Project Title: Assistance to Pilgrims visiting the NationalSanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre

The Archdiocese of Camaguey is supporting a group of 960 pilgrims from the poorest communities in the archdiocese. The archdiocese wants to give them the opportunity to join in pilgrimage to venerate the Image of Virgin of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre at the national shrine on the 400th anniversary of its discovery.

The financial assistance provided by the Collection for the Church in Latin America supports their transportation and other related expenses. Many of these pilgrims regularly open up their homes for worship services and/or to serve as "mission" sites in the absence of a local parish church or chapel. Despite its financial needs, the Church in Cuba continues to "Keep Faith Alive".

Project Title: 12th Diocesan Mission - Summer of 2011

The 12th Mission of the Diocese of Santa Clara was held in the parish of Our Lady of Carmel of Manicaragua. It lasted 10 days and gave parishioners an opportunity to have a true encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church.

Across the parish, groups of trained diocesan lay missionaries visited homes to share the Good News of the Gospel and to invite families to evening gatherings in the community. One lay missionary noted that "all were very receptive to the invitations and the preparations they made for children and adolescents were invaluable."

Traveling significant distances in some cases, the lay missionaries regularly attend to more than 200 mission communities.

Project Title: Support for three events of popular religious expressions of faith

 The Archdiocese of San Cristobal de La Habana received support from the Collection for the Church in Latin America to conduct public displays of popular religious expressions of faith and culture in 2011.At that time in the history of the Church in Cuba, such expressions were and remain of great importance for catechesis and popular religiosity.

 The planned activities included musical concerts for advent and Easter along with processions related to the veneration the Image of Virgin of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre (during Advent as the image of the Virgin made its way throughout the archdiocese) and the Way of the Cross (during Lent). All of these efforts culminated with a December 30th, 2011 outdoor Mass to conclude the year of pilgrimage by an image of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre throughout the entire country.

 These activities were designed to increase participants' faith and devotion as well as to highlight the Church's presence, beliefs and works.Only until recently these types of public displays of faith have been permitted again.a

Project Title: Prayer and spirituality workshops for the laity.

Responding to a local need and the national pastoral plan, the Diocese of Santa Clara elected to give the spiritual formation of laity greater attention. With assistance from the Collection for the Church in Latin America, the diocese was able to convene five intensive workshops for 98 people associated with diocesan programs and services.

These workshops helped the participants develop prayer habits that not only nourish their personal daily prayer lives but taught them how to share the habits with others.

Projects in Mexico