Belmont bank president jets to see the pope – in Cuba

People have traveled to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, but Bob Mahoney, the president of Belmont Savings Bank, traveled a bit farther – to Cuba.

Mahoney flew with 85 other Catholics, including Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to Havana last week to see the pope.

For Mahoney, this is his third trip to Cuba for a papal visit. He saw both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI during their trips to Cuba.

“Cuba is way more interesting than Washington,” Mahoney said about his decision to fly to the island nation instead of the nation’s capital for the papal visit. “It’s going through so much change.”

Mahoney said there have already been some changes since the US re-established diplomatic ties to Cuba. Mahoney spent an evening with a group at the home of Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the head of the recently re-opened US Embassy in Cuba. The talk, Mahoney said, was about the new economic relationship and what it would look like.

Even his taxi driver had a take on the changes, Mahoney said, suggesting a bridge be built between Cuba and Miami so that the tourists could just drive over.


Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe

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