February 5, 2010
Bishop Javier Echevarria, the prelate of Opus Dei, will speak at a conference on twentieth-century priests connected with the diocese of Valencia, Spain, on February 5, 2010. His paper will be about Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva. The life of the founder of Opus Dei had a close connection with Valencia, because it was in this city that Opus Dei opened its first Centre after Madrid. St Josemaria explained in 1972, “I look on Valencia with special affection, and this does not imply any slight towards any other city in Spain or outside it. Because by God’s will, when we were planning to open centres simultaneously here and in Paris, everything went wrong, political peace in Spain was destroyed, and the fratricidal civil war broke out. After it we had to begin here and not in Paris. Therefore, it seems that God our Lord wants me to love Valencia very particularly.”
The conference is being organized by Valencia’s Faculty of Theology and the “Biblioteca Sacerdotal Almudi”. Speakers include Cardinal Antonio Canizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Liturgy of the Sacraments.
According to the organizers, “The aim of the conference is to offer to priests, and future priests, portraits of people who were in love with God and their priesthood, and who worked tirelessly in the service of others. It is a happy circumstance that several of them knew each other here on earth and were close friends; this was the case with St Josemaria and the Servants of God Jose Maria Lahiguera and Eladio Espana.”
The theme of the conference, which is the eighteenth in a series, “was chosen because of the Year for Priests proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI for the whole Church to mark the 150th anniversary of the Curé of Ars, patron saint of priests.”
Cardinal Canizares will speak about the life of Archbishop Lahiguera; Enrique Benavent, Auxiliary Bishop of Valencia, will speak about Father Eladio Espana; and Father Antonio Ballester will speak about the Servant of God Father José Bau, his predecessor in the parish of Segart, where he worked before being moved to Masarrochos, Valencia.