Volume 15 of Studia et Documenta

The Istituto Storico San Josemaría Escrivá has published volume 15 of the journal Studia et Documenta. This issue looks at the consolidation and expansion of Opus Dei between 1951 and 1956, the years of its first two general congresses. In a certain sense, it continues the previous issue of the journal, which dealt with the development of the Work in Spain during the 1940s. Researchers from the Center for Documentation and Studies on Josemaría Escrivá (CEDEJ), including Santiago Martínez, Federico Requena, Constantino Ánchel and José Luis González Gullón, have collaborated in this issue.

Among the six studies in the monographic section, Francesc Castells and José Luis González Gullón discuss the first general congress of Opus Dei, in 1951, and include the transcription of the sessions of the Congress.

The articles by Constantino Ánchel and by María Eugenia Ossandón and María Hernández Sampelayo offer an overview of the first men and women associate members, respectively. Beginning with the approval of Opus Dei as a secular institute, Ánchel recounts the itinerary that led to the first associate members, and gives details about the first four vocations. Ossandón and Hernández Sampelayo present the historical context of the first women associates, describing in detail the formation they received and the novelty that this way of life for lay people brought to the Church.

Santiago Martínez narrates the first steps of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and the effort to explain it to the Spanish bishops. He discusses the reaction of these prelates to this new reality in the Church, which allowed the incorporation into this priestly society of clerics incardinated in their respective dioceses.

The monographic section closes with a study by Fernando Crovetto and Federico M. Requena on the international expansion of Opus Dei during the first half of the 1950s. It provides clues to understand the reasons for the choice of these countries and a description of those who played a leading role.

Federico M. Requena analyzes the juridical figure of secular institutes and how Opus Dei went from being considered a model for these new entities to the realization that this figure was not adapted to its nature. He pays special attention to the relationship between an enthusiastic promoter of secular institutes in the United States, Joseph E. Haley, and José Luis Múzquiz.

The documentary section includes two articles. Alfredo Méndiz narrates an account of a trip by José Luis Múzquiz to Portugal in 1941. And Luis Cano presents some texts from Josemaría Escrivá’s preaching and talks with groups of people in 1970 in which he dealt with a wide range of topics related to the spiritual life and the situation of the world and the Church.

The bibliographical section offers reviews of 9 books and a list of publications by and about the current Prelate of Opus Dei, Fernando Ocáriz, between 1972 and 2013.

Romana, n. 72, January-June 2021, p. 92-93.

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