Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Jul 2013
26 Jul 2013
"I am every day more convinced that happiness in Heaven is for those who know how to be happy on earth," - St Josemaria Escriva.
The words of the founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaria Escriva, could well have been in the thoughts of the many, many family, friends, colleagues, students and brother priests of Fr Amin Abboud when they attended his Requiem Mass today. They knew him to be happy - and holy. They also knew him to be intelligent, hard-working, good company and a faithful son of the Prelature of Opus Dei.
Fr Amin was attending a spiritual retreat at Kenthurst Study Centre when he suffered a heart attack and died suddenly on 19th July.
Today they came in their thousands to St Mary's Cathedral for the Requiem Mass celebrated by His Excellency Most Rev. Paul Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio in Australia and concelebrated by Most Rev. Antoine Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia and Rev. Mgr. Victor Martinez, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei for Australia and New Zealand along with a number of Fr Amin's fellow Opus Dei priests and priests of the Sydney Archdiocese and Parramatta Diocese.
At the beginning of the mass the Apostolic Nuncio told everyone present including Fr Amin's parents Phillip and Salma that the Holy Father sent his thoughts and prayers.
Monsignor Victor Martinez, with whom Fr Amin, 48, worked in the governance of Opus Dei in Sydney said in his homily that today was one of the hardest in his life.
He spoke of Fr Amin's studies to become a doctor, his great intellect, his decision to become a priest as well as his deep spirituality, energy, optimism and dedication in his pastoral work.
Fr Amin's parents grew up in North Lebanon, moving to Sydney in 1960 where they had four children, Fr Amin being the eldest.
Studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Fr Amin graduated with first class honours.
The message of Opus Dei captivated him because he saw that he could become holy through his work as a doctor. In January 1987 he met with the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo on his pastoral visit to Australia soon after which he joined Opus Dei.
He studied philosophy and theology in Spain where he obtained a doctorate in contemporary philosophy in 2006 before being ordained a priest for the Prelature of Opus Dei on 27 May 2006 and returning to Australia the following year.
Cardinal George Pell, who knew Fr Amin well is currently in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day after leading a group of pilgrims to Peru.
However he sent the following message which was read by Monsignor Martinez:
"Naturally, it came as a great shock to us in Lima, Peru when we heard of the sudden death of Fr Amin Abboud. It was one of the last things we were expecting.
It is hard to see where the hand of God is in all this, because we might have expected Fr Amin's contribution to have continued for at least another 30 years.
We should pray for Fr Amin's soul, we should pray in thanks to the good God for Fr Amin's marvellous contribution.
We pray that all members of the work and all Fr Amin's family and friends will find consolation in their faith.
In a couple of my talks to the pilgrims I've mentioned Fr Amin, recounting his life story.
In God's eyes this story is now complete.
On both occasions I quoted an excerpt from the rule of St Benedict, "Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you".
May Fr Amin's life and death remind us to do now what we should be doing.
May he rest in peace." - Cardinal George Pell.
For his family and friends the quotation on the back of the prayer card for the repose of the soul of Fr Amin was not only something he lived but what he encouraged everyone to do -
"Don't let your life be barren, Be useful. Make yourself felt. Shine forth with the torch of your faith and your love.
"With your apostolic life, wipe out the trail of filth and slime left by the unclean sowers of hatred.
"And set aflame all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you bear in your heart." - St Josemaria Escriva, The Way.
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney