.- Masses were held in eight cities across Canada last week to celebrate the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei. Pope John Paul II canonnized the Spanish priest in 2002, calling him the “saint of the ordinary”.
Marc Cardinal Ouellet celebrated the feast day mass June 26 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Quebec City, attended by 500 people. The archbishop of Quebec and primate of Canada described St. Josemaria as a prophet of the universal call to holiness and a pioneer in promoting the role of the laity through the sanctification of ordinary work.
Cardinal Ouellet described the discreet presence of Opus Dei members in the world like leaven in dough. The “dough” rises because of the strength of their witness and because they have learned how to cultivate an intense spiritual life in the midst of secular activities. As they receive continuous formation, Opus Dei members are able to make an impact in their surroundings, he said, especially in current social and ethical debates.
The cardinal, who had worked in the Vatican office for ecumenical relations, said he saw in St. Josemaria a fruitful path for the future of ecumenism. More than commissions and meetings, it is the saints, through their inspiration of popular piety, who will really bring about the unity of the Church, he said.
Bishop Anthony Mancini, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal, presided over the mass at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. Msgr. Frederick Dolan, the regional vicar of Opus Dei in Canada, gave the homily.
Other feast day masses in Canada were celebrated in Kingston, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.