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Rome Reports

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“We entered the Church through indigenous languages”

Aland and Teresa are from Cuba and have dedicated themselves to a life of sacred music, to the Latin American music from the Baroque era.

Their work has taken them halfway around the world, but they found faith at home. Their encounter with faith was late, but went hand-in-hand with indigenous languages. It began when they contacted a religious community in Cuba. They went there to study and teach classes to children looked after by nuns.

“We arrived looking for translations of texts relating to Jesuit missions and the sisters began to give us those texts, and they even gave me an Our Father in the Guarani language that I always keep safe. That's where we began our work. It was as if a light had been made for us. In other words, we entered this divine paradise that is faith through indigenous languages.”

They remember how touching it was to see the nuns face Hurricane Irma, one of the most violent hurricanes in the past 15 years.

“As soon as Hurricane Irma passed... the sisters were a nonstop help to people. FLASH This community suffered a lot because of its location, and we had the opportunity to help and see how the community supported itself.”

Their relationship with the nuns helped them decide to get married in the Church. This is why Aland had to be baptized. From that day forward, they lived their faith profoundly.

They were also able to be close to the popes that visited the island. Teresa will never forget when she sang for John Paul II during his historic visit to the island in 1998.

“I was waiting to start my solo, with my voice alone at the beginning of the song and I got really nervous because it had such great meaning to me. It was the first time I had met someone of this magnitude, especially a person as special as John Paul II.”

However, he wasn't the only pope they were close to. They greeted Pope Francis when he visited the country in 2015. Now they would like to meet Benedict XVI, who is a lover of sacred music. They would be delighted to perform the best pieces from his repertoire for him.

Javier Romero
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski