‘Make Western Sydney your mission field’


Opus Dei News Story
Bishop Anthony delivers his Homily for the Feast of Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer at St Nicholas of Myra Penrith Parish on 28 June 2011.

“Opus Dei wants everyone on earth to encounter Jesus Christ, in His Holy Word and Holy Church and so become his Holy Members. It wants all people to be saints!”

These remarks were made by Bishop of Parramatta Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP during a Mass at St Nicholas of Myra Penrith Parish to celebrate the 26 June Feast Day of St Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei.

Bishop Anthony said that the call to witness to Christ in ordinary life is a call that he, for one, hopes will spread “like wildfire” in the Diocese of Parramatta.

“Make Western Sydney your mission field,” he said. “Put out into the deep yourselves. Pay out your nets for a great catch of Westies. Be fishers of men – and women, youth and children. Talk eagerly to your family, friends and colleagues about the Jesus Christ you know and love from the Gospels.”

Addressing the congregation St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Bishop Anthony encouraged Opus Dei members to offer the people they know “a fifth Gospel”, which he said was “the example of your own lives where they might read Christ”.

“By the prayers of St Josemaría may you come to know the person of Christ in the Scriptures and the Church and then be His witnesses to all the world.”

Bishop Anthony repeated the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his Easter Wednesday audience this year, when he addressed thousands of people from Opus Dei study centres around the world, including many Australians.

He said the Pope had exhorted Opus Dei members to “rediscover the person of Christ in the Scriptures and in the Church”.

“In the 1930s St Josemaría worked tirelessly to bring young people to a personal relationship with Christ and asked them to be Christ’s witnesses, drawing others to Him,” he said.

“He urged labourers and students, farmers and professionals, to be Christ in the world. At the end of one meeting the saint gave a young man a book on the life of Christ with the words: ‘May you seek Christ: may you find Christ: may you love Christ.’”

June 26 2011 marks the tenth time that the feast of St Josemaría has been celebrated following his canonisation in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who was recently beatified.

St Josemaría founded Opus Dei as a young priest in Spain in 1928 to encourage people from all walks of life to use their work and their ordinary lives to grow in holiness and to seek to become saints.

It was made the Church’s first personal prelature in 1982 and now has tens of thousands of members all over the world.

Read Bishop Anthony’s homily in full 

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