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Sewanee Deepens Cuban Ties

Adapted from a news release

The University of the South’s School of Theology sent a delegation to Cuba for the fourth time soon after President Obama announced changes in how the United States will relate to the island nation.

The five-day trip to Seminario Evángelico de Teología in Mantanzas began on Jan. 4. The group, organized by John Solomon, visiting instructor in pastoral Spanish, will include four School of Theology students, an alumnus, two additional Sewanee faculty members (the Rev. William Brosend, professor of homiletics, and Donna Mote, visiting lecturer of world religions) and the Rev. Canon Isaías Rodriguez, Hispanic/Latino missioner for the Diocese of Atlanta.

The delegates planned to discuss liturgy, homiletics, pastoral care, and the Book of Common Prayer with students, clergy, and staff.

Solomon has organized three previous trips for the school that have included students and alumni, but this will be the first to include faculty from the School of Theology. These visits have raised awareness of the Episcopal Church in Cuba’s needs for increased theological education opportunities, reliable transportation for clergy traveling between parishes, church infrastructure improvements, and textbooks at the seminary’s library.

Following a trip in 2013, the School of Theology donated books, used computers, and vestments. “As the needs are so vast, it becomes critical to determine what are most immediate things we can do for both the seminary and the Episcopal Church,” Solomon said.

The Rev. Alex Andujar, T’14, established the Foundation for Hispanic and Latino Ministry while he was a student at Sewanee. The foundation has secured funding for three vacation Bible schools in Cuba and is working to help support Cuban seminarians by providing money for tuition, room, and board.

Cubans have come to the Mountain on several occasions. The School of Theology has received visits from clergy, including the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, Bishop of Cuba, and Clara Luz Ajo, a professor at Seminario Evángelico de Teología.

Image of the Diocese of Cuba’s cathedral from the Líderes IX Provincia weblog.


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