On the Feast of June 26th

On or around June 26th, the day on which St. Josemaría departed for heaven, commemorative ceremonies were held in many parts of the world. The attendance of thousands of people at these Masses in honor of the saint, show how widespread devotion to the founder of Opus Dei has become and the affection and love for him all over the world.

The ceremony in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York was presided over by Cardinal Edward Egan. In his homily, the Cardinal emphasized St. Josemaría’s complete docility to the inspirations he received from God. He recalled his readiness to dedicate himself fully to God when he saw footsteps in the snow left by a discalced Carmelite, and how later, in October 1928, he understood by divine inspiration that all men and women are called to be saints in the middle of the world. “We are called to seek holiness in the middle of the world, in the place where our Lord has placed us. We have to be another Christ in the midst of the world. We have to be his ambassadors. This was the message of St. Josemaría,” Cardinal Egan said. At the end of his homily he expressed his thanks for the service that Opus Dei is providing to the Archdiocese of New York and throughout the whole world.

The Mass of St. Josemaría was celebrated for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on June 25th in the Cathedral of Our Lady, officiated by the Vietnamese priest, Father Joseph Tuan. There was also a Mass in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 24, in Hwa Shan Cathedral, celebrated by the recently appointed Bishop Joseph Cheng.

In Africa, Masses were celebrated, among other places, in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya; in Kampala, Uganda; in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast; and in Cameroon. In this last country there were two Masses: the first took place in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Douala, and the second in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory in Yaoundé, presided over by Bishop Jean-Bosco Ntep of Eséka. A Mass was also scheduled, for the first time, in Accra, Ghana, in the early days of July.

Bishop Henry Howaniec OFM, of the Diocese of the Most Holy Trinity in Almaty, Kazakhstan, presided over a Eucharistic concelebration in honor of St. Josemaría in the Cathedral of Almaty. Among the concelebrants were the priests of the prelature and two diocesan priests recently arrived from Argentina who are beginning ministry there on a stable basis.

In the celebration in Maastricht, the Netherlands, music for a special Mass composed for the saint was performed. In Jerusalem, about 70 people attended the Mass of St. Josemaría celebrated on June 25 in the Church of the Cenacle. Concelebrating with the Vicar of the Delegation, Fr. Diego Daza, was the Vicar Seretary, Fr. Laurence Richardson. The ceremony was in English, with readings and prayers of the faithful in Hebrew, Arabic, English and French. The songs were in Latin and Arabic. At the end of the Mass there was veneration of a relic ex ossibus of the Founder of Opus Dei, which was exposed in the sanctuary for the ceremony, at the foot of a framed silkscreen printing.

Romana, n. 38, January-June 2004, p. 72-73.

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