After a brief stay in Pamplona from June 30 to July 5, the Prelate of Opus Dei spent part of the months of July and August in France. From there he traveled to the Ivory Coast, from July 7 to 12, and to the Congo, from July 28 to August 4. In both countries he greeted the local ecclesiastical authorities and met with faithful of the Prelature, cooperators and friends, to give them pastoral encouragement. He also visited some apostolic works organized by men and women of Opus Dei with the assistance of others, such as the Yarani Professional School in Abidjan, the Walé Social Medical Center in Yamoussoukro, and the Monkole Medical Center in Kinshasa. In the Ivory Coast, a country trying to overcome a long civil conflict, he insisted especially on the need for reconciliation.
On August 17, the Prelate traveled from Paris to Madrid, where he had catechetical gatherings with thousands of young people who had come from all over the world to participate in World Youth Day. On the 20th and 21st, the Prelate also took part—within the framework of World Youth Day—in the vigil of prayer and the Mass with the Pope at Cuatro Vientos airfield.
On August 18, he visited the Laguna Hospital Care Center, an initiative for people with terminal illnesses who need palliative care. He encouraged the professionals and volunteers at the center to live their Christian vocation with generosity and to see in the sick the image of Christ. He also spent time with the patients, and had words of comfort and a blessing for each of them. Finally he encouraged their families to find support in prayer to bear their sorrow with supernatural outlook.
From August 21 to September 6, the Prelate was once again in Pamplona. After returning to Rome, he traveled to Cologne in October, on the 14th and 15th, and to Pamplona and Madrid, from the 25th to the 31st. In Pamplona, as Chancellor of the University of Navarra, he conferred three honorary doctorates, an event reported on elsewhere in this issue. In Madrid, on October 29 and 30, in Vistalegre, an auditorium with a capacity for fifteen thousand persons, he had a get-together with many men and women who take part in the formative activities organized by Opus Dei in the Spanish capital.
Romana, No. 53, July-December 2011, p. 256.