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Merry Christmas

Once more we are in that season of Advent, awaiting and preparing our hearts for the arrival of the Messiah, who fills our souls with joy.

As we light our fireplaces and pull up our chairs to relish its warmth directly, let us ask our Lady to help us understand our need to stay close to her son Jesus. Let us also frequent the sacraments, which Christ instituted in his Church. Advent is a wonderful opportunity to receive His forgiveness in confession, and then to receive Jesus Himself, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in Holy Communion. Together these gifts remind us of his mercy and love, and give us the grace to follow Him more devoutly as His disciples..

This Christmas, as you think about gifts for your family and friends, we ask you to consider Wellspring’s needs. At Ernescliff College, the driveway must be repaved. We also need to install a new automatic gate from the lane at the rear, to ensure that the ladies can enter Lyncroft safely. It’s a dark place at night and a difficult job in the winter to open the heavy gate for them to access their driveway. These two necessary projects require a total investment of $36,000 — and we are dependent on your support to finance them. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this request.

On behalf of everyone at Wellspring, I wish you and your families, whether near or far, a joyful Christmas season. We pray that the love of the baby Jesus will fill your heart with his arrival on Christmas morning, and remain with you and yours in the year to come.

Sincerely,

Rob Taylor, on behalf of the Board

Thank you for your generous help and prayers

Thank you for your generous help and prayers for Wellspring Cultural Foundation in 2017. Without you, we could not accomplish so much today while setting the stage for greater things in the years to come.

In 2017, you helped Ernescliff College host a wide array of activities for high school boys, including a trip to Nicaragua to work with people there to improve the facilities of a parish church. At Ernescliff, we welcomed university students from Canada and around the world, offering them an environment to help them succeed in their studies, supplement their university education and make friendships that last a lifetime.

Your donations also enabled the wide range of Opus Dei’s spiritual activities for men in the GTA and throughout South Western Ontario.

Our project to rebuild Ernescliff continues to move forward. We look forward to paying off Ernescliff’s debt by 2022 and then move into reconstruction. We are getting closer every day while still requiring greater donor assistance to make our dream of a new Ernescliff come true. We are confident that we are on the right track and our dreams will become reality.

Of course, we were saddened in early 2018 by the death of Fr. Gregory Haddock, who had lived at Ernescliff for more than 20 years. His warmth, gentleness and kindness impressed everyone who knew him. His physical decline over the last 10 years because of Parkinson’s disease and then cancer in the final weeks of his life was heartbreaking, but he impressed everyone with his good humour and acceptance of his sufferings and limitations. We pray for him and for his help for the work we do at Ernescliff with young men.

Thank you again for another wonderful year. We are blessed with so many friends like you who are committed to the success of Wellspring today and in the years to come.

Kind regards,

Robert Taylor
President
Wellspring Cultural Foundation

Msgr Gregory Haddock will be remembered

On Thursday, January 4, 2018 Msgr. Gregory Haddock passed away peacefully at the age of 83 after a long illness that he bore with a Christian spirit and after having received the Anointing of the Sick. For more than 50 years he faithfully and generously served the Church in his priestly ministry.

Msgr. Gregory Haddock, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, died on January 4, 2018 in Toronto.

Msgr. Haddock was born on October 2, 1934, in the Bronx, New York. He was athletic and loved track and field events. His specialty was the 400 meter relay, for which he won a couple of medals. He also enjoyed playing the piano and singing.

Thanks to a full academic scholarship he did his university studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, graduating with a degree in Physics. During the last two years of his studies he was a regular contributor to The Ionian, the student newspaper. Following graduation he spent some years working on different aspects of the U.S. space program in Washington, DC and Boston.

On a trip to a centre of Opus Dei in Boston in 1957 he saw clearly that God was calling him to seek holiness as a numerary member of Opus Dei. In 1961 he went to Rome to pursue a doctorate in Philosophy at the Lateran University and to receive formation at the Roman College of the Holy Cross, which is the international seminary of Opus Dei. He was ordained a priest of Opus Dei on August 8, 1965.

While in Rome he had the good fortune to live close to St. Josemaria. He was able to attend many get togethers with Opus Dei’s founder and on one occasion had the chance to serve his mass.

He returned to the U.S. in 1966 and spent 15 years exercising his pastoral ministry in centres and corporate works of Opus Dei in Boston, New York and Washington. In 1981 he moved to Canada to be the chaplain of the first centre of Opus Dei in Toronto. He remained in Toronto for 4 years and then in 1985, he was appointed Regional Vicar for Canada of the Opus Dei Prelature. He spent the next 13 years living at the Canadian headquarters of Opus Dei in Montreal.

In 1998 he returned to Toronto as the chaplain of Ernescliff College and carried out pastoral work in all the different apostolates of the Prelature in the Greater Toronto Area. He was much loved and sought after as a spiritual director. He was known for his warmth, kindness and good humour, as well as for the wise and practical advice that he would impart in spiritual direction.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008. He bore the progression of the disease over the years with total trust and abandonment in Our Lord, seeing it as a manifestation of the will of God.

Visitation will be held on Monday, January 8th from 3 to 6 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cardinal Funeral Home, 366 Bathurst Street, Toronto. The funeral Mass will take place on on Tuesday, January 9th at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Cathedral, 65 Bond Street, Toronto. Burial at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Wellspring Cultural Foundation, 156 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2G1.

Link for donations to Wellspring Cultural Foundation is click here.

Happy Christmas

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As the end of the year approaches, many of us think about the Christmas holidays and everything surrounding them. At Ernescliff, students turn their minds to exams, term papers and assignments.

By living at Ernescliff, they have positioned themselves well for academic success. Hard work is vital for students and the environment at Ernescliff helps them study. Even more, they benefit from an environment where they can make friends and find support among fellow students from around the world.

Students, like so many of us, struggle with time management but you would be impressed to see our students at Ernescliff, hard at work in the study room, where silence is the rule.

The residents congregate there because they know there is only one thing everyone is doing there – studying. It is THE place for them to make the best use of their study hours.

Ernescliff makes it easy to concentrate on your studies. It’s location and services are remarkable. The friendly spirit is a gift residents appreciate. The study room’s contribution to the study atmosphere is not necessarily something that gets a lot of attention – but it is a vital contribution to their success.

Your donations make the operation and future expansion of Ernescliff possible. The study room atmosphere embodies how we work with them to do well in school – and prepare them to contribute to their family and society – whether here or in the country from which they came.

We hope that at this time of year when so many of you generously help Wellspring that you will consider making a special donation to support our work in preparing tomorrow’s leaders to build a world founded on service and solidarity.

Yours truly,

Rob Taylor, on behalf of the Board.

Wellspring Cultural Foundation News

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Pope Francis Receives New Prelate
On March 3rd, the Holy Father received Msgr. Ocariz, the new Prelate of Opus Dei, for a short audience.
“Monsignor Ocáriz made known to him the unanimous union of all the faithful of the Prelature with the Holy Father, and informed him of the pastoral priorities set by the Congress for the upcoming years: the family, youth, and an active concern for the most needy. Pope Francis thanked him for the Prelature’s apostolic efforts throughout the world especially the spiritual care provided each person, fostering ecumenism in countries with a minority Catholic population, and projects of social integration. He also urged the Prelate to give priority to a specific “periphery: middle class people and the professional and intellectual sectors that are distant from God.”

The above paragraph was taken from the regular newsletter sent out from Opus Dei. (If you would like to receive these newsletters, please follow this link www.opusdei.us/en-us/newsletter to subscribe.) The programs and activities that run in Ontario with Wellspring’s support focus on all of these areas.

Summer Youth Programs
The goal of these programs is to help participants to integrate faith into their daily lives, by learning about their potential and the impact they can have in society. If you are interested in these programs for yourselves, your family members or your friends, more information is available at [www.ernescliff.ca]www.ernescliff.ca.

One example is this summer’s suite of youth programs:

Leadership week for Grade 9 students in Quebec City, July 10-16 & July 24-30.
Service project for Grade 10 students at L’Arche in Quebec City, July 17-22.
Service project for Grade 11 and 12 students in Nicaragua, August 12-21.

There are also camps organized by parents for boys age 9 – 13:

Knights Quest at Port Burwell, July 9-14.
Camp Caribou at Barry’s Bay, August 26-Sept 1.

Cedarcrest Renovations
Finally, Cedarcrest retreat and conference centre is fully operational after a year-long, major renovation. Retreats are being held now and the schedule can be found here: www.cedarcrestretreats.org.

Rob Taylor, on behalf of the Wellspring board.

Wellspring Strategic Plan

We are passing through a momentous time in the life of Opus Dei, with the sudden death of the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria, in December. For so many of us, he was a familiar face and a reassuring voice – a true father.

With the grace of God, the elective congress, held in Rome on January 23, nominated Msgr. Fernando Ocariz as the new Prelate. In response Pope Francis appointed him Prelate that same day. Msgr. Ocariz’ first letter to the faithful and friends of Opus Dei can be found at http://www.opusdei.org/en/document/letter-from-the-prelate-31-january-2017/.

There is more change to come on the local level, too. This year we are beginning to implement Wellspring’s five-year strategic plan. One of the goals is to eliminate Wellspring’s debt by 2021, which would enable us at that point to launch the Ernescliff Reconstruction Project. As you know, the Ernescliff Reconstruction Project is key to the long-term flourishing of the Work in Toronto and Ontario.

Accordingly, we are asking all of our friends to consider making a special financial commitment to the success of this crucial initiative. Someone will be in touch with you to explain in more detail and to see whether you would be willing to do so. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or comments.

The prayers, sacrifices and donations of our friends have encouraged us to think big. We envision a steady stream of men and high school students benefiting from the wonderful activities that are provided with Wellspring’s support, for many years to come. We hope you will join us in realizing that vision, and we thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,
Rob Taylor
President, Wellspring Cultural Foundation

Pope Francis Names Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz Prelate of Opus Dei

PRESS RELEASES AND STATEMENTS Jan. 23, 2017

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This evening, Pope Francis confirmed Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz as the new Prelate of Opus Dei, following his election earlier in the day during the elective congress.

With this appointment, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, who until now has been Auxiliary Vicar of Opus Dei, becomes the third successor of Saint Josemaria at the head of the Prelature, following the death of Bishop Javier Echevarría this past December 12th.

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz was born in Paris on October 27, 1944, in a Spanish family exiled in France due to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The youngest of eight children, he graduated from the University of Barcelona with a degree in Physical Sciences in 1966. He received a licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1969 and a doctorate in Theology from the University of Navarra in 1971, the year he was ordained a priest. In his first years as a priest he was especially involved in ministry to young people and university students.

He is a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (since 1986), as well as other departments of the Roman Curia: the Congregation for the Clergy (since 2003) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization (since 2011). He has been a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy since 1989. In the 1980s, he was among the professors who began the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he was a tenured professor (now emeritus) in Fundamental Theology.

He has published two important works on Christology: Hijos de Dios en Cristo. Introducción a una teología de la participación sobrenatural and El misterio de Jesucristo. The second title (co-authored with Lucas F. Mateo Seco and José Antonio Riestra) is available in English as The Mystery of Jesus Christ. Other publications include Amar con obras: a Dios y a los hombres and Naturaleza, gracia y gloria, with a preface by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. In 2013, Rafael Serrano’s extensive interview with him was published under the title Sobre Dios, la Iglesia y el mundo. He has also published two philosophical works: El marxismo: teoría y práctica de una revolución and Voltaire: tratado sobre la tolerancia. In addition, he has authored numerous theological and philosophical articles.

Since 1994 he has been the Vicar General of Opus Dei, and in 2014 he was named Auxiliary Vicar of the Prelature. Over the past 22 years he has accompanied the previous Prelate, Bishop Javier Echevarría, on his pastoral trips to more than 70 countries. In the 1960s, as a theology student, he lived in Rome alongside Saint Josemaría, the Founder of Opus Dei. From a young age he has been an avid tennis player, which he still enjoys.

In the upcoming days, the new Prelate will propose the names of his vicars to the congress participants, as well as the other new members of the councils that will assist him during the next eight years.

Photos of Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz:
Mons. Fernando Ocáriz, prelado del Opus Dei

More information on the elective congress:
http://opusdei.org/en/section/elective-congress-2017/

Bishop Javier Echevarria has passed away

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At 9:20 p.m. (Rome time) on December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bishop Javier Echevarria, the prelate of Opus Dei, passed away. He was 84. He was the second successor of St. Josemaria Escriva, Opus Dei’s founder.

The auxiliary vicar of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocariz, administered the sacrament of the sick a few hours before his death.

Bishop Echevarria had been hospitalized on Dec. 5th at the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital in Rome because of an infection in his lungs.

He was receiving antibiotics to combat the infection. In the last hours, complications arose which caused difficulty in his breathing and ultimately resulted in his death.

As is provided for in the statutes of the Prelature, the ordinary governance of the Prelature now falls to the auxiliary vicar, Monsignor Fernando Ocariz. In accord with the statutes, it falls to him to convoke an elective congress which will elect the new prelate. The congress has to take place within three months, and after the election occurs, it must be confirmed by the Pope.

Bishop Echevarria was born in 1932 in Madrid, and it was there that he met St. Josemaria Escriva. He was St. Josemaria’s secretary from 1953 to 1975. He was later appointed secretary general for Opus Dei and in 1994 was elected prelate. On January 6, 1995, he was ordained bishop by St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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Biography of Bishop Javier Echevarria

Bishop Javier Echevarria was born in Madrid on June 14, 1932, the youngest of eight children. He attended a primary school of the Marianist Fathers in San Sebastian and continued his education in Madrid at a school run by the Marist Brothers.

In 1948, at a student residence, he met some young members of Opus Dei. Feeling that he was called by God to seek holiness in ordinary life, he asked to be admitted to Opus Dei on Sept. 8 of that year.

He began studies in law at the University of Madrid and continued in Rome where he received a doctorate in canon law in 1953 at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas (also known as the Angelicum), and a doctorate in civil law at the Pontifical Lateran University in 1955.

Echevarria received priestly ordination on August 7, 1955. He worked closely with St. Josemaria Escriva and was his secretary from 1953 until the founder’s death in 1975.

In 1975, when Alvaro del Portillo succeeded St. Josemaria, Monsignor Echevarria was appointed secretary general of Opus Dei. In 1982 he was appointed vicar general.

After the death of Blessed Alvaro in 1994, Echevarria was elected prelate of Opus Dei, and on January 6 of the following year he was ordained bishop by St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.

From the beginning of his ministry as prelate, his priorities were evangelization in the areas of the family, youth and culture. He oversaw the beginning of the Prelature’s stable formational activities in sixteen countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. He traveled to all the continents to stimulate the evangelizing work carried out by the faithful and the cooperators of Opus Dei. He encouraged the founding of numerous institutions dedicated to immigrants, the sick and the marginalized, and he gave especial attention to a number of centers for the care of the terminally ill.

Recurring themes in his catechetical trips and in his pastoral ministry were the love of Jesus Christ on the cross, fraternal love, service to those around us, the importance of grace and the Word of God, family life, and union with the Pope. In his last pastoral letter, in fact, besides expressing thanks for the audience he had with Pope Francis on November 7, he asked — as always — that the members and friends of Opus Dei accompany the Pope with prayers for his person and intentions.

He wrote many pastoral letters and a number of spiritual books, such as Itinerarios de vida cristiana (Paths of Christian Life), Para servir a la Iglesia (Serving the Church), Getsemaní (Gethsemane), Eucaristía y vida cristiana (The Eucharist and Christian Life), Vivir la Santa Misa (Living the Mass) y Creo, creemos (I Believe, We Believe). His last book is a collection of meditations about the works of mercy, which is entitled Misericordia y vida cotidiana (Mercy and Daily Life).

He was a member of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints and of the Apostolic Signatura. He took part in Synods of Bishops in 2001, 2005, 2012 and in the Synods dedicated to the Americas (1997) and to Europe (1999).

He died in Rome on December 12, 2016.

— From the following website: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/bishop-javier-echevarria-has-passed-away/