Cubans inaugurate first new Catholic church in 60 years
By News Desk| Updated: February 06, 2019
SANDINO, Cuba — The first new Roman Catholic church to be completed in Cuba since the country’s 1959 socialist revolution was inaugurated with the aid of a Florida congregation Saturday, in a ceremony that observers called a hopeful sign amid international tensions.The Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the western town of Sandino is one of three Catholic churches authorized by Cuba as part of a warming between the Vatican and the island’s Communist government.
It is the first to be finished, thanks in large part to financial aid from the members of St. Lawrence Church in Tampa, Florida. Tensions between Cuba and the U.S. have risen in recent weeks as the Trump administration has threatened new sanctions on Cuba and its ally Venezuela.
“This is a bridge between Tampa and Cuba,” said Rev. Ramon Hernandez, a Cuban-born priest who lives in Tampa and returned for the ceremony.