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Baseball mission aims to build bridges with Cuban youth


An American baseball sits on the infield of 26 de Julio baseball stadium in Santa Clara, Cuba, May 26 during a baseball mission trip sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the U.S. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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The Pilot, in collaboration with the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Archdiocese of Boston, recently participated in a five-day mission trip to Cuba exploring way of building youth participation in the Church through baseball. This week and next, we will present special coverage of the trip and commentary on the mission's import and impact.

In May, representatives from Boston were part of a U.S. delegation to visit Cuba with the goal of revitalizing the Church there through the common language of baseball.

The trip, organized by the national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in New York, included professional coaches and representatives from Pontifical Mission Societies and youth ministry from around the U.S.

The trip was the first step to begin building bridges with Cuban young people who, after decades of persecution of the Church under communist rule, have never seen their parents, or in some cases even grandparents, practice the Catholic faith that was once an integral part of Cuban society. The hope is that through developing baseball programs affiliated with the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) young people may be drawn to the Church and, in time, be formed by MCA to become catechists and evangelizers of the Church, which is again starting to grow as government restrictions have begun to ease.

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