Eucharistic celebrations throughout the world
The centennial of Blessed Josemaría’s birth on January 9th was the occasion for numerous commemorative events throughout the world. Among the great variety of events organized, liturgical celebrations held the place of honor, often presided over by the local bishop.
In Rome, a solemn concelebrated Mass on January 9 in the Basilica of St. Eugene was presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome. Cardinals Lopez Trujillo, Poupard, Re, Saraiva and Sebastiani, along with the Prelate of Opus Dei and seven other bishops concelebrated. Cardinal Daoud and other cardinals and bishops also attended. In his homily Cardinal Ruini stressed the importance of the founder of Opus Dei and his message for the Church.
In the Viennese Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Cardinal Schönborn concelebrated with two other bishops before a congregation of about three thousand. In other cities of Austria such as Innsbruck, Graz and Salzburg, the respective bishops or archbishops celebrated a Mass in honor of Blessed Josemaría.
In the Czech Republic there were Masses in Prague, Brno and other cities. The same was true throughout the rest of Europe, where many bishops celebrated a Mass for the faithful in their dioceses: Cardinal Laszlo Paskai in Budapest, Joachim Meisner in Cologne, Adrianus Simonis in Utrecht, Jean-Marie Lustiger in Paris; Archbishop Emile Marcus in Toulouse, Bernard Panafieu in Marseilles, Elias Yanes in Saragossa. Particularly moving was the Mass celebrated in Barbastro, the birthplace of Blessed Josemaría, by Bishop Juan José Omella, the Ordinary of that diocese.
Throughout North and South America there were Masses on or near January 9. In San José, Costa Rica, the Holy Sacrifice was offered by Archbishop Roman Arrieta, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Troyo, Father Luis Baura de la Peña, the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Costa Rica and twenty other priests of the Archdiocese. Some 2,500 people of all walks of life took part in the celebration. In the cathedral of Managua it was Cardinal Miguel Obando Y Bravo, also accompanied by an auxiliary bishop and other priests, who officiated at the ceremony. The same was done by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte in Montreal and Archbishop Adam Exner in Vancouver, among other Canadian prelates.
In Cali, Colombia, the solemn concelebration was presided over by Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino of Cali, who was assassinated a few weeks later. In his homily he referred to Blessed Josemaría as one of the great figures of the twentieth century. Our prayers are now raised in suffrage for Archbishop Duarte and in asking forgiveness for those who committed the horrible crime.
In Quito’s cathedral, ten bishops and forty priests concelebrated a Mass presided over by Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Gonzalez in memory of the centennial. Among those attending were vice-president Pedro Pinto and Bishop Alain Lebeaupin, the Apostolic Nuncio. The President of the Republic, Dr. Gustavo Noboa, and his wife participated in the solemn concelebration presided over by Archbishop Juan Larrea of Guayaquil, in the Rectoral Church of Blessed Josemaría. In his homily the Archbishop noted that the liturgical feast of that day, the Baptism of the Lord, coincided with the centennial of the baptism of Blessed Josemaría on January 13, 1902.
A large group of faithful gathered on January 9 in the Cathedral of Sydney to attend a Mass celebrated by Bishop Darwish, Eparch of the Melchite Catholics in Australia. A number of priests of the Eparchy concelebrated with him. Archbishop George Pell of Sydney had celebrated another Mass in the same Church on January 4, shortly before leaving for Rome, where he took part in the congress on «The Greatness of Ordinary Life.» Concelebrating with him was his predecessor as Archbishop, Cardinal Clancy.
Thirty persons gathered on January 12 in the Church of the Holy Redeemer, in Soi Ruam Rudee, to take part in the first Mass in honor of Blessed Josemaría to be celebrated in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. In Japan there were Masses in honor of Blessed Josemaría in Nagasaki, Ashiya and Oita. In each of these cities the diocesan bishop was the principal celebrant. In Lebanon, the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, celebrated Mass in honor of Blessed Josemaría in the Patriarchal See of Bkerké. Six other Maronite Bishops and numerous priests concelebrated with him.
Archbishop Raphael Ndingi of Nairobi, and Bishop Christopher Pierre, the Nuncio in Kampala, presided over concelebrations in their respective cities.
Romana, No. 34, January-June 2002, p. 107-108.