mission is a free and conscious response to God’s call, but we can perceive it only when we live a personal relationship of love with Jesus alive in his Church. Let us ask ourselves: Are we ready to receive the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives, to hear the call to mission, both in the way of marriage and consecrated virginity or the ordained priesthood, as well as in the ordinary life of every day? Are we willing to be sent anywhere to bear witness to our faith in God, the merciful Father, to proclaim the gospel of salvation of Jesus Christ, to share the divine life of the Holy Ghost in the building up of the Church? Are we soon, like Mary, Mother of Jesus, to put ourselves at the service of God’s will without conditions? This inner availability is very important to be able to respond to God: ‘Here I am, Lord, send me.’ And all this not in the abstract, but in today’s Church and history.
“The celebration of World Mission Day also means reaffirming how prayer, reflection, and material help from your offerings are opportunities to actively participate in Jesus’ mission in your Church. Charity, expressed in the collection of liturgical celebrations on the third Sunday of October, aims to support the missionary task carried out on my behalf by the Pontifical Missionary Works, to meet the spiritual and material needs of the peoples and churches of the whole world and for the salvation of all”. Pope Francis.
(The collection of the DOMUND of Cuba will be sent to Cape Verde and Mozambique in order for evangelization).)
San Antonio María Claret, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, tells us one of his missionary experiences.
“I wanted to go by land to the city of Baracoa, for by sea I had no proposition; I went with my fellow priests. A servant came with us, who carried the food, because the places were lonely, and the people of the few houses that had been absent by those lands by cholera. For this good servant began to stay behind, because the beast could not walk, and we arrived very late, at night, to a house where we found nothing but a soldier’s galletica, small and very hard, of which we made four pieces, one for each priest, and the next day fasting we had to undertake the worst of the paths that I have ever walked in my life.
“We had to pass the river called Jojó thirty-five times, for, as it runs between two high mountains and there is no other place, when it gives way on one side it does not give it on the other. After the river we had to climb the high mountains, called Cuchillas de Baracoa, whose name is perfectly suitable for them, because they are truly like blades. And above the cut or crest walks the way, and when you pass by, there are stretches in which a sea snail sounds, so that the one who goes does not meet the one who comes; otherwise, the horse of one or the other would have to roll down, because the passage is so narrow, that a horse has no place to turn back. And those mountains are so high, you can see the sea from one part of the island to the other, because they are in the middle of the island, and they are also so long, that they last four leagues. For those mountains, after the steps of the river, we had to go up and fast, and when we went down they are so sloped, that I slipped and fell twice, although I did not do myself much harm, thank God.
“At noon we arrived at a country house, where we could eat, and in the afternoon we happily arrived in the city of Baracoa, at the point where, when we arrived on the island of Cuba, the discoverer Columbus set foot; still preserved the cross he planted when he arrived. Well, this city had not been visited by any bishop in sixty years, and therefore the sacrament of Confirmation had not been administered. By the time I arrived, two of my priests had already done the holy Mission; However, I preached every day that I remained in it, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to all, visited it and passed it to Guantanamo Parish, and also mayarí Parish. These two parishes had been missionaries by my fellow priests, and I did the same as in Baracoa.
“From Mayarí we pass to Santiago, the capital, distant forty leagues. Since the road is very lonely, we had to take provision in order to eat. We’re leaving on Good Monday. We took a cod pot with chickpeas and potatoes in a clay pot. Having walked a long way, the companions said we had to eat. We stopped, they pulled out the pot, lit fire, and, to shelter from the wind, they crawled to the trunk of a big mahogany. We were all going for firewood; and the heat of the fire was so great, it broke the pot. We try a yagua, which in that forest there are many (the yaguas are large leaves that fall from the palm trees, like a few steps of rams), and in a yagua we put the pot because the pot has been broken from the too hot of the fire; we found ourselves without a spoon or fork, and we took some geiras, and with that we ate our ranch or potaje. We were thirsty, and to drink we took another yagua, and, tied at the ends, we formed a bucket and filled it with water and thus drank very giftedly. We were all so happy and so cheerful, it was wonderful. The next day we arrived in Santiago to celebrate Holy Week, which I always celebrated in every year.
“According to Palladium Currius, 73,447 communions were held, 97,070 confirmations. 8,577 amancebados were married and 210 divorcees were joined.
We as baptized must also proclaim the gospel, but this time not in Baracoa, in Africa, or on other continents. Our mission is to make the gospel present in our house. Her husband’s best missionary is the wife, his wife’s best missionary, is the husband. The best missionary of his children is the father and also the mother. The best missionaries of the father and the mother are the children. We pray for those who live in our house.
We read them the gospel. We are very helpful in gospel 2020 and 2021, which is already in our churches. We pray for the people we want to bring the gospel to. We place these people in the hands of Our Lady and pray together.
God Save you, Mary…
And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend upon you, upon those who dwell in the house, upon those you love and remain forever. Amen.
Below we offer in full the allocution of the Cardinal and Archbishop of Havana, Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García.