2018 plays host to two round anniversaries concerning Opus Dei around the world and Opus Dei in Kenya. Today 2nd of October, is 90 years since Opus Dei begun. On 25th August, it was 60 years since Opus Dei begun on the continent of Africa precisely in Kenya. These two anniversaries were the motif of the Mass of Thanksgiving held on Saturday 22nd September at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
The Mass - attended by many faithful of the Prelature and many more friends of the Prelature - was presided over by His Emminence Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, assisted by His Grace Archbishop Anthony Muheria (Archbishop of Nyeri), Very Reverend Fr. Silvano Ochuodho (Vicar of Opus Dei in East Africa) and priests both of the Prelature and of the archdiocese.
Anniversaries are always a great cause and opportunity for celebration because they mark the end of one more lap in the race to the finish; and for that we give thanks to God. They are also a chance for a silent and candid examination of conscience where one can ask themselves whether indeed they are walking and working "at the pace of God". Blessed Alvaro del Portillo - first successor to St. Josemaria - would always conclude similar anniversaries, as well as practically every day with an examination of conscience that ended in his famous refrain "Thank you! Forgive me! Help me more!" And from there a resolution to improve the following day, to be more faithful to that spirit that had been handed down to us.
Archbishop Muheria had remarked on this in his homily, reminding the congregation exactly what these 90 and these 60 years are all about, what we were being exhorted to be faithful to: "...you lay people - some of you members of the Prelature, others... beneficiaries of this torrent of graces from the point that God decided that this institution should be lay people in the middle of the world, one more - not distinguished from your other colleagues, must seek more than mere mediocrity, must seek real holiness, must seek exemplary Christian behaviour, and more than behaviour, must acquire deep Christian, Christ-like attitudes..."
And in brief address that the Cardinal made to the congregation at the end of the Mass, he continued with that same theme. "Let this feast," he said, "therefore not be a formality, but let it be a feast of encouragement... to be faithful to the heritage that has been passed to you by those who [begun this work]."