St. Joseph the Worker Shrine

Oblate Missions

Oblate Mission in Cuba

To incarnate ourselves in the people and the Church of Cuba – this was the first objective of the first missionary group of Oblates who arrived on the island on 15 December 1997.

The Oblates were invited to found their mission in Cuba as early as the 70’s of the last century, when Catholic missionaries were again permitted to enter this communist land. But for various reasons, it was not until 1995 that the new mission was entrusted to the Province of Haiti. On the advice of the Cuban bishops, the Mexican province also joined in this responsibility.

2014, new missionaries were incorporated to maintain the mission in Cuba. Father Roger Halle (USA), who 25 years ago, as provincial of Haiti, accepted to open the new mission on the island, came and serves here to this day.  Father Roger is preparing to open a house of formation for newly recruited Cuban Oblates.

We work to continue sowing the seed of the Gospel in the hearts of the people of this beautiful island. We thank so many people, believers and non-believers, who have accompanied us throughout these 25 years, who have welcomed us and helped us to get rooted in Cuba.

Oblates Celebrate 25 Years in Cuba

An historic event took place on December 15, 2022 on the island of Cuba - the 25th anniversary  of the arrival of the first group of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Their objective then and today remains the same: “To incarnate ourselves in the people and in the Church of Cuba.”

The first missionary group was composed of two priests from Mexico and one each from Argentina and Haiti.  After their arrival, the Oblates participated in an inculturation workshop for all foreign agents entering Cuba.  The Oblates in Cuba had the joy of welcoming Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.  On the occasion of these three visits, faithful returned in large numbers to the Church and the Sacraments.

New missionaries were assigned in 2014 to shore-up the mission.  Fr. Roger Hallee, O.M.I., from Waterville, ME, (provincial superior of Haiti), opened the mission in 1997 and Fr. Nicholas Harding, O.M.I. (who once served here at the Shrine) later spent a year there in support of the mission.

The Oblates owe their success in Cuba to Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre, (Our Lady of Charity of Cobre) patroness of Cuba, for protecting and sustaining her Oblate missionaries in Cuba for the past 25 years.