Pastoral trips

During the first days of July, the Prelate of Opus Dei, accompanied by Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, Vicar General of the Prelature, visited the Marian shrines of Lourdes and Torreciudad. The few hours spent in each place were periods of intense prayer. As on other occasions, Bishop Echevarría addressed words of gratitude to those who live and carry out their professional work at the Shrine of Torreciudad.

A few days later, on July 24, he traveled to Einsiedeln, Switzerland, to pray before the statue of our Lady that is venerated there. That same evening, in a meeting with faithful of the Prelature in Zurich, he said he went to Einsiedeln “following the footsteps of Blessed Josemaría, who went there frequently and prayed so intensely there.”

Bishop Echevarría was back in Spain again at the end of August to confer priestly ordination on two groups of faithful of the Prelature.

He reached Pamplona on Monday, the 26th. That same day he went to the chapel of the University Hospital to pray before the body of Rosario Orbegozo, one of the first women of the Work, who had died that same day, and on the 27th he took part in the funeral celebrated by the Vicar of the Delegation of Pamplona. In the afternoon he had a get-together with several hundred people in Belagua Student Residence.

On the 29th, the ceremony of ordination took place in the parish of Saint Michael. After the ordinations, Bishop Echevarria traveled to Torreciudad, where he remained until September 2.

During his stay in Torreciudad, he dedicated a good part of his time to the future priests and had various get-togethers with faithful, cooperators, friends, and young people who take part in the work of Opus Dei. He received a number of families, including two who were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. He also had meetings with those who work at the shrine. On the 30th, he celebrated Mass in the Entrearcos Cultural Center, in Barbastro, which was constructed on the site of the Founder’s birthplace.

On the 31st, the Mayor of Barbastro and the President of the Provincial Assembly of Huesca gave a reception for the Prelate which took place in the same room of the City Hall where Saint Josemaría received the city’s golden medal on May 25, 1975. At the presiding table, together with the city officials, were the Bishop of Barbastro-Monzon, the Rector of the University of Saragossa, and the Vicar General of the Prelature.

During those day, Bishop Echevarría also participated in some of the ceremonies of the shrine, such as the Eucharistic Expositions celebrated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On the 1st, 37 priests of the Prelature were ordained.

The Prelate of Opus Dei was in Barcelona on September 2 and 3. On the evening of his arrival he went to pray before the statue of Our Lady of Ransom.

On Tuesday, September 3, he visited Pineda School, a corporate work of Opus Dei for girls. He greeted the teachers and the non-teaching personnel of the school. Later he made a similar visit to Xaloc high school, a corporate work of the Prelature for boys in L’Hospitalet.

Before leaving for Rome, he visited a number of faithful of the Prelature in various hospitals of the city.

Bishop Echevarría went to Granada from November 15 to 17, invited by the city’s archbishop, Most Rev. Antonio Cañizares, to inaugurate a chapel dedicated to Saint Josemaría Escrivá in the parish of Saint Ildefonso and to participate in a Eucharistic concelebration in thanksgiving for the canonization of Saint Josemaría.

On Saturday, November 16, the Archbishop of Granada and Opus Dei’s Prelate blessed the chapel dedicated to Saint Josemaría in a ceremony attended by many of the parishioners. The new chapel has a large painting by the artist Armando Pareja, which shows Saint Josemaría praying to Our Lady of Sorrows, in memory of the first visit that he made to the patroness of Granada, in April 1945.

That same day, in the Cathedral of Granada a concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of Saint Josemaría took place at 8:00 in the evening. Granada’s archbishop presided over the ceremony and the Prelate of Opus Dei preached the homily.

During those days, Bishop Echevarría had the opportunity to get together with numerous faithful of the Prelature who live in Granada, Malaga, Jaén and Almeria. In these encounters he expressed his joy over the recent canonization of the Founder of Opus Dei, pointing out that this is a point of departure for a new conversion and encouraging his listeners to show their gratitude to God by their renewed apostolic zeal.

Romana, n. 35, July-December 2002, p. 302-303.

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