Sixty Years of Apostolic Work in Uruguay

October 20, 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the apostolic work of Opus Dei in Uruguay. To commemorate this milestone, Cardinal Daniel Sturla celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass in the metropolitan cathedral of Montevideo. Concelebrating, among others, were Bishop Alberto Sanguinetti of Canelones; the Vicar of Opus Dei in Uruguay, Msgr. Carlos Maria González Saracho; and the pastor of the cathedral, Rev. Juan González. About a thousand people took part in the Eucharistic celebration. Also present were the two priests to whom St. Josemaría entrusted the task of beginning the apostolic work of Opus Dei in Uruguay: Rev. Agustín Falceto and Rev. Gonzalo Bueno.

“The Work has helped to spread in Uruguay the conflagration of the fire of love for God, of strong Christian life,” the Cardinal Archbishop of Montevideo said in his homily. “We can see the material works that show the fruitfulness of Opus Dei in our land... but the point is not to draw up a list of works. What matters is the interior fire, the spirituality focused on the call to holiness. All of us children of God are called to strive for sanctity in the varied settings of our own life: our family, studies, work, occupations, when resting, in contact with nature; but in a special way by giving value to human work. There we are called to holiness, not in spite of but precisely in that work itself, which thus becomes a path of Christian life,” Cardinal Sturla said.

“Therefore belonging to Opus Dei, a path of holiness, of Christian life,” the Cardinal said, “is not a hat put on and taken off on entering a church; it is not a Catholic ‘patch’ put on a secular life. Rather it is a reality affecting intimate personal decisions in one’s life as well as the most external one. It is a vocation for the family, for the generosity of having a large family, which is a hallmark of the Work among us, with all the challenges that this brings with it.”

The archbishop of Montevideo expressed his joy at being able to celebrate this anniversary in “a key moment of the new evangelization. We want to be, as Pope Francis says using a graphic phrase, a field hospital that urgently treats so many wounded persons, because this is not the moment for aesthetic surgery but for carrying out the treatment required to obtain effective results. For we know in the end that it is not a question of being successful in the eyes of the world, but of being fruitful in accord with the Gospel.”

Finally the Cardinal made specific reference to the faithful of the Prelature: “We love Opus Dei with all its apostolic ardor and the richness of its specific contribution, in the happily varied framework of the Church, in full harmony with this particular Church, sharing in its projects and evangelizing programs.”

Romana, n. 63, July-December 2016, p. 353.

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