The Prelate Blesses a Statue in the Parish of San Giovanni Battista al Collatino, Rome (January 13, 2019)

On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz celebrated Mass in the parish church of San Giovanni Battista al Collatino. For the parish community in the heart of Rome's Tiburtino district, the celebration was twofold: after the Mass, Msgr. Ocáriz blessed the children baptized in the parish in 2018 and a statue of St. Josemaría.

Commenting on the Gospel passage of the day, the Prelate invited them to “remember our Baptism, the moment when Jesus came to dwell in our hearts.” During the homily he highlighted two gifts for which we should be very grateful to God: our divine filiation and the possibility of speaking with Him. By virtue of Baptism “whatever happens we can say: I am a child of God.” And he invited each of those present to ask themselves: “Do I live every moment of the day, my family life and work, as a child of God?”

Referring to the recent catechesis of Pope Francis on the Lord's Prayer, Monsignor Ocáriz reminded them that “our Baptism teaches us a new way of speaking with God, the prayer of children.” And he suggested a small resolution: to find time each day to speak with God, perhaps by going to “the nearest church to speak with God the Father as his children, to entrust to him all the concerns in our hearts.”

The Prelate ended his homily by inviting everyone to thank, by praying for them, “those who made it possible for us to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire.”

At the end of the celebration, the parish priest, Father Nicola Zenoni, thanked the Prelate and explained the bond of affection between their parish and St. Josemaría. In the 1960s, the founder of Opus Dei, at the suggestion of St. John XXIII, found the people with the right skills to construct the parish and the adjacent ELIS center. On November 21, 1965, St. Paul VI, the successor to St. John XXIII, celebrated the Mass inaugurating the parish, with St. Josemaría being present.

Romana, n. 68, January-June 2019, p. 108-109.

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