With the Prelate in Vancouver

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

Saturday, August 10

In the morning, the Prelate met with a large group of members and friends of the Prelature in the Vancouver College theatre.

Teresa recounted the recent passing of a supernumerary and of the example she gave of bearing sickness with generosity.

Minette told the father that her children are the ones who teach her forgiveness. Her five-year old daughter told her that she couldn’t forgive her friend from daycare, and the seven-year old brother replied “you have to forgive seventy times seven”. When the mother asked him if he knew what that meant, he replied that he hadn’t yet learnt the multiplication tables in school.

Nicole, a director of learning resources in the Vancouver catholic school system, asked for advice on how to guide the next generation in the proper use of freedom. The Prelate explained that freedom is the capacity not only to make a choice, but rather to choose the good and by so doing, we are touching on the proper essence of freedom which is to love.

Chichi on the right side of the Father

The Father met families today and greeted some sick. To Zeny who is blind and paralyzed he made the sign of the Cross on her forehead and spoke to her; to Chichi who is quite ill he also spoke some words of thanks for what she had done for the Work. And he greeted Sandra who is terminally ill with cancer.

In another get together at Vancouver College, the Father began with encouraging words about apostolic expansion, taking a cue from Canada’s motto A mari usque ad mare (From sea to sea), as his predecessor, Bishop Echevarria, had done on his visit to Canada 13 years ago.

Joe was in Toronto in 1988 when Blessed Alvaro del Portillo visited Canada, and had then asked about Opus Dei’s expansion to Vancouver. He attended the first recollection there in 1984 and has seen the Work grow throughout the Lower Mainland. He asked the Father how the supernumeraries can keep the Work growing dynamically as our Father imagined it in the 1950s. In his answer, the Father explained that the Work is people and that for Opus Dei to be dynamic, people need to be dynamic as well, a dynamism centered on their union with Jesus-Christ. He encouraged everyone to think that Opus Dei can only grow and expand through prayer.

Brian offered a native carving of a salmon, a well-known symbol of Vancouver. Salmon are born in river beds and straight away swim to the ocean—the middle of the world. Then they return to the river to reproduce. The salmon’s journey, known as the “salmon run”, is a dangerous one during which the fish must overcome many obstacles swimming upstream.

Before the end of this get-together, Yesid offered to play a song for him, which he composed some years ago—the lyrics speak of searching for God. The Father gave him a hug and then a blessing to all present.

During the day, the Father met a number of families who came from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to greet him.

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