New “Postcard” from Oblate Missionaries in Cuba


Photos and captions by Fr. Nicholas Harding, OMI

(Editor’s note: Fr. Nick Harding, OMI is one of two U.S. Oblates stationed in Cuba, the other being Fr. Roger Hallee, OMI. This is another in a series of articles featuring photos from Fr. Nick along with short comments giving some insight into what life is like for priests and their faith communities in a land where the government restricts religious practices and is always watching.

(L-R) Oblate Fathers Shihan Shanaka (from Sri Lanka), Roger Hallee, and Nick Harding
“Banana Colorado in our garden”
Everything, even food is strictly regulated in Cuba. “Our monthly food allotment for two.”
At our parish in Barreras, the state put up brincolins (trampolines) for kids to play on for a few days. We have 3 parishes (2 OMIs) in East Habana (combined population est. 300,000) and two rural parishes un Pinar del Río (2 OMIs)
“A German NGO, (non-governmental organization) Kubahlife, sponsored January 6, Epiphany for the children of our parish at Cojimaru.”
“Fr. Shihan with parish children on Epiphany”
“Bell in our oldest parish, Our Lady of Sorrows.”
Fr. Nick is very fond of the orchids that grow in the neighbor’s yard

Cubans are renowned for keeping old cars, trucks, and even motorcycles running seemingly forever.

“Old sidecar motorcycles are very common here”

“Parishoner has a 1973 Russian Júpiter motorcycle with sidecar he is proud of! “
“Another parishioner has a 1929 Ford Model A for everyday travel (original except Russian Lada motor)”

In the following photos Fr. Nick takes us around Habana for a look at some famous landmarks

Habana Cathedral built in 1748″
“Old Catholic seminary in Habana”
“Plaza de la Revolución, Habana”
” Umbrella repairman and bag elevator at the apartments”