Prelate's Pastoral Visit to Sweden

"Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have for building up the Church,” Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz said during his four-day pastoral visit to Stockholm, where he greeted Cardinal Arborelius and met with faithful and friends of the Prelature.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

“In today’s reading, we see the apostles united in prayer. That’s how our Lord has to see us: united in constant prayer for the successor of Peter, the Pope, and for the successors of the apostles, the bishops. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have for building up the Church.” The Prelate spoke these words during a homily he gave in Lärkstaden, a student residence in Stockholm.

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During the morning, the Prelate made a visit to Katarina Kyrka, a shrine of our Lady located in the heart of the capital. After spending some time in prayer, Monsignor Ocáriz lit a vigil light and prayed a Salve Regina with those present before an image of the patroness of Sweden.

Afterwards, he visited a sick person in Branbergen, and encouraged her to avail herself of the supernatural effectiveness that suffering has when offered to God.

In the afternoon, he returned to Rome from the Arlanda airport. In a final message, he encouraged all the people in the Work and their friends in Sweden to live “joyful in hope,” as Saint Paul told the first Christians.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

In the morning, the Prelate celebrated Holy Mass and gave a brief homily for some faithful of Opus Dei. “The apostles were alone on the lake, without Jesus. Each of us can also travel in darkness, when we encounter difficulties in life. We may think then that Jesus is absent, but He is always with us.”

Afterwards, he met with some families in Lärkstaden, a student residence. The conversations touched on the hopes, difficulties and dreams of many people who receive spiritual direction through the means of formation offered by Opus Dei. Among other things, the Prelate spoke about friendship as a natural path for sharing the Gospel.

In the afternoon, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz met with over 200 people from various cities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. “We can always be joyful,” he told those present, “despite the concerns and sufferings we face, because the foundation of our joy is Christ. We can’t always understand suffering, but we can always love. Each time we look at a crucifix, we realize how great is Christ’s love for us.”

Other topics brought up included interior freedom, fidelity, fraternal love, the virtue of chastity and spreading the faith.

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Prelate celebrated Mass in Trädlärkan, a center of Opus Dei in Stockholm. Afterwards, he went to visit Cardinal Anders Arborelius at his residence in Södemalm. Archbishop Arborelius is the first Swedish cardinal in the Church’s history.

After his visit, Monsignor Ocáriz went to Åbrink Forum, where he met with various members of the Prelature. In the late afternoon, the Prelate made his way to the Ateneum, where he had a get-together with faithful of the Prelature and friends from Scandinavia.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz has begun a four-day pastoral trip to Sweden. He was met at the airport by Monsignor Andres Bernar, regional vicar of Opus Dei in Sweden. They went first to the Lärkstadens student residence, where he greeted a number of people.

After dinner, the Prelate spent some minutes chatting with those in charge of the residence, who told him about their efforts to spread the Catholic faith to those around them.