About Father John Masso
Monsignor John Masso was born in Barcelona, Spain, on 17 June 1932, to a deeply Christian family of eight children. He learned his English from a year spent in Ireland as a schoolboy and went on to study commerce at the University of Barcelona with the intention of working in his father's chemical business. In 1951, he discovered his vocation to Opus Dei. His initial plans changed when St Josemaría Escrivá asked him if he would like to become a priest. He left the management of the business, completed his studies for the priesthood and was ordained on 8 August 1965. He arrived in Australia in 1967 and in 1969 he became the Regional Vicar of Opus Dei.
Father John, as he was known to everyone, worked tirelessly to spread the message of holiness in the middle of everyday life. He patiently encouraged countless people to serve God and others cheerfully and creatively. As a result there are many educational centres for youth and activities of spiritual formation inspired by Opus Dei in a number of cities in Australia and New Zealand. Father John was a zealous priest who radiated joy and optimism. He had a great knack for friendship and hundreds of people, including many non-Catholics, sought his advice. Every week he would spend many hours in an office in Sydney's CBD giving spiritual direction and hearing confessions. His advice was down-to-earth, demanding and deeply supernatural. He was a talented preacher and his retreats helped listeners grasp their dignity as children of God and the responsibility that went with it.
His final illness, an aggressive lung cancer, caught him unawares during a course he was attending in Buenos Aires with the Prelate of Opus Dei. He was taken to the hospital of the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. Even from his hospital bed he spread prayerful optimism and good cheer and offered his suffering for the apostolate of Opus Dei in Australia and New Zealand. He died peacefully after receiving the sacraments of the Church on Sunday, 14 December 2003.