Pope Francis has named Mons. Fernando Ocáriz Braña Prelate of Opus Dei. The Holy Father confirmed the election of the Prelature’s third elective congress on the same day it took place.
With this appointment, Mons. 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.
Mons. 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.
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 1960’s, 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.
Read more at the Opus Dei website.