Minutes before officiating his last Mass in St. Teresita Church in Santiago de Cuba Father Jose Conrado went to visit the Sanctuary of El Cobre. There, at the foot of the Virgin of Charity, on his knees, he prayed silently. Then he stood up, sang and prayed to the patron saint of Cuba. Noticeably moved, with tears in his voice, he begged for his sheep, for the priests that will substitute for him in his church, and for the people of Cuba. It was almost six in the evening and the temple was practically empty.

We are used to seeing a priest in his role as emissary of God to the faithful, teaching the Gospel, hearing confessions and forgiving our sins. This Friday on the verge of abandoning the congregation he was responsible for for almost fifteen years, Father Jose Conrado was our ambassador to the Virgin. Not even lacking absolute faith could anyone could be oblivious to the emotions that vibrated at the altar. Joseph Conrad pleaded for us all. I have no doubt, we were heard.

10 June 2013