Masses for the Feast of Blessed Josemaria
Faithful throughout the world attended ceremonies that took place in many countries on the feast of Blessed Josemaria. In many cases, these were presided over by the local bishop or by the Papal Nuncio. Some of these events are noted here.
In the Cathedral of Stockholm, a solemn Eucharistic concelebration was presided over by Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, vice-president of the Bishops Conference of the Nordic countries. Basing his words on some passages of Furrow, Bishop Arborelius spoke about the teachings of Opus Dei’s Founder on the sanctification of work.
In Budapest, a Mass was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop András Veres, of Eger, secretary of the Hungarian Bishops’ Conference. In Cologne, Auxiliary Bishop Klaus Dick pointed out in his homily that all of the saints and blessed call upon us to view our life as a path towards heaven. He noted that Blessed Josemaria had spread the doctrine of the universal call to sanctity since 1928, a teaching that years later was proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council.
In Toulouse, Bishop Émile Marcus referred to some lines which his predecessor as bishop, Cardinal Jean Guyon, had written in 1979: “What caught my attention in the spirituality of the Servant of God was that, both through his word and his example, he did not seek the secret of holiness outside the ordinary actions of human life. Rather he strove to transform those actions by a strong faith, nourished at the fountains of prayer and the sacraments.”
On June 16, a Mass in the Basilica of Notre Dame in Geneva was concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Pierre Farine of the Diocese of Fribourg, Lausanne and Geneva, by Archbishop emeritus Robert Dosseh of Togo, by the pastor of the basilica Msgr. Xavier Lingg, and by Revs. Monod and Freitag, priests of the Prelature. Masses were also celebrated in Lausanne, Fribourg, Zürich and Lugano.
In Warsaw, Auxiliary Bishop Marian Dus presided at the commemorative Mass. And in Poznan, Bishop Grzegorz Balcerek encouraged the faithful to continue praying for the canonization of Blessed Josemaria, noting that he himself invoked his intercession every day in his pastoral work.
In Braga, Portugal, where the ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Jorge Ortiga, the faithful were able to venerate a relic ex ossibus of Blessed Josemaria which is kept in the cathedral’s Chapel of Relics. This devotion is also followed in other places such as Piura, in Peru, and in Montevideo.
Msgr. Michael Quinlan, Vicar General of the Diocese of Salford, Manchester, England, celebrated a solemn Mass in honor of Blessed Josemaria in the cathedral. In his homily, he spoke of the need to struggle to be saints in the midst of the world as the Founder of Opus Dei untiringly preached.
In Italy the solemnity of the feast of Blessed Josemaria was celebrated in more than thirty localities. In Rome, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in the Basilica of St. Eugene (The homily can be found in the “From the Prelate” section). In Palermo, the principal celebrant was Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi; in Verona, Bishop Flavio Roberto Carraro; in Florence Archbishop Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli; in Genoa Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Genoa and Bobbio.
Particularly noteworthy was the celebration in Sydney Cathedral. Construction of the spires of the towers had been finished on the previous day, thus completing, after one hundred years, the original design of the church. Bishop Philip Wilson of Wollongong was principal celebrant.
The Eucharistic concelebration in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Guatemala City was presided over by Archbishop Primate Próspero Penados del Barrio and included the participation of a number of bishops. In his homily Archbishop Penados del Barrio noted the widespread popular devotion that exists in Guatemala to Blessed Josemaria. Some three thousand five hundred people from all walks of life attended the solemn Mass. The concelebration presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Eugenio Romero in the Cathedral of la Almudena also attracted a large crowd.
In Taipei, Archbishop Joseph Tikang celebrated the Mass in honor of Blessed Josemaria. In the Cathedral of Macao, Bishop Domingos Lam officiated with a congregation of some 200 people. In the Cathedral of Hong Kong, Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Zen presided and more than five hundred people attended the Mass. In his homily Bishop Zen spoke of the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood of all the faithful, a teaching stressed by Blessed Josemaria.
In the Cathedral of Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Apostolic Administrator, Fr. Henry Howaniec OFM, spoke in his homily about the value of professional work as a path to sanctity.
Archbishop Edmundo Abastoflor of La Paz made reference in his homily to the approaching feast of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Blessed Josemaria’s deep devotion and fidelity to the Holy Father,” he said, “should be a stimulus to all of us to imitate him and to pray for His Holiness John Paul II who, at his advanced age, continues to be a witness of strength, of love, and of closeness to God for all of his people as the Vicar of Christ on earth.”
In Colombia there were Masses in the capital and in Bucaramanga, Medellin, Cali, Santa Marta and Cartagena of the Indies. In Bogotá, in the chapel of the University of La Sabana, Auxiliary Bishop Enrique Sarmiento Angulo presided, while in the parish church of Our Lady of Lourdes there was a concelebration presided over by the Nuncio of His Holiness, Bishop Beniamino Stella.
Romana, No. 30, January-June 2000, p. 0.