Pastoral Trips

The prelate of Opus Dei in July made a pastoral trip to three countries in South America: Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.

He spent July 6 to 11 in Ecuador, where he was received by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giacomo Guido Ottonello, and by Archbishop Raul Vela of Quito, together with his auxiliary bishops. During those days he also visited the sites of various apostolic works promoted by people of Opus Dei and cooperators in Quito and Guayaquil, and held get-togethers with faithful of the Prelature and other groups of people.

In Quito he visited the Basilica of the National Vow, a neo-Gothic Church that includes a chapel dedicated to St. Josemaría. In Guayaquil, in addition to greeting Archbishop Antonio Arregui, he received various families, as he did in Quito, and prayed for some minutes in the cathedral before the tomb of the previous Archbishop, Juan Larrea Holguin, whose cause of canonization has been opened.

In Peru, from July 11 to 17, the Prelate visited Lima, Cañete and Piura. The day following his arrival, the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, and his auxiliary bishops received him at the Cathedral.

In San Vicente de Cañete, on the 13th, he went to the Shrine to our Mother of Fairest Love, where some five thousand people had come to see him. The Mayor, Jose Espinoza, welcomed in the name of the community and thanked him for the work that Opus Dei has carried out there for more than 40 years. He also gave him the keys to the city and granted him the honorary title of Illustrious Guest of the Province of Cañete. Bishop Echevarría, in his address, recalled the beginnings of the apostolic work in the region and especially the first Prelate of Yauyos, Cañete, and Huarochiri, Bishop Ignacio de Orbegozo. Afterward he entered into a direct dialogue with those present and answered their questions; he spoke about the sanctification of work and of the importance of caring for little things out of love for God.

In the evening, Bishop Echevarría visited Condoray, a corporate work of Opus Dei that fosters the human, social and spiritual development of women from the Valle of Cañete. He blessed an image of Our Lady of Fairest Love and greeted the teachers, rural promoters and students at the Center, and was presented with some gifts brought by farmwomen from various parts of the valley. He also received greetings from the families and children who awaited him in a festive fashion in the different localities that he passed through along the Southern Pan-American Highway.

The Prelate was in Piura on July 15. After greeting Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren, he went to the campus of the University, of which he is the Chancellor. There he had a meeting with students and families from the city.

Returning to Lima on the evening of the 16th, Bishop Echevarría visited the Salcantay and Alpamayo schools, and greeted the children at the Torrecillas pre-school center. In Alpamayo he had a get-together with more than eight thousand people, in the course of which he asked for prayers for Benedict XVI and spoke to parents, among other things, about the importance of teaching their children temperance.

From July 17 to 22, the Prelate visited Brazil. More than five thousand people from various Brazilian cities participated in the catechetical gathering held on Sunday the 18th in the Credicard Hall auditorium in São Paulo.

Back in Europe, at the end of August he made a quick two-day trip to Poland. Invited by Bishop Andrezej Wojciech Suski, in Torun, the birthplace of Copernicus, he took part on the 27th in a ceremony naming a church for St. Josemaría.

In October, from the 22nd to the 24th, he traveled to Pamplona to take part in the commemorative acts of the Golden Anniversary of the Association of Friends of the University of Navarra. On the esplanade of the university library, he celebrated a Mass attended by some four thousand people. It was at this same place that St. Josemaría, also at a Mass for Friends of the University, gave the homily Passionately Loving the World, on October 8, 1967.

A month later he traveled from Rome to Portugal, to pray before our Lady of Fatima on November 22. On the following day, he made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in the Jubilee Year. At both places, as he had done earlier in Poland, Torreciudad and Pamplona, he held get-togethers with faithful of Opus Dei and with other people who wanted to hear his priestly and fatherly words.

From December 17 to 19, Bishop Echevarría was in Bucharest, as he mentioned in his Letter of January 1, 2011: “I would like to share with you my joy from my trip to Bucharest, in Romania, before Christmas. The people of the Work there are joyfully confronting the difficulties that come from the lack of space and the minimum of comfort needed, as our Father stressed, basing himself on the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. And this has resulted in a lot of fruit for souls. I was there only two days, very intense ones, during which I could touch with my hands, once more, how the spirit of Opus Dei is taking root in places of very diverse cultures and traditions.”

Romana, n. 51, January-January 2010, p. 314-315.

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