On Sunday, September 2, at the Shrine of Torreciudad, Bishop Javier Echevarría, the Prelate of Opus Dei, ordained three faithful of the Prelature as priests. Over two thousand people were present, among them many relatives and friends of the new priests.
In his homily, the Prelate reminded everyone in words of Blessed Josemaria that “the priesthood requires more than an upright life: it demands a holy life from those who exercise it,” since priests are “mediators between God and men” and “heralds of Christ.” After praying that “priestly vocations may be very abundant everywhere,” Bishop Echevarría stressed that “lay men and women are not second-class citizens,” and asked those attending to be “saints and a leaven of holiness in the events of daily life.” Using words of Pope John Paul II, he reminded them that “the great challenge of the Church in the 21st century is the challenge of holiness, built up day by day in the ordinariness of daily activities.”
On October 6, in the Roman Basilica of Saint Eugene, Bishop Echevarría conferred priestly ordination on 24 members of Opus Dei from thirteen countries. Two thousand friends and relatives of those being ordained took part in the ceremony.
In his homily, the Prelate of Opus Dei spoke of the need for all Christians to be, as Blessed Josemaria liked to say, sowers of the peace and joy that Jesus has brought to us. He referred to the tragic events that had occurred a few weeks earlier (the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States), and invited those present to pray for peace, one of the intentions closest to the Pope’s heart.
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Romana, No. 33, July-December 2001, p. 162-163.