Masses for the Servant of God Bishop Alvaro del Portillo throughout the world
March 23 marked the tenth anniversary of the death of Don Alvaro. For this occasion Masses were said throughout the world in suffrage for his soul. In many cities, the celebrants were the local ordinaries, bishops and archbishops, who wanted to show their affection for Bishop del Portillo. Many priests also celebrated the Eucharist for his eternal rest. Before and during the Eucharistic celebrations those attending had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Penance.
In Italy Masses were celebrated in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan, in the Cathedral of Palermo, where the ceremony was officiated by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, and in the church of San Fernando in Bari, among other places, in addition to the parish of St. Josemaría in Rome.
All over Chile, Masses were said in suffrage for the soul of Don Alvaro, with large numbers of people in attendance. In Santiago, Mass was concelebrated with other priests in the parish of San Ramon by the Regional Vicar; in Viña del Mar, Mass was said in the Naval Church of Las Salinas; in Concepción, in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes; in Antofagasta, in the military chapel; and in Temuco, in the chapel of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Home for the Aged.
Other places in Latin America where Masses were celebrated include: Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Tucuman and Santa Fe; Brazil, in São Paulo, Curitaba and Rio de Janeiro; Colombia, in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena de Indias, Bucaramanga and Manizales; Ecuador, in Guayaquil and Quito: El Salvador, in San Salvador; Honduras, en Tegucigalpa; Mexico, in Monterrey, San Luis Potosi, Chihuahua, Torreon, Mexico City, Hermosillo, Culiacan, Aguascalientes and Guadalajara; Paraguay, in Asuncion; Peru, in Lima, Arequipa, Chiclayo, Piura and Cañete; Puerto Rico, in San Juan; The Dominican Republic, in Santo Domingo; Uruguay, in Montevideo.
In Stockholm, Masses were celebrated in two student residences, both corporate works of the Prelature. In addition to the residents, various friends and cooperators of Opus Dei were in attendance. There was also a Eucharistic celebration in Jerusalem in suffrage for Don Alvaro attended by university and high school students who frequent the means of formation. In Brussels, Holy Mass was celebrated in the church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, presided over by the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei. In Germany the Regional Vicar, Father Christoph Bockamp, celebrated a Mass for Don Alvaro in Cologne on March 23. In Portugal there was a Mass for Bishop del Portillo in the oratory of St. Josemaria in the Montes Claros residence, and in the city of Viseu, in the church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
In the chapel of Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya, a solemn Mass was celebrated on March 23. In Kinshasa, there was a Mass in the Cathedral of our Lady of the Congo, with Msgr. Xavier Hervas presiding. In his homily, he said that those who knew Don Alvaro “recall that in our meetings with him, our faith was illumined, our hope fortified and our love for God enkindled, leading us to consider the transcendence of our Christian vocation.” Around March 23, in Spain a great number of Masses in suffrage for the soul of the Servant of God Bishop Alvaro del Portillo were celebrated in various Spanish cities. The large gatherings in the Cathedrals of Almería, Burgos, Ciudad Real, Granada, León, Malaga, Palencia, Salamanca, Santander, Seville, Valladolid and many parish churches throughout Spain were a true testimony to the affection and veneration for the first successor of St. Josemaria on this important anniversary. Masses for Don Alvaro were also celebrated in many youth clubs, high schools and university residences, and other corporate works of Opus Dei.
Romana, No. 38, January-June 2004, p. 78-79.