Masses for the repose of the Bishop Alvaro del Portillo
On the occasion of the eleventh anniversary of the death of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, Masses for him were celebrated in many cities throughout the world. The following gives details about some of them.
In Montevideo, the faithful filled the downtown parish church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on March 13 where, with the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, a Eucharistic celebration was held for the soul of the first Prelate of Opus Dei. In Brazil, two Masses were celebrated on March 23rd, the anniversary date itself. One of these was in São Paulo and the other in Rio de Janeiro. The latter took place in the Church of St. Margaret Mary, presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte of Rio de Janeiro. In Ecuador two Masses were organized, both on March 22: one was held in the rectoral church of St. Josemaría, in Guayaquil, celebrated by Archbishop Antonio Arregui; and the other, with about 400 people in attendance, was concelebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Juan Larreo (who has been living for some time in Quito) and other priests in a public oratory of the capital. In Lima, the Mass for Bishop del Portillo, concelebrated by Cardinal Cipriani and various priests (among them the Regional Vicar of the Prelature) brought together a multitude of faithful. Other such celebrations were held in Chiclayo, Cañete, Arequipa and Piura. In Chile, Masses were celebrated in seven cities: Santiago, San Bernardo, Viña del Mar, Concepción, Antofagasta, San Fernando and Temuco. In San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and Guatemala there were also Masses for Bishop del Portillo on the days before March 23 (since the anniversary fell on Wednesday of Holy Week this year, the observance was held earlier in most places).
As in previous years, the CITE (Cebu Institute of Technology and Enterprise) organized a Mass in the cathedral of Cebu, Philippines, for the soul of Bishop del Portillo, who was the founder of that educational center. The Mass took place at 6 p.m. on March 11, presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop, Ricardo J. Vidal, who concelebrated with seven other priests. About one thousand people took part.
In Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Mass was held for Bishop Alvaro, presided over by Msgr. Robert Lozano, with some 300 people attending. The Mass celebrated in Kinshasa was presided over by Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Nlandu. During the ceremony, and especially in the prayers of the faithful, prayers were offered for the health of Pope John Paul II and for peace in the world and in the Congo. An anniversary Mass for Bishop del Portillo was also celebrated in Lubumbashi. In Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, a Mass was held on March 16, in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit of Mvolyé, presided over by Msgr. Antoine Torres, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei, with about 300 people in attendance.
On the anniversary of his death, Bishop del Portillo was remembered in Spain with Masses for the repose of his soul in 35 cities. The one in Vigo, in the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, on Wednesday, March 16, was broadcast by the parish television station and by a local radio station, reaching over 25,000 people. Masses for Bishop del Portillo were also celebrated in Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, Vienna, Milan and many other cities. In the Basilica of St. Eugene, in Rome, the Eucharistic concelebration for the first Prelate of Opus Dei was presided over by his successor, Bishop Javier Echevarría.
Romana, No. 40, January-June 2005, p. 136-137.