A Personal Visit From Cardinal Errazuriz, Himself

Mara Wearden, News Editor, '14

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the Oakland Catholic community was very blessed and honored to welcome the archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Cardinal Errazuriz.  He traveled to Pittsburgh to visit Dorrie Donahue, and her new consecrated community Totus Tuus (Latin for “All Yours”), of which he is the main advisor.  Dorrie was more than delighted to meet him. “He has such a peace about him,” she told the Eagle Eye, “On a personal level he really motivates me and encourages me.”

He opened the day with a Spanish mass in the chapel at 7:20.  Many girls and teachers arrived at school early to celebrate with the Cardinal, a very rare experience.  Because he only speaks two languages, Spanish and Italian, he spoke to the upper level Spanish and Italian classes in a question-answer format.  The students prepared questions in their respective languages to ask the Cardinal.  He responded to them in the same language with the teachers translating the response into English, clarifying his answer for the students.  According to Dorrie, Cardinal Errazuriz “loved [the experience].  He enjoyed the enthusiasm of the Oakland Catholic students and the dedication of the staff.”

The students also gained great insight from the experience.  “Having the Cardinal here at OC was an incredible experience,” said Emma Anselmo, a junior in Spanish IV Honors. “It reminded me of the universality of the Church, and the importance of language.”  As Emma pointed out, the Church truly is universal.  For a man who is not only the leader of dioceses in a different continent but also a personal friend to Pope Francis to come talk to students at a small Catholic school in Pittsburgh was a humbling experience for all involved. Ultimately, Dorrie summed up the Cardinal’s visit the most succinctly: “His presence made God’s loving presence so tangible in our school.  And just think! He’s going to tell the Pope all about us.”