Eucharistic Celebrations on the Feast of St. Josemaría
On the liturgical commemoration of St. Josemaría, the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, celebrated a solemn Mass in the Basilica of St. Eugene in Rome. His homily is included in this issue of Romana. Many other Eucharistic celebrations took place around this date in cities throughout the world. We will point out here just a few of these.
On June 23 a solemn Mass was celebrated in the metropolitan cathedral of Guatemala City. Presiding over the celebration were the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, and the metropolitan archbishop, Oscar Julio Vian. In his homily Archbishop Thevenin gave an historical sketch of the founder of Opus Dei’s life and stressed the positive influence that his message can have for people in today’s world. At the end of the ceremony a message from Archbishop Vian was read: “We are called to imitate the virtues of St. Josemaría. We should live immersed in the world, amid our daily concerns, giving full expression there to the splendor of holiness. As St. Josemaría said, ‘Marvel at the goodness of our Father God. Doesn’t it fill you with joy to know that your home, your family, your country, which you love madly, are the raw material for holiness?’ These forceful words should help us to never forget that we are invited to proclaim the universal call to holiness and apostolate. We have to serve with ardent love the work of the Redemption.”
In Ivory Coast, the Mass for the feast of St. Josemaría was held on June 25 in the church of the Sainte Famille, with over 3,000 people attending. Presiding over the concelebration was Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, the country’s nuncio. “Let us give thanks to the Lord for all the gifts of his love, especially for the gift of St. Josemaría. Let us ask for the grace of fidelity and the light of the Holy Spirit to respond decisively to the universal call to sanctity and to be true witnesses, through our daily actions, of God’s tenderness and mercy towards all our brothers and sisters,” said Archbishop Spiteri at the beginning of the ceremony. In his homily, the apostolic nuncio stressed that “St. Josemaría teaches us that the simplicity of our personal relationship with God leads us to have a deeper sense of the dignity of every human being and of fraternity among all men and women. Since we are sons and daughters of the same Father, we are also brothers and sisters among ourselves. But the fraternity that we discover through God’s mercy and thanks to his love is stronger than all merely human bonds. It is the fraternity of the risen Jesus, the Lord of life.” “It is easy to understand St. Josemaría’s invitation,” continued Archbishop Spiteri, “to live always with serenity and optimism. Divine filiation radically transforms our vision of life. We are and will always remain in God and in his love. It is clear, therefore, that any human activity can become a place of encounter with God and offers the possibility of constructing a renewed society that is more just and fraternal.”
The nuncio dedicated some words to the faithful of the Prelature: “The feast of St. Josemaría, for the faithful of Opus Dei, is not only a moment of joy and thanksgiving. It should also be an invitation to renew the commitment of deep Christian life.” “The example of your Founder,” he added, “should be kept alive in you and through your testimony.”
In Montreal, Canada, Archbishop Christian Lépine celebrated the Eucharist in the cathedral Basilica Marie-Reine-du-monde, accompanied by other priests, some of whom are in the Prelature. The faithful were able to take advantage of entering through the holy door of mercy and many confessors were available for penitents. Archbishop Lépine expressed his joy at being able to celebrate the Mass in memory of St. Josemaría in the Holy Year of Mercy. Both in his initial greeting as well as in the homily he cited texts from the preaching of St. Josemaría on mercy and forgiveness. In Ottawa, the Canadian capital, the Mass for the feast of St. Josemaría took place on June 20. It was presided over by diocesan Archbishop Terence Prendergast, S.J., in the cathedral Basilica of Notre-Dame. The archbishop encouraged the families to pass through the holy door and stressed that the feast of St. Josemaría during the Holy Year of Mercy was a good opportunity to have recourse to the sacrament of Penance.
Romana, No. 62, January-June 2016, p. 128-129.