Prelate of Opus Dei and Honorary UA&P Grand Chancellor Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz met with the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) officials on the afternoon of August 2. UA&P President Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog expressed the University’s gratitude to its Honorary Grand Chancellor for fulfilling his promise of visiting the Philippines someday. The President assured him of the prayers and closeness of UA&P to the Prelate of Opus Dei.
Msgr. Ocáriz reminded the UA&P officials of what St. Josemaría Escrivá said to the men who were putting up the University of Navarre in Spain: that the important thing is to sanctify themselves while accomplishing the task of building a university. The third successor of St. Josemaría as head of Opus Dei mentioned in his message to the men and women holding leadership positions in UA&P the primacy of persons, which implies the practice of justice and charity in their dealings with the people who depend on them.
The Prelate highlighted unity, UA&P’s motto, in the conduct of work in the University. “There has to be a distinction of functions, but there has to be unity… Be open to collaborating with others,” he asserted. He emphasized the need for those in governance to observe collegiality and be open to others. He acknowledged the sacrifices that go with governance positions and said they are necessary for the good of all.
The UA&P President presented Msgr. Ocáriz with the University Medallion, a necklace containing the emblems of the three UA&P hallmarks with the UA&P seal as its centerpiece. The Board of Trustees of the UA&P Dragons Alumni Association gave the Prelate a box frame containing the exquisite pioneer weaves of the UA&P becas (sash) woven by the Yakan tribe of Brgy. Badja, Tipo-tipo, Basilan.
After the meeting, Msgr. Ocariz was met outside the Dining Halls in a real show of Unitas by the ecstatic crowd of UA&P faculty members, administrative staff, alumni, college students, and preschool children. The UA&P Wildfire (drumline) heightened the crowd’s excitement as the percussionists let out their loudest cheers amidst the deafening drum beats, ushering the Prelate to his next engagement.
The meeting with Msgr. Ocáriz was a singular event that gathered in one place UA&P co-founders Dr. Jesus Estanislao and Dr. Bernardo Villegas, former CRC/UA&P presidents Atty. Henry Esteban and Dr. Jose Maria Mariano, as well as the Board of Trustees, the Management Committee, the Operations Committees, and the Managing Directors, all decked in Filipiniana, to welcome the man they call the Father.