Twentieth anniversary of La Sabana University
The twentieth anniversary of the founding of La Sabana University in Bogotá, Colombia, was celebrated on September 21. The university is a corporate apostolate whose Christian orientation is entrusted to the Prelature. In the presence of Archbishop Pedro Rubiano Saenz of Bogotá, the Papal Nuncio, Bishop Beniamino Stella, and the university’s Vicechancellor, Msgr. Hernan Salcedo Plazas, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei, a solemn Te Deum of thanksgiving was offered in the main oratory of the university campus.
Following the religious ceremony, in an academic convocation presided over by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Gustavo Bell Lemus, the Colombian Government awarded the Silver Cross of the National Order of Merit to the university and also the Order of Democracy in the degree of Commander. The Congress of the Republic also awarded the Congressional Order of Colombia to the university on September 27. In connection with the anniversary celebration, a number of cultural and sports events were organized in which other universities of Santa Fe de Bogotá also participated.
A few days earlier a new statue of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love, a gift of the Chancellor of the University and Opus Dei’s Prelate, Bishop Javier Echevarria, was installed in a shrine built on the campus. The statue of Mary, whose dress is in the traditional style of a region of Colombia known as Cundiboyacense, appears seated with the child Jesus standing at her left side and supported by her. In her right hand Mary has an open book. The statue was carved in wood in the city of Santa Fe de Bogotá. The Chancellor wrote some words to the University on a picture of the new statue: “Mater pulchrae dilectionis, ora pro nobis! Sedes Sapientiae, adiuva nos! I ask Blessed Josemaria to help everyone at La Sabana University to stay close each day to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother.”
Romana, No. 29, July-December 1999, p. 266.