"I wish to make known to you and to all members of this prelature my deepest condolences," the Pope wrote Dec. 13 expressing his sympathy, "at the same time that I unite to your action of giving thanks to God for his paternal and generous witness of his priestly and episcopal life."The late bishop was born in Madrid in 1932, where he met St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic organization with the goal of growing spiritual health and discipleship among laity. Members of Opus Dei are taught to use their work and daily activities to encounter the Lord.
Bishop Echevarria would eventually become St. Josemaria's secretary from 1953 to 1975, and was ordained a priest of the prelature in 1955. He later became the secretary general of Opus Dei, and was elected prelate in 1994, being consecrated a bishop the following year.
Msgr. Fernando Ocariz, Bishop Echevarria's auxiliary, now controls the prelature's ordinary government. A successor will be nominated later.
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