The ABC of the Cuban Catholic Laity

Contact
information

Office/person in charge:
National Commission of the Laity

Address:
Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba Calle 20 # 160, between 13 and 15, Vedado, Plaza de la Revolución La Habana, CP 10300, Cuba

Email address:
laicoscuba@iglesiacatolica.cu

Website/social media:

The ABC of the Cuban Catholic Laity is a simple document accessible to all lay people in Cuba. The material intents to be a presentation of the main elements of life and spirituality of the layman, which serves as a motivation to follow a path of continuous formation in the subject.

With the first chapter containing questions and answers on the vocation, mission, and spirituality of the laity, in a synthetic and brief way, it presents the foundations of who is a lay person, hence the title: “ABC of the Cuban Catholic laity”. Keeping in mind that some of the answers are not sufficiently broad and clear, the laity or the group have the opportunity to consult a more complete information in the following chapter.

The booklet has been designed so that it can be read and worked on in groups, but it doesn’t prevent an individual reader from taking advantage of its contents and orientations for their ongoing formation and personal growth.

What is it?

What is this initiative about?

This booklet comes with the title “The ABC of the Cuban Catholic Laity”. In doing so, it establishes its intentions to be the fundamentals of the vocation of the laity and to visualize how this vocation, and its mission, can be concretized in Cuba.

The focus of this booklet is to harmonize three characteristics: simplicity, pedagogy and the integral and panoramic vision of the theme. The concern is not in the rigor of theological concepts, but to offer, in an understandable language and progressive way, some “strong ideas” that illuminate our lay commitment as a living member of the Church. Another concern is that these ideas do not remain in the head, but that they descend to the heart, hands and feet and mobilize the reader to a personal, community, and pastoral conversion.

In the Cuban Church, a significant part of our communities are made up of newly converted lay people without a solid formation. For this reason, the National Commission of the Laity noticed a pastoral gap in the formation of the laity once they would finish the Christian initiation process. It was necessary to provide some material to motivate the ongoing formation of the laity after they received catechesis for the sacraments of Christian initiation.

The existence of this material, and the promotion the Church in Cuba has given it, has helped to make visible the theme of lay formation in pastoral agents and their motivation to make a great effort to accompany and motivate this initiation of laity formation in their communities.

While it may be appealing to any lay person, this material focuses on newly converted laity who are in the process of discovering their lay essence and vocation.

Because of its simplicity and language, it has become a reference material for work on lay formation in new communities and mission houses, which are new pastoral realities of the Church in Cuba.

How does it help?

In what way does this initiative enhance the formation of the laity?

Why is it important?

Why is this initiative important for the training and advancement of the laity in your country?

In the Cuban Church, the majority of our communities are made up of newly converted people without solid formation. This initiative serves as a presentation of fundamental elements of the life of the lay person and as a motivation for a deeper formation.

The existence of this material, and the promotion the Church in Cuba has given it, has helped make visible the theme of lay formation in pastoral agents and their motivation to make a great effort to accompany and stimulate this initiation in their communities. Strengthening the vocation and spirituality of the lay faithful.

How did it start

How was this initiative developed?

After an analysis of the reality of the laity in the communities of the 11 dioceses of Cuba, the National Commission of the Laity (CNL), concluded that it was necessary to generate an informative text with “common language” to motivate the formation of the laity.

There was a pastoral gap in the formation of the laity once they completed the Christian initiation process. After receiving the catechesis for the sacraments of Christian initiation, it was necessary to have some material to motivate the ongoing formation of the laity.

With these conclusions, the National Commission of the Laity worked for one year on the formation of this text with the presence of delegates from all of the dioceses around the country. It was supported by the overflowing enthusiasm that arose from the National Meeting of the Laity held in Cobre, 2016.

Benefits

Does it benefit the laity on a national or local level?

This booklet, accessible to all lay people in Cuba, allows them to have material with a common language. It serves as a presentation of the main elements of life and spirituality of the laity, and as a motivation to follow path of continuous formation in the subject.

In addition, because of its simplicity and language, it has become a material for reference for work on lay formation in new communities and mission houses, where the great majority of the members of these communities are people without faith formation or religious culture.

Means and funding

Who funds the initiative? What is needed to launch this initiative?

The creation of the digital material (writing and design) was voluntarily done, at no additional cost, by members of the National Commission of the laity and advisors who collaborated with the creation of the material.

In printing and reproduction, CNL tried to achieve a quality print that would be attractive. The printing of this first edition was financed with funds from the National Commission of Laity of the Cuban Bishops’ Conference.

25,000 copies were printed, which is approximately 20% of laity who attend Sunday Mass in all of Cuba.

Learn more

Where can people learn more about this initiative?

Countries involved

Does this initiative exist in other countries?

So far, the material has only been made available in Cuba and exists only in Spanish.

How to start?

How can this initiative be implemented in other countries?

Although it is a text focused on Cuban laity, we consider that it is 100% applicable to other realities.

It can be appealing to any lay person, but remember that it is fundamentally oriented to newly converted lay persons who are in the process of discovering their lay essence and vocation.

At the parish and diocesan level there have been different initiatives for its implementation such as workshops presenting the document, formation meetings to work on each chapter, readings before the Sunday Eucharist, and more.


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