Pope Francis has appointed the Franco-Spanish bishop as the third successor of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. For 22 years Msgr. Ocáriz accompanied his predecessor Msgr. Echevarría in his travels; they visited India three times. His appointment marks a "new stage."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - India has "welcomed the appointment of Mgr. Fernando Ocariz as new prelate of Opus Dei with great joy”, Kevin de Souza, director of the Opus Dei center in Mumbai has told AsiaNews, commenting on the choice of Pope Francis to name the Franco-Spanish bishop as the third successor of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the head of the personal prelature.
The Indian faithful, he reports, "have already met him because he often accompanied the deceased Msgr. Javier Echevarría [who died on 12 December last year, ed] to India taking care of his needs through a moving testimony and in a spirit of humble and reserved service".
Msgr. Ocariz was appointed on January 23. Since 1994 he has served as Vicar General of the Prelature and in December 2014 became Auxiliary Vicar. Over the past 22 years, he accompanied Msgr. Echevarría in his pastoral visits to more than 70 nations.
As for India, de Souza recalls that the new bishop visited the Asian country on three occasions: 1996, 2008 and 2014. During the trip in 2008, the prelate focused in prayer before the statue of St. Josemaria in Cathedral of Delhi and also made a brief visit to the basilica of Santa Maria del Monte in Bandra (Mumbai).
"Today - he added - all of us pray in a special way and we thank God for giving us a Father. St. Josemaría used to say that Opus Dei is' a small portion of the Church 'like a' family with supernatural '' bonds.
According to the director of the Mumbai center, with the appointment of Msgr. Ocáriz " a new phase begins. Although he was not familiar with St. Josemaría as his predecessor was, the way forward is drawn from the teachings of the Church and the writings of our founder that define the charism and mission of the prelature".
Pope Francis, he concludes, “invites us to go to the peripheries and open ourselves to God's mercy. The priest will guide us in putting this request into practice and living it in an exemplary manner like our founder and his successors."