Opus Dei

Opus Dei is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1928 by the Spanish priest Josemaria Escrivcriva, who preached that lay people can and should seek holiness in their work and everyday lives. Despite criticisms from within the Church of the doctrine that sanctity can be found without leaving the world (and not exclusively as a priest or in a religious order or congregation), in 1943 Opus Dei was approved by the Vatican as a new pastoral phenomenon. After World War II, the work spread to other countries, reaching Canada in 1957. Many of the teachings of Opus Dei found expression in the pronouncements of Vatican II. In 1982 Pope John Paul II made Opus Dei a personal prelature and appointed Msgr (now Bishop) Alvaro de Portillo as its first prelate. The Pope beatified the founder in 1992. Opus Dei now numbers more than 1500 priests and more than 75 000 members in over 50 countries. In Canada there are centres of Opus Dei in several cities, with some 550 members of the prelature, including 13 priests. The Very Rev Gregory Haddock is the Canadian Regional Vicar.