Making Us More Unafraid


Martha “Mumu” Serra Mohr was featured on CNN for returning to Cuba to see Pope Francis. Below is a link to the video segment and transcript:

I’ve come to a point in my life that we need to forgive.

Pope to Hold Mass in Cuba’s Revolution Square

Aired September 20, 2015 – 07:30amET

Video on CNN

[07:32:06] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Just after 7:30 a.m. there in Havana, Cuba. About 90 minutes until the beginning of the celebration of mass there at Revolution Square. Live pictures in Havana. Thousands upon thousands are gathered to celebrate mass with Pope Francis.

He landed last evening. Let’s take a look at his travel through Havana. You see the Popemobile waving there to the thousands of people who lined the streets, waving flags and cheering and welcoming him there.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And theme of his journey is peace and reconciliation, as well as better relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo joins us live from Havana’s Revolution Square this morning.

We see what is going on there, Chris, but I’m wondering if you can give us a sense of how it feels there. What is the energy like?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You know, this is one of those situations where you have to be there to really get it, because the energy that is coming off this crowd is significant. When they are saying prayers, there is such intentionality in the words and goes far beyond any dogma of religion and this is about hope, not just about faith for the people here.

They have come so many, because they’re Catholic, yes, and they heard word of this image of Jesus being in Revolution Square for the first time. You know, you see it there. You see how far back the crowd goes. You hear them talking about that. The message below saying come to me from Jesus — that means something to Catholics here. There is suppression of faith.

Yes, Castro said yesterday that religious freedom is a central tenet of the constitution, but it hasn’t been the reality. The country they say is moving in the right direction but at what rate?

And yet you also have this being about hope. These are people are here to hear the pope and hear his words. Now we know what he is going to say today a lot people to hold on, regardless of their faith.

So, let’s get out into the crowd, that’s where Ed Lavandera is. And he’s been looking around for people here, with unique stories of what brings them here today.

Ed, who do you have for us?


Obviously, this papal mass here in Havana comes amid great change between Cuba and the United States. For one mother and son from Miami, Florida, coming here was a day decades in the making.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Martha Serra Mohr stares at a sight she has not seen in 46 years. She left Cuba as a 10-year-old girl. Her father saw no future in Fidel Castro’s government. This weekend, she came home for the first time since leaving with her family in 1969.

MARTHA SERRA MOHR, CUBAN EXILE: It’s a dream come true.

LAVANDERA: As soon as she walked off the plane, Martha touched the ground.

MOHR: If I wasn’t sick, I would have kissed the ground. That’s what I feel like doing, feel like kissing the ground, yes.

[07:35:00] LAVANDERA (on camera): Why?

MOHR: You know, here is my country. Here is where I was born. Here, you know, here I am.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Martha is in Cuba with her son Felice Gorordo to see Pope Francis. She promised to make this special journey with him after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The diagnosis planted a sense of urgency to bury decades of anger and anguish.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So many older Cuban exiles saying I’m never setting foot here while the Castros are here. Was that hard for you to do?

MOHR: Not really. I’ve come to a point in my life that we need to forgive. My family, you know, we had people in prison, you know, hurt by the regime. I think it’s just time. You know, it’s time to forgive, to forgive and to let this young people live.

LAVANDERA: Felice started visiting Cuba 12 years ago. At first, his mother couldn’t stomach the idea but he kept coming back to discover family roots and reach out to the younger generation in Cuba.

FELICE GORORDO, SON OF CUBAN EXILE: What struck me was the lack of hope and desperation of young people here. So many of which had just given up hope for a better life for themselves and their families.


LAVANDERA: And, Chris, you know, Felice and Martha, his mother, they represent so many families in Cuban exile community in the United States have been going through as they watched this political change between Cuba and the United States unfold. They will out here in this VIP area this morning. We haven’t had a chance to find them just yet, but Martha is worried how she is going to hold up, given her condition and cancer treatment. She had just gone through a round of chemo before doctors gave her the clearance so she could make the trip here this weekend — Chris.

CUOMO: Boy, Ed, what a wonderful story. Thank you. It’s so symbolic of the pull to come back to Cuba and tension of when it is right, and why it is right, thank you for that.

I want to bring in John Allen.

You know, I met her and her son last night. I didn’t even know they were in Ed’s story. She was brought here because of her faith and promise there was something different. You pointed out to me, John, that the pope calls himself a missionary of mercy and that image of Jesus is relevant to that also.

This is very point specific for the pope.