Havana: Baptism in Chinatown…

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

An Unexpected Event…

Fellow photographer and friend Joe Farrell and I spent part of one of our days in Havana wandering around the Chinatown section. We came upon The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre a beautiful Roman Catholic Church located in the heart of the Chinatown area. The church was erected in 1802 and features exquisite statuary, stained-glass windows, and a gilt altar. We had hoped to shoot the interior of the church, but on this Sunday afternoon we were in for a pleasant surprise. The church was performing multiple Baptisms and photography was encouraged.

Not being of the Catholic religion, I had heard about Baptism but did not fully understand its significance. In Catholic teaching, baptism is believed to be usually essential for salvation. Today, baptism is most commonly administered to infants. Water is gently poured over the infant’s head while the priest blesses the child with the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

I can’t tell you how wonderful the families and friends were to us, especially when they saw our cameras. Families would eagerly pose to have their picture taken and loved to view their images on the LCD screen on the back of my camera. It was a warm and friendly event which reflected on how we felt about the Cuban people in general.

Below is a sideshow of some of the images taken that day. Enjoy!

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