Pastoral Visit to Ireland
Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz made his first pastoral trip outside of Italy to Ireland. It took place from April 18-21. Msgr. Ocáriz chose Ireland because it was the European country that had seen the longest period of time go by since the last pastoral visit of a Prelate of Opus Dei —made by Bishop Javier Echevarría in 2005.
Tuesday, April 18
Msgr. Ocáriz arrived at Dublin’s airport in the early afternoon. He was received by Fr. Justin Gillespie, regional vicar of Opus Dei in Ireland, and by a group of faithful of the Prelature. The Prelate visited the Rosemont School and gave a class to some faithful of Opus Dei there. Afterwards he had the opportunity to speak with a number of faithful of the Prelature, and then had several meetings at the Regional Commission of Opus Dei in Ireland.
Wednesday, April 19
During his second day, Msgr. Ocáriz met with faithful, cooperators and friends of Opus Dei in various centers of the Prelature in Dublin. At 7:30 p.m., he participated in a family gathering with hundreds of people, held in the Rosemont School, a secondary school for girls. Responding to questions from those present, the Prelate stressed the importance of putting God at the center of each person’s life and of fostering a personal relationship with Christ. He also spoke about caring for family life and the home, and about other topics regarding Christian life.
Thursday, April 20
Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz preached a meditation and celebrated Mass at the Cleraun Study Centre in Dublin. Then he had a get-together at Rosemont School with women from various parts of Ireland, who told him about some of the evangelization initiatives they are carrying out.
Afterwards, the Prelate drove to Lismullin Conference Center in County Meath, where activities for human and Christian formation are offered. He had lunch with Bishop Michael Smith, head of the diocese of Meath, and Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan from the diocese of Waterford and Lismore. Msgr. Ocáriz also visited Lismullin School of Culinary and Home Arts and toured the new facilities opened there.
At the end of the day, he gave a class at the Cleraun Study Centre on the central ideas of his pastoral letter about the conclusions of the third General Congress of Opus Dei. After dinner, he greeted many families from various cities and had a get-together with university women.
Friday, April 21
On the last day of his pastoral trip, Msgr. Ocáriz preached a meditation and celebrated Mass at the Glenard university residence, in Dublin. The Prelate dedicated the morning to working with the people on the Regional Commission of Opus Dei, and later with the women on the Regional Advisory. Before returning to Rome, he had a chance to visit the parish church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, which the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, entrusted to priests of the Opus Dei Prelature in 2007.
Romana, n. 64, January-June 2017, p. 105-106.