The Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, has touched down in Sydney to commence his apostolic trip from 8-26 August to Australia and New Zealand.
Many young families waited to greet Msgr. Ocariz this morning at Sydney International Airport with balloons, big smiles and banners on hand, such as one that read: “G’day Father! Welcome to Sydney, Australia.”
“It was a bit of a long wait and the kids were getting restless,” said Steph Sugiaman, who was there to greet him. “But it was worth it and everyone was very excited once we spotted him coming out of the exit. My son Theo seemed to understand how special the Father is…he shook his hand and very happily gave him a card and a little koala.”
Straight from his travels in the Philippines and Indonesia, Msgr. Ocariz will begin his Australian trip with some days of rest. After this he will spend a day in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne. He’ll finish the trip with a few more days in Sydney before making his way to New Zealand.
“It felt like meeting an old friend,” said Jessica Kwak, who was also at the airport with her husband and kids. “He seemed tired from the long trip but his eyes were still sparkling.” Her son Emmanuel was excited to give Msgr. Ocariz a kangaroo with an Australian flag.
James Tudehope said that it was a wonderful moment to experience, especially for the kids. "It's an experience they won't soon forget!"
Beverly Eguchi, her husband Junya and their young daughter Arisa also got up nice and early to be a part of this special welcome. “It was special to know that his arrival coincided with the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross McKillop, an Australian saint,” said Beverly. “I felt his warmth, generosity and cheerfulness to greet many families who patiently waited to welcome him to Sydney. It was beautiful to witness many children there. His parting words were, “See you soon!”"
Known simply as “The Father” to those in Opus Dei, Msgr. Ocariz looks forward to meeting many people, old and young, along with families and individuals who participate in formation activities of Opus Dei across Australia and New Zealand.