Cardinal Ortega addresses the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Catholic Register has posted this:

Speaking at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops annual plenary, the Archbishop of Havana said one way to do that is to “train ourselves through action.”

“People start doing something — they are providing a service in the Church,” Ortega said.

He told the bishops that “training oneself in or through action” helped renew the Church in Cuba before the revolution. He said that lesson still applies today.

Ortega cited a group of young people who would visit a state residence for elderly people. Their efforts attracted the attention of a doctor who worked there. He be-friended the young people, was baptized, had his child baptized and started to come to church, the cardinal said. The doctor eventu-ally became the director of that residence and now every 15 days Mass is celebrated at that facility.

“We have to start, knowing someone is going up a ladder,” Ortega said.

Ortega recalled one woman in his diocese who lent her house for a prayer meeting every Saturday for 12 years. People filled the garden, the garage, the patio, filling every available space. Even more packed in for Holy Week and Christmas, he said. “That family was simply unbelievable.” The community grew to 140 people who went to Mass every Sunday and now have a priest, he said.

“That’s how it starts,” he said. “It starts with this house which is ac-cessible to the neighbours,” he said. “They hear the singing.”

Ortega said that is also the mission for the continent. “It’s going concretely to places in the periphery,” he said.

But so many people are leaving Cuba that “we are constantly starting over again,” he said.

“We cannot — we may not — get tired.”

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