Publications of Interest
Homage to Monsignor Javier Echevarría, Chancellor of the University of Navarra (1994-2016)
“That's how Don Javier was. His priestly heart had room for everyone. He made each person feel as if they alone existed in the world: both in a more leisurely personal conversation and in a chance meeting. What moved him, what was the deepest source of his concern for others? The answer can only be his intimate, personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ in the Bread and in the Word” (From an address by Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, Prelate of Opus Dei).
The book gathers together the addresses from the academic act honoring Bishop Javier Echevarría, which took place in the Museum of the University of Navarra on January 18, 2018:
Fernando Ocáriz Braña, “Discurso en el acto académico de homenaje a Bishop Javier Echevarría,” pp. 13-17; Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, “Acto in memoriam de Bishop Javier Echevarría,” pp. 19-26; Arantza Campo Ezquibela, “Don Javier y la Clínica,” pp. 27-33; Jordi Canals Margalef, “Bishop Javier Echevarría y el IESE,” pp. 35-52.
Homenaje a Monseñor Javier Echevarría, Fernando Ocáriz Braña, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, Arantza Campo Ezquibela and Jordi Canals Margalef, Pamplona, Eunsa, 2019, 1st edition, 52 pages.
Transformar el mundo desde dentro [Transforming the World from Within], by Msgr. Mariano Fazio.
In his review of the book, José Carlos Martín de la Hoz points out that a radical change took place in the ancient world with the irruption of Jesus Christ into history. Among other things, when the years passed and the first intellectuals arrived in the Church, one could see the radical differences that existed, for example, in the concept of religion.
This can be seen in two authors as different and important as Cicero and Lactantius. For the former, the concept and term “religion” came from the Latin word relegere, that is, it was a matter of rereading the whole of existence, but from the perspective of life under the power of God or of the gods.
For Lactantius, the author of some of the first learned works on the Christian faith, religion was viewed not as something extrinsic, but radically intrinsic, that is to say, that the concept of religion would come from religere, from being tied to a personal commitment to Christ, to God made man.
When Mariano Fazio, auxiliary vicar of the Opus Dei Prelature, historian and essayist, a specialist in the history of contemporary ideas, takes up his pen to address the core of the spirit of Opus Dei, he is recalling the focus of Lactantius, but expressing it in a contemporary way, with many references to Pope Francis, the Second Vatican Council, Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Saint Josemaría, and the current Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz.
Msgr. Fazio reminds us that in a Christian’s life everything comes from the encounter with Christ, from his impact on our life. Thus, with our hearts enkindled by him, we are able to raise the spiritual temperature around us and transform the world. The author points out a precondition for this to happen: “we need to look at it with eyes of love.”
Our personal relationship with God transforms us and, through us, others. “Little by little God’s love is felt—although it is not a matter of feelings—leaving a strong impact on our soul.”
Unsuspected Horizons, memories of Marlies Kücking
Marlies Kücking (Cologne, 1936) has lived in Rome for more than 50 years. As she recalls in Horizontes insospechados (Rialp, 2019), she worked alongside St. Josemaría, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo and Bishop Javier Echevarría. From 1964 to 2017 she was involved in the central government of Opus Dei.
In her book, which was introduced at the Garbí bookstore in Barcelona, Kücking first takes a look at her family history. Then she recounts her encounter with Opus Dei in 1954, the discovery of her vocation, her collaboration in the first steps of the Work in Germany and the Netherlands, and her time spent in Rome during her university years.
In the second part she reviews her work in the Central Advisory of Opus Dei, a body that together with the General Council helps the Prelate in governing the Prelature. This work enabled her to get to know first-hand many people and initiatives of the Prelature all over the world. Since 1964, when the author began working in the Central Advisory, Opus Dei has established a stable presence in 39 new countries, including Nigeria, Singapore, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, Romania, Panama, Russia, and South Africa.
She is currently working in the Prelature's general archives.
Salvador Canals, a life spent opening up a path
Salvador Canals: Una biografía (1920-1975) is the title of the book written by historian Alfredo Méndiz and published by Rialp. It provides a sketch of the life of one of the faithful of Opus Dei who helped St. Josemaría when the institution was taking its first steps.
Canals' life was brief but rich in experiences. For this reason, and because of the intricate historical context in which he found himself immersed, it sheds light on some key events in the history of his time: above all, on the history of Opus Dei and, due to his intense activity in the Vatican, also on that of the Church in general. He was a priest of Opus Dei, a canonist, an auditor of the Roman Rota, an editor, and a spiritual author.
Salvador Canals was born in Valencia, Spain, on December 3, 1920. He met St. Josemaría on March 8, 1940. He belongs to a generation of members of Opus Dei who, born around 1920, followed Escriva shortly after the Spanish Civil War, and in many cases, later helped bring Opus Dei to countries outside of Spain.
In the precarious circumstances of the Second World War, it was not opportune for Opus Dei to establish itself in Italy, but Escrivá was interested in having a member reside in the city of the Pope, so that his presence, as Orlandis later wrote, would help “undo prejudices and show the true face of Opus Dei in its simple and genuine reality.” Canals remained in Rome until his death in 1975. Thus he became the person who had spent the most time in a country other than his own to bring the seed of Opus Dei to it. Among the fruits of his sowing were the Croatian Vladimir Vince and the Italian Francesco Angelicchio, the first two vocations to Opus Dei outside of Spanish soil.
Since the foundation of Studi Cattolici, Salvador Canals had been publishing in the magazine a section of spirituality entitled Ascetica meditata. It was composed of short articles that came from outlines of his preaching for young people, workers, professionals, mothers, priests... In 1962, Canals published twenty-six of these texts in a book. To date, Ascetica Meditata has been published in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Croatian, Estonian, Dutch, and Czech.
His health had always been fragile. A progressive worsening of his liver ailments led to his premature death on May 24, 1975. The next day, Escrivá, who was in Barbastro to receive a tribute from his hometown, interrupted his official speech to remember with emotion this son of his. “A clean soul, an outstanding intelligence. . . He has served the Church with his virtues, with his talent, with his effort, with his sacrifice, with his joy, with this spirit of Opus Dei that is one of service,” he said in his improvised remarks. Before returning to Rome, while passing through Madrid, on the 27th he went to offer his condolences to Canals’s family. Ángeles Canals, Salvador's sister, has never forgotten St. Josemaría’s words. “I remember that he told us: ‘Salvador went to Rome to open the way for me, and now he has gone to heaven to open the way there for me too.’ And a month later he too died.”
A Gospel commentary app
TheeScrivaLite App is an application that provides the user with an easy and attractive way to read the Gospel of the day and to access the published writings of St. Josemaría related to that passage.
It offers a tool to approach God in the midst of one’s ordinary tasks and to meet Jesus there.
Clicking on “Today” provides the Gospel of the day, with texts from the published works of St. Josemaria. It may be a passing reference, or form the basis of a deeper and more devout reflection, but it always offers a clue to apply the Gospel to personal circumstances.
Romana, n. 68, January-June 2019, p. 118-121.