Celebration of 50th Anniversary as a Priest
The ancient Basilica of St. Mary Major was the scene on September 22 of the celebration of a Thanksgiving Mass for the 50th anniversary of the priestly ordination of the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría. Six priests of the Prelature concelebrated with him. Among those assisting were cardinals and other churchmen, headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Archbishop Angelo Sodano. More than two thousand people accompanied the Prelate.
Before beginning Holy Mass, a letter from Pope Benedict XVI was read. The Holy Father congratulated the Prelate on his priestly jubilee and recalled the most significant moments in his human and priestly career. The Prelate’s homily was centered on some words of Don Álvaro del Portillo, his predecessor as head of Opus Dei: “Thank you! Forgive me! Help me more!” Bishop Echevarría also recalled the emotions St. Josemaría experienced when he celebrated his priestly golden anniversary in March 1975.
When Mass was over, the Prelate went to pray before the image of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani. Afterwards, in the Basilica residence, Bishop Echevarría greeted the distinguished guests.
Romana, No. 41, July-December 2005, pag. 255.