The Prelate of Opus Dei presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in suffrage for the Servant of God Bishop Álvaro del Portillo in the Church of St. Josemaría in Rome on the evening of March 23, the twelfth anniversary of his death. The Church was filled with numerous families from the neighborhood and also many people from throughout Rome who participate in the Prelature’s pastoral work. All preserve a vivid memory of Don Álvaro, who took an active role in spurring on the construction of the parish church.
Prayers and Masses in suffrage for the soul of Don Álvaro were also offered in many other cities throughout the world on the anniversary of his death. In Kinshasa, a Mass was held in the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Congo on March 22. It was presided over by Msgr. Xavier Hervás, Regional Vicar of the Prelature, with priests from various dioceses of the Congo concelebrating, including Lisala, Kolwezi, Molegbe, and Kinshasa. Many families were present, in expression of their gratitude to the person who set in motion the stable apostolic work of the Prelature in that country. In his homily, Msgr. Hervás, referring to the message of Benedict XVI for Lent, invited those present to live that time of grace and conversion with a sense of responsibility, being a leaven of holiness in their own surroundings and especially for their families, as Don Álvaro so often urged. He also encouraged those present to have recourse to the fount of divine mercy, that is to say, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession. In fact, many people received the sacrament of reconciliation that evening. The prayer of the faithful included petitions for the Pope and for peace in the Congo and the whole world.
As has become traditional each year, the CITE Technical Institute organized a Mass for Don Alvaro on March 23 in the city of Cebú in the Philippines. The Mass was held in the cathedral. Concelebrating were the Bishop, Julito Cortes, and two other priests. Over one thousand people attended, including many students of the CITE with their families and friends.
Romana, No. 42, January-June 2006, p. 118.