The English-language version of Jose Luis Gonzalez Gullon & John Coverdale, Opus Dei, a history is being launched in London on Monday 12 December 2022 at St Wilfred’s Hall in the Brompton Oratory. All documentation that exists and is preserved about Opus Dei and its founder, as well as numerous oral testimonies, have been accessed in order to write this book.
The book consists of two volumes. The first volume takes the history of Opus Dei from the foundation in 1928 up to the start of Vatican II in 1962. The second brings the story from 1962 up to 2016 in which year the Founder’s second successor died. Copies of both will be available on sale at the launch. Volume 1 appeared earlier this year, but the launch is for both volumes.
Both authors will be flying in to be present and will speak at the event, as well as making themselves available to meet those present. Fr. José Luis González Gullón is a Spanish historian of the Church who is based at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome where he is also a member of the Historical Institute of St. Josemaría established there. He has published widely on the history of Opus Dei in Spanish. John Coverdale is an American historian and academic lawyer who worked in Rome with the founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá, during the 1960s, and has published much in English about the history of Opus Dei and about some of its early members.
The earliest members of Opus Dei to come to London in 1946 often heard Mass and prayed at the Brompton Oratory, while the first centre of Opus Dei in Britain (a flat) was established during 1947, with Cardinal Griffin’s approval, at Rutland Court in the Oratory parish (where it continued until a move was made to Hampstead in 1952). One of the Oratory Fathers would celebrate Mass once a week in the centre, at a time when there was as yet no priest of Opus Dei based in London.
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