Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik talks with Fr. Stefan Moszoro-Dąbrowski, a regional vicar of Opus Dei in Poland
FR. PAWEŁ RYTEL-ANDRIANIK: – Pope Francis announced beatification of the first prelate of Opus Dei – bishop Alvaro del Portillo. I will ask a straightforward question: Does Opus Dei mean people of the Church for ‘special tasks’?
FR. STEFAN MOSZORO- DĄBROWSKI: – Definitely, yes. I am saying it with a tongue in cheek, although on the basis of a curriculum of bishop Alvaro del Portillo. Three PhD thesis from different spheres: engineering, law and history. A prominently clever man. However, when he was asked what he was proud of the most, answered that of the fact that he is a spiritual child of St. Josemaria Escriva, a founder of Opus Dei. He engaged all talents in realization of his vocation. Let’s remember that every man is called for ‘special tasks’ which are entrusted to him by God. The condition of their realization is submission to His will. Bishop Alvaro often emphasized an absolute necessity of humility in order to serve to the Church effectively.
– Does humility go together with conditions of the contemporary world?
– Note: saying about humility, I do not mean mediocrity. I do not agree with a popular saying in Poland that in every institution – and the Church is also the institution – people are successful in the BMW way, that is: blind, mediocre but worthy. Well, bishop Alvaro is a negation of this formula. He was prominent but if he wanted to be worthy, he was trying to be effective. He is going to be beatified not because of his talents but because he used them from love to God, in order to serve others. He was the closest cooperator of the founder of Opus Dei, his confessor and advisor for 30 years. When John Paul II established Opus Dei a personal prelature, a kind of military Ordinariate, he nominated Fr. Alvaro the first prelate. Later the Polish pope ordained him a bishop.
– How does Priest remember visits of bishop Alvaro in Poland?
– Being in Poland in 1979 for the first time, he visited cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Unfortunately, I was not accompanying him at that time…I would draw attention to August 1991 among later visits…I was with him for three days during the World Youth’s Days at Jasna Góra. I saw him praying, being interesting in every man, how he loved pope John Paul II about whom he spoke that he was not only the Holy Father but a Saint Father. He had arrived in Poland in 1993, literally for a few months before his death. He was very glad about the development of Opus Dei in our country, seeing, how people of various environments understood the essence of the message of St. Josemaria.
– What is the charism Opus Dei based on?
– It concerns understanding one’s own life in the key of vocation. It gives a completely new look at life and the surrounding world. Work, family, friendship take Divine dimension. They become a place of following Jesus. There one also discovers apostolic tasks- being salt and light for colleagues, become a readable and understandable Gospel for them. Life becomes Divine adventure, ‘a special task’ as we said in the beginning. Such was the life of bishop Alvaro del Portillo, therefore, one of his biographies is entitled: ‘Mision cumplida’ – A task completed!’