Canada, August 8 to 16

Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz arrived in Vancouver early on the afternoon of August 8. He was received by Msgr. Frederick Dolan, regional vicar of Opus Dei in Canada, and by some families who welcomed him.

On the morning of the 9th, he met with a group of priests who are members and cooperators of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross. He then went to the Chancery where he had a meeting with Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, who accompanied the Prelate to visit the St. John Paul II Pastoral Centre. In the afternoon, Msgr. Ocáriz went to Crestwell, a women’s center of Opus Dei, where he met with a group of students. At the end of the day, he had a lively get-together with university and high school students at Glenwood, acenter for men.

On August 10, the Prelate met with several groups of men and women, faithful of Opus Dei and cooperators, at Vancouver College, a Catholic high school. The people there came from Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and Seattle, Washington. After each get-together, the Prelate spent time greeting the families who wanted to chat and have their picture taken with him, and tell him about their joys and concerns and ask for his prayers.

On Sunday, August 11, he traveled north by car along the Howe Sound Fjord of the Pacific Ocean to Britannia Beach where Copper Ridge is located, the future Conference Center where spiritual retreats, theology courses, etc. will be offered. The Prelate looked over the site and blessed what will be the last stone. He also planted a dogwood tree whose flower is the emblem of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

On Monday, August 12, he flew from Vancouver to Toronto, and arrived at Pearson International Airport in the late afternoon.

On the 13th, the Prelate visited Ernescliff College, a university residence located on the campus of the University of Toronto, and met with a group of young men. Msgr. Ocáriz then went to the Hawthorn School for girls, where he greeted the students and faculty. In the evening, a get-together was held at the Fairview Library Theatre with a group of faithful and cooperators of Opus Dei from Toronto and the surrounding area. At the end, the Prelate encouraged those present to pray for the Pope and to be very joyful thanks to their union with Christ. Afterwards, some families had the opportunity to greet him.

On August 14, he had a get-together in Wilson Heights Junior High School with a group of faithful of the Prelature. Afterwards he went to visit Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto and was shown through the newly restored St. Michael's Cathedral. In the afternoon, several families came to Wilson Heights to greet the Prelate. In the evening, Msgr. Ocáriz had another get-together at the Fairview Library Theatre in Toronto with a group of women and cooperators of Opus Dei.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was celebrated on August 15th, which was also the anniversary of Msgr. Ocáriz's ordination to the priesthood. The Prelate went to Kintore College, a student residence, and there he celebrated a solemn Mass in which many faithful of the Prelature took part. In the afternoon, he left with Msgr. Frederick Dolan for the airport, where they took a flight to Montreal, the next stop on the trip.

The Prelate stayed near Montreal at the Manoir de Beaujeu retreat house, located in the town of Coteau-du-Lac. On August 16, he met there with the regional directors of Opus Dei in Canada. In the afternoon, he preached a meditation to a group of faithful of the Prelature from Montreal, Quebec, and Ottawa.

On Saturday, the 17th, two get-togethers were held with faithful of the Prelature in the L'Entrepôt de Lachine hall on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, between Montreal and Coteau-du-Lac. Opus Dei's apostolic work in Canada began fifty years ago in Montreal and has since spread throughout the country. In the two gatherings Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz used the well-known motto of the Canadian nation, A mari usque ad mare, to encourage their work of evangelization from sea to sea, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from south to north.

On August 18, Msgr. Ocáriz received a group of girls and then a group of boys at the Manoir de Beaujeu. Later, he received a group of families at the Manoir and, at the end of the day, he was received by Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield, the diocese where the Manoir de Beaujeu is located. On Monday the 19th, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz went to the airport to take the plane back to Europe.

Romana, n. 69, July-December 2019, p. 217-218.

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