On the sixth anniversary of the death of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo

On March 23, the sixth anniversary of the death of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, the first successor to Blessed Josemaria Escriva, Masses for his soul were celebrated in many churches throughout the world. Many thousands of people participated in these liturgies In Rome, in the Basilica of St. Eugene, Bishop Javier Echevarría presided over a solemn concelebration in suffrage for his predecesor. [1]

In Cologne, Msgr. Herbert Michael, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, celebrated holy Mass in suffrage for Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in the church of St. Pantaleon. In his homily he stressed Don Alvaro’s goodness and spoke of the need for a profound conversion in the Holy Year through the sacrament of Penance.

Auxiliary Bishop Agustin Otero Largacha of Bogota presided over a Eucharistic concelebration in the parish of Christ the King. In his homily he eulogized both Blessed Josemaria Escriva and Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, whom he referred to as giants of holiness.

In Cameroun, some 300 people took part in a Mass at the Chapelle Saint Laurent in the Mvolyé district of Yaoundé. A group of students from the provincial seminary of Nkolbisson also took part in the liturgy.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Mass in suffrage for Bishop Del Portillo took place in the church of St. Joseph of Villa Caparra. Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan presided over the concelebration. In his homily he emphasized some features of Bishop Del Portillo’s life of dedication and humility. He also wanted the congregation to know of his special devotion to the Servant of God. “Four years ago,” he noted, “a priest friend gave me the prayer for private devotion to Bishop Alvaro. Since then, for the past four years, I have included it among my morning prayers.”

In Santo Domingo, Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Cedano, celebrated Mass for the soul of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in the church of the Good Shepherd. At the end of the ceremony he referred to “a few of the virtues that stood out in his life: friendliness, faithfulness, joy, among others. Although many people feel certain of his holiness and there is a widespread custom of privately invoking his intercession, we should continue to pray for him with filial affection and ask God that his process of beatification will begin soon.”

In the cathedral of Notre Dame du Congo, the ceremony was presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Danial Nlandu of Kinshasa. At the beginning of Mass he said: “We are preparing to offer this Eucharist for his soul. But, at the same time, we thank him for the example of faithfulness to God and to the Church that he left us by his life, as well as for his prayers for our country at crucial moments.”

[1] Cf. Homily of Bishop Javier Echevarría ("From the Prelate")

Romana, No. 30, January-June 2000, p. 0.

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