The Prelate's visit to Copper Ridge Conference Centre

A brief summary of the days spent in Vancouver by Monsignor Ocáriz during his pastoral visit to Canada and the United States

Sunday, August 11

Site visit to Copper Ridge

The Prelate travelled about an hour north of Vancouver to Copper Ridge Conference Centre located on Howe Sound. The building is currently under construction. At his arrival he planted a dogwood tree next to the entrance of the building, then visited its important parts. In the future chapel, he was shown pictures of the wood sculpture above the Blessed Sacrament altar and images of the stained-glass windows. Later he blessed the last stone of the project, which consists of two bas-reliefs of St. Josemaria and Blessed Alvaro that will be placed in the main oratory. He also met people who have contributed generously to making this conference centre become a reality.

Blessing of last stone at Copper Ridge Conference Centre

The Father recalled his trip to the property in September 2006, when he accompanied Bishop Javier Echevarria. He recalled how the then-prelate Echevarria blessed the site from the huge rock above the construction site. The Father was delighted with the progress of the Conference Centre, with the first activities scheduled to take place in early 2020.

Promoting Copper Ridge and requesting help
is offering an opportunity to do something very good.

John, an architect, asked for advice on how to persevere in the apostolate of promoting Copper Ridge Conference Centre, currently under construction, so that the many retreats, workshops and seminars to be offered there may be filled. Msgr. Ocariz said that it is not redundant to insist on prayer, asking the Lord to inspire ideas about how to promote the centre. Also, he said that we should consider that when requesting help for the project, we are not asking for a favour, but offering an opportunity to do something very good. He recounted how one of the faithful of Opus Dei once asked a friend to provide financial help to an apostolic endeavour: “Look, I’m doing you a favour.” The listener was surprised and replied “I’ll give you money and then I have to thank you for it?” “Yes!” replied his friend. The Prelate spoke of the need to explain that the centre will produce much good for the city, the province and the entire country: supporting it is not helping the person asking, but doing good to society, which in turn benefits the person who is giving.

The Prelate with promoters and donors

Kim, Barbara and Marie, who are dedicated body and soul to the project, shared touching stories with the Father. Supported by a photo album, they told him about the story of Copper Ridge, which, according to planning engineer Tito, began with a wild terrain and an unserviceable road. Help came from across Canada, including funds raised by a friend's daughter in Montreal, who started selling cookies to her mother's friends. Also, Saint Josemaria’s unrelenting help and relief were noticeable. Shortly before his death, a Jewish neighbor in the Copper Ridge area told his wife that one of the best things in his life had been to know the Work.

John & family

After his return to Vancouver, Msgr. Ocariz received a number of families who came from all over the Lower Mainland to greet him.

Alfonso & family

The Father wrote dedications on several items, including the salmon gifted to him during the get-together of the previous day. He wrote on it the motto of Canada: A mari usque ad mare. He also wrote notes in three books written by him, and on an engraving of boys playing hockey (“Study hard, be friends…”), for Bowmont, a men’s centre of Opus Dei in Calgary.

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