AMERICA/CUBA - Church reopened by the Archdiocese, after 30 years

Monday, 14 April 2008

Havana (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, presided the Mass on April 5, held in the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Helen in Tarara, now reopened to the public after 30 years. Together with the Cardinal, concelebrating were Bishop Ramon Suarez Polcari, Vicar of the Eastern Havana, and various priests that work in the vicariate. There were crowds of Catholics from Guanabacoa, Guanbo, and other local towns, as well as some who had attended the Church prior to its closure and could now experience the great joy of witnessing its reopening, giving thanks to God.
The building was consecrated as a new Church since although it had originally been a Catholic church dedicated to Saint Helen, it was later used as a storage building and then even a night club, after it was placed in the hands of the authorities in 1975. The restoration work on the church in Tarara began July 2006, following its return to the Archdiocese.
Tarara is a residential area located in a coastal region east of Havana, however following the revolution of 1959, the majority of the people living there emigrated to other places and their houses were left to become property of the Cuban government. In the mid-70s, the government created a Pioneer Camp in Tarara for thousands of elementary school students, who would come for a few weeks a year. The Camp passed out of existence in the 1990s. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 14/4/2008 righe 19, parole 240)