Opus Dei began its apostolic work in South Africa in 1998. There are now centers in Johannesburg and Pretoria. In addition, the parish church Mater Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows) in the diocese of Johannesburg is entrusted to priests of the Prelature.
The Prelate met with faithful of Opus Dei and friends in the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. In this family gathering, he asked everyone to pray for the Pope, the bishops and all priests.
A number of those present had a chance to ask questions. Charles, a father with three young children, asked how we can fight materialism and the search for an easy-going life.
“A spirit of poverty,” said Bishop Echevarría, “doesn’t mean not having possessions, but rather being detached from what one has, with a readiness to renounce them. The most recent Popes, from Pius XII to Pope Francis, have been a great example of this virtue.”
Lebo, a doctor and a convert to Catholicism, wanted to know how we can make compatible a life filled with many hours of hard work with a vigorous Christian life.
The Prelate stressed that “even though we may be tired after a tough day, we should seek out time for prayer, since Jesus wants us to talk to him about our work and our concerns, in short, about our own life.”
Others topics discussed included confession and praying the Holy Rosary. The Prelate ended the get-together by encouraging everyone to care for those around them, to pray for them and show a real interest in their needs.
He also had a chance to meet with Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale, O.M.I of Johannesburg, and made a pilgrimage to the Mater Dolorosa parish church.
In Pretoria, he met with university students and also with priests from the nearby dioceses.