CNS reports that a new seminary opened last week in Cuba:
The new headquarters of the archdiocesan seminary of St. Charles and St. Ambrose was inaugurated on Wednesday. It is a complex of salmon-colored buildings organized around a chapel with stained glass windows located about five miles south of Havana.
The Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, delivered Pope Benedict’s message at the seminary’s opening ceremonies. Other bishops were in attendance, including Bishop Thomas Wenksi of Miami; Cuban President Raul Castro also attended.
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The relationship between Church and State has improved in Cuba — particularly in recent years. According to the article, about three quarters of Cuba’s priests left after the communist revolution, and the former seminary was seized and tuned into a military barracks and police academy in 1966.
The cardinal brought guidance and encouragement from the Holy Father:
[The pope] invited the seminarians to identify themselves with “the sentiments of Christ the Good Shepherd” by means of “assiduous prayer,” serious dedication to study, “humbly” listening to the divine Word, and dignified celebration of the sacraments. He advised them to be “courageous witnesses” to God’s love as “authentic disciples and missionaries of the Gospel of salvation.”
Pope Benedict extended a blessing to all those who have contribute to the building’s construction.
He also entrusted the seminary to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, noting Cuba’s devotion to her under the title Our Lady of Charity.