Prelate’s Pastoral Visit to Ireland

From April 18th to ​the 21st, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz ​made his first pastoral visit as Prelate of Opus Dei. This article offers some news about his activities in Ireland.

In the early afternoon of Tuesday, April 18th, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz arrived in Dublin from Rome. He was welcomed by some faithful of the Prelature, among them, Rev. Fr. Justin Gillespie, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in Ireland.

That same evening, the Prelate went to Rosemont School, where he gave a class to the faithful of Opus Dei. After the class, he greeted the Board of Rosemont. Afterwards there was a get-together with some women of Opus Dei. "It is clear," he told them, "that Opus Dei has always been in our hands. But somehow, with the passing to Heaven of Don Javier (Bishop Echevarría, the previous Prelate), we now feel this even more deeply. At the same time, we are more grateful to our Lord for the trust He has in each of us, despite our sense of inadequacy."

The Prelate added that "we are carrying out Opus Dei all together throughout the world. This ought to bring us great joy, because we know that what we are doing here and now is also helping our sisters and brothers in Australia, China, the US, Spain, France, and everywhere."

During his first day in Ireland, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz also met with a number of people in the Regional Commission of the Prelature in Ireland.

Wednesday 19 April

During his second day in Ireland, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz had several get-togethers with faithful, cooperators and friends of Opus Dei in various centres of the Prelature in Dublin.

In the evening, he met with a large number of families in the Rosemont School auditorium. Responding to the questions people asked, he spoke about the central place God should have in each one’s life, about fostering a personal relationship with Christ, and about caring for the family and home and other topics of Christian life.

The Prelate encouraged everyone to seek God’s presence when carrying out any work, also when it might seem to be an obstacle for staying close to Him: “We can tell our Lord: ‘Let’s carry out together this task that seems so urgent.’” And he added: “This is more than having God as a priority; it is placing Him at the centre, giving Him ‘centrality’ in our life.”

He also invited everyone to reflect on Christ’s love for each person: “Our faith tells us that you, that I, that each one of us is loved immensely, infinitely, by Jesus. We are the object of an infinite love, an all-powerful love.”

Thursday 20 April

On the third day of his pastoral trip to Ireland, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz gave a meditation and celebrated Mass in Cleraun Study Centre, a hall of residence in Dublin. Later he had a get-together in Rosemont School, where women from different parts of Ireland explained some of the projects they have underway, such as the Hill House Pre-school, in Naas, Rathmore Youth Club, in Clontarf, and the Momentum Leadership in Action Programme. Before leaving Rosemont, he met a number of families who were keen to meet him.

The Prelate then travelled to Lismullin Conference Centre, in County Meath, where he had lunch with two bishops and a number of guests. This was followed by a get-together with a large group of people, many of whom had been unable to attend the general get-together in Dublin on April 19th. Monsignor Ocáriz also visited the Lismullin School of Culinary and Home Arts and got a tour of the new training facilities.

Back in Cleraun Study Centre, he gave a class based on some key ideas from his pastoral letter of 14 February 2017. After the evening meal, the Prelate met with many families who had come to greet him. Before the day was out, he had a lively get-together in Glenard University Residence with many women university students from different cities of Ireland.

Friday 21 April

On the final day of his visit to Ireland, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz gave a meditation and celebrated Mass in Glenard University Residence in Dublin. In the morning he had a meeting with the members of the Regional Commission, and later with the Regional Advisory.

He also went to pray in the parish church of Our Lady Queen of Peace, which the Archbishop of Dublin entrusted to priests of the Opus Dei Prelature several years ago.

On his arrival back in Rome, the Prelate faxed a letter to thank all his children in Ireland for the warm welcome he had received, and to ask for prayers for his intentions.

For more information about the Prelature's activities in Ireland see: Opus Dei in Ireland.