History of Opus Dei in Australia

Opus Dei began in Australia in 1963. Over the years the message of St. Josemaria has inspired thousands of Australians.

Opus Dei began in Australia in May 1963 at the invitation of the late Cardinal Gilroy. The first educational centre in Australia that entrusted the spiritual and doctrinal orientation of its activities to Opus Dei was Warrane College, a residential college for men on the campus of The University of New South Wales. Other educational projects soon asked the Prelature for spiritual and doctrinal orientation, such as Creston College, a university residence for women and Kenvale College of Hospitality, Cookery & Events.

Over the decades, thousands of people have come to know the message of St Josemaría through apostolic initiatives that have emerged in cities around Australia. In Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, evenings of recollection and classes on the Catholic faith are conducted at local churches, private homes, offices and in some educational centres that entrust the spiritual and doctrinal orientation of their activities to Opus Dei. Recollections also take place in Canberra, Newcastle/Maitland, Wollongong, Hobart and Perth.

Retreats and seminars are held in various locations, including Kenthurst Study Centre (Sydney, NSW), which hosted Pope Benedict XVI during WYD 2008, and Bargo Conference Centre (Southern Highlands, NSW).

Some of the residential colleges and youth centres that have entrusted the spiritual and doctrinal orientation of their activities to Opus Dei (such as Nairana Study Centre, Eremeran Hills Study Centre and Heathgrove Study Centre) organise community outreach programs locally and abroad and conduct service projects to rural Australia and countries such as Fiji, Vietnam, The Philippines and India.

In 2001 the Archdiocese of Melbourne entrusted the Parish of St Mary Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, to priests of Opus Dei. Currently serving as Parish Priest is Fr Anthony Bernal.

The Vicar of Opus Dei for Australia and New Zealand is Father Iñigo Martínez-Echevarria, based in Sydney.

Enquiries about Opus Dei and its apostolic activities in Australia can be directed to the Opus Dei Information Office on 0407 400 890.