Bishop Javier Echevarría last week made a brief pastoral trip to Singapore, Taiwan and Korea. Opus Dei’s apostolic work began there in a stable way in 1982, 1985 and 2009, respectively.
Singapore. Over a thousand people took part in the get-together with faithful of Opus Dei and friends in Raffies City Convention Center.
Many people from neighboring countries also were present, including from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. The Prelate insisted that “we need a bigger heart, like Saint Josemaria’s, so that people from all countries fit there.”
He reminded everyone that Christian life is a mixture of deep joys and moments of sorrow, which we can overcome with God’s grace. He also pointed to the heart of Opus Dei’s message: “Don’t seek out extraordinary adventures in your lives. The greatest adventure is being ready to follow God’s will in your daily life.”
The Prelate visited Archbishop William Goh of Singapore, the apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girellli, and Bishop Paul Tan of Melaka-Johor. His last visit to the country was in 2008.
Taiwan. In Taiwan, the Prelate first went to see Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan. He also prayed the rosary in the church of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where an image of Saint Josemaria is venerated. The painting was installed in 2007 in the church located next to the famous Taipei Tower 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world.
About two hundred people attended the get-together with the Prelate in Taiwan’s capital, including some non-Catholics. Those asking questions included a mother who teaches in a high school, a young man who plans to marry a non-Christian, a student who senses she may have a vocation, and two university students who want to serve the Church better in Taiwan.
“Ask God,” Bishop Echevarría said, “to increase our faith, so that we don’t become discouraged and we are filled with confidence, and so that we struggle to love and serve those around us in our daily life, without making exceptions. Although our neighbors and colleagues at work may not be Catholics, we are all children of the same Father, who loves us madly.”
Korea. The Prelate’s trip to Korea, where he spent two days, began with a visit to Bishop Lazzaro Heung-sik of Daejon, a city located in the center of the country and with a million and a half people, where the apostolic work of Opus Dei began four years ago.
He also visited the apostolic nuncio of Korea, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla. At present, the country is preparing for the visit of Pope Francis, who will travel to Korea next August.
Also in Seoul, the Prelate met with faithful of Opus Dei and their friends. Those attending asked, among other topics, about the family and raising children, Christian formation, vocation, apostolate, and the Holy Father.
He insisted: “You have to erase from your vocabulary the word ‘impossible,’ because although there may be objective difficulties, “with faith everything is possible.” Afterwards the Prelate met with some families and a group of priests.