Catholic Church

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba this weekend showcases the island’s Roman Catholic recovery after half a century of communism.

But that narrative is misleading. In reality, Catholicism wasn’t all that vibrant in Cuba before communism.

Pope Francis will give 18 speeches in five days during his visit to the United States.

Of those 18 speeches, the Argentine will deliver four in English; he'll deliver the rest in his native Spanish.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Tuesday that while Francis polished his English during recent trips to Asia, he finds it easier to express himself in Spanish.

Francis' speech at the White House and his speech to Congress will be in English, as will two greetings to U.N. staff and benefactors in Philadelphia.

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

The first pope from Latin America is visiting Cuba later this month. Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit the Communist dictatorship since Pope John Paul II visited the nation in 1998.

Accompanying Pope Francis on the trip will be Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Wenski spoke with WLRN about the church's relationship with Cubans. Here are five things we learned:

The church has done a lot of bridge-building since 1998.

Lisann Ramos

Those celebrating Easter this Sunday know the importance of Holy Week. Yesterday Roman Catholics from across South Florida went on a tour of seven churches to mark the beginning of this Holy Weekend. 

Carolyn Fetscher began this church pilgrimage eight years ago. She took the advice of a woman who organizes a tour in Boston and encouraged Fetscher to start her own tour here.

“It’s an ancient custom, goes back to the middle ages. There’s countries in Central and South America and Haiti that do these seven churches,” Fetscher said.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Roman Catholic Mass was at one time universally celebrated in Latin, the ancient Roman language.

After the second Vatican Council in the 1960s, Mass was allowed to be celebrated in the language of the people, meaning Mass in Peru was celebrated in Spanish and Mass in the United States was celebrated in English -- you get the picture.

Latin is now sometimes referred to as “the dead language,” but it is not dead in Miami.

SunLife Stadium Renovations: How About Now?

Mar 14, 2014
Original photo from Miami Dolphins with added pizzazz by Kenny Malone

The Miami Dolphins renovate plans to fix-up SunLife stadium. Stadium and team owner Stephen Ross offers to pay for up to $400 million in renovations - if - he gets a break on property taxes.  Ross says it’s again about bringing the Super Bowl back to town, but that doesn’t comfort the City of Miami Gardens and the school board that are looking at losing $1 million each in lost property revenue.

Miami Archdiocese Gets New Auxiliary Bishop

Feb 23, 2014

Pope Francis has announced the new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Miami. He is Monsignor Peter Baldacchino from the European island nation of Malta.

Baldacchinno says he is excited to begin his new position of assisting Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

"It comes as a surprise to me from the fact that I’m Bishop-elect of the Archdiocese of Miami. I wait to learn what it involves," says Baldacchinno.

Baldacchino has spent the past 15 years serving as chancellor of the Mission of Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. 

Lisann Ramos

The new Notre Dame d'Haiti church in Little Haiti opened this past weekend. But fundraising for it began eight years ago.

For the church’s pastor, Father Reginald Jean-Mary, the process has been much longer than that.

"It began 35 years ago when Archbishop [Thomas] Wenski, [back then] Father Wenski, established this mission," Jean-Mary says. "Because at that time what you could say was that this was the 'church of the living stone' because of the people. Who built that church? The people."

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Jan. 13 -17

Jan 22, 2014
Chloe Herring / WLRN

In this week's top stories: We examine the popularity of electronic cigarettes, the woes of commuting on I-95, single-sex classrooms in the state and Haiti's new, young cardinal.

What's With All The Hype And Hope For Electronic Cigarettes?: Use of electronic cigarettes  is gaining popularity. Health officials and legislators are concerned the lack of information about and regulation of e-cigarettes will lead more individuals to consume them, especially minors.