Cardinal Keeler, arriving on a chartered plane from Florida along with Catholic Relief Services' director Kenneth Hacket, was greeted by Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana. "Any time Pope John Paul visits a place it's an occasion for people of faith to be reminded of what the basic Gospel message of Jesus is," Cardinal Keeler said. He added the impact of papal visits was "very energizing."
The cardinal is expected to travel to the western province of Pinar del Rio for a New Year's eve Mass on Wednesday and then return to Havana on Thursday. A sizable group of US bishops are expected to visit the Communist nation during the Holy Father's visit January 21-25.