Asturias, July 4 to 6
The Prelate of Opus Dei was in Asturias from July 4 to 6 at the invitation of Archbishop Carlos Osoro of Oviedo, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year of the Cross of the Angels and the Cross of Victory. The visit began on Friday, the 4th, at the shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga. On Saturday, the 5th, the Prelate celebrated Holy Mass with the Archbishop in the Cathedral of Oviedo and, at the end, prayed before the Holy Shroud and the two jubilee crosses.
That day and the following one, Bishop Echevarría had two pastoral get-togethers with many people. He encouraged them to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, who was about to leave for Australia to preside at the World Youth Day.
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Southeast Asia and Oceania from July 12 to August 5.
New Delhi (India), from July 12 to 14. On Saturday, July 12, the Prelate arrived in New Delhi. That same morning he visited the Cathedral, where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance, and greeted various church officials. Over the two following days he received many people. On Monday, the 14th, he left for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong and Macao (China), from July 14 to 18. During the three days that he was in Hong Kong and Macao, the Prelate met on various occasions with faithful of Opus Dei, Cooperators, friends and many other people who participate in the activities of apostolate and formation offered by the Prelature, including in continental China and Taiwan. On the 15th he visited Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop of Hong Kong. And on the 16th, in Macao, he went to pray at a church dedicated to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, whose memorial the Church commemorates on that day.
Australia and New Zealand, from July 18 to 27. The first three days the Prelate spent in Australia coincided with the final days of the Pope’s stay in Sydney, and centered on the activities organized for World Youth Day. When the World Youth Day concluded, Bishop Echevarría had a series of meetings with faithful of the Prelature and people who participate in the apostolic activities of Opus Dei. On Tuesday, the 22nd, he made a trip to Melbourne, where he met with Archbishop Dennis Hart. He also blessed a statue of St. Josemaría which had been installed in the church of St. Mary Star of the Sea. On the following morning he left for Auckland, New Zealand. On the 25th he returned to Sydney where he met with Cardinal George Pell. On July 26 he had a get-together with some three thousand people in The Dome, a large hall close to the Olympic Park. On the following morning he left for the Philippines.
Manila, July 27 to August 1. The Prelate of Opus Dei arrived in Manila on the evening of July 27. On the following day he greeted the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, and received various groups of people. Over the next several days he had get-togethers with faithful of the Prelature and many other people in the SMX Convention Center, in the Aguinaldo Theater, and at the University of Asia and the Pacific.
Singapore and Malaysia, from August 1 to 3. In Singapore he had various meetings with small groups of young people and families. On Saturday the 2nd, in the morning, the Prelate visited Archbishop Nichola Chia, and early in the afternoon he had a larger catechetical get-together in the Orchid Country Club, on the outskirts of the city. On Sunday the 3rd, he traveled to Johor Bahru, in the southern part of Malaysia, to dedicate the altar of the oratory of Bukit Tiram House, a new center of Opus Dei.
Bombay, from August 3 to 5. From Singapore, the Prelate traveled to Bombay, arriving on the night of August 3. On the following day he visited the Shrine of Our Lady of the Mount and received various groups of persons who take part in the Prelature’s formational activities in Bombay.
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Germany, August 9 to September 6
Starting on August 9, Bishop Echevarría spent some days of rest and study in Solingen, Germany. On August 23, he made a brief trip to Zonnewende, a center for formational activities of Opus Dei in the Netherlands to spend a few hours with faithful of the Prelature who were participating in various courses of formation. On the 28th he also visited some members of the Work in the Schweidt Residence of Cologne. In that same city, on August 30, he was received by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the Archbishop of Cologne. During those days he was able to make a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Maria Rast, near Kreuzweingarten. He also prayed before the tombs of Cardinals Frings and Höffner in the crypt of Cologne Cathedral. On Wednesday, September 3, he traveled to Berlin where he spent several days meeting with numerous people. On September 5 he was again in Cologne where he received various groups of people and went to pray before the Black Madonna in the Kupfergasse.
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Sarragosa and Torreciudad, Spain, September 20 and 21
On Saturday, September 20, at midday, the Prelate arrived at Sarragosa’s airport. After visiting our Lady of the Pillar, he was driven to the Shrine of Torreciudad, where he undertook a pilgrimage to the old shrine, following in the footsteps of St. Josemaría, who visited our Lady as a pilgrim in 1970. He also held various meetings with groups of young people and adults. He returned to Rome on Sunday, the 21st, from Barcelona.
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Paris, October 10 to 12
Bishop Echevarría arrived in Paris on Friday, October 10. On the next day, in the morning, he went to the Church on the Rue du Bac, to pray before the image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and to place at her feet the needs of the Church and of Opus Dei. In the afternoon he had meetings with various groups of people. On Sunday October 12, he met with faithful of the Prelature.
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Pamplona, Spain, from the 23rd to the 27th of November
The Prelate of Opus Dei arrived in Pamplona on Sunday, November 23, to accompany all the students, teachers and employees at the University of Navarre, following the terrorist attack they had suffered a few days earlier.
Romana, No. 47, July-December 2008, p. 270-272.