Women of Opus Dei: In Their Own Words

Overview

A doctor, a professor, a dancer, a stay-at-home mom, and a marketing executive are some of the inspiring women portrayed in this collection that describes the women of Opus Dei, a Roman Catholic organization composed of clergy and lay members dedicated to fostering Christian principles at all levels of society. Each essay, interview, and profile in this compilation explores facets of Opus Dei that are unfamiliar to many. The DaVinci Code and other popular entertainments have whetted the interest in this ...

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Overview

A doctor, a professor, a dancer, a stay-at-home mom, and a marketing executive are some of the inspiring women portrayed in this collection that describes the women of Opus Dei, a Roman Catholic organization composed of clergy and lay members dedicated to fostering Christian principles at all levels of society. Each essay, interview, and profile in this compilation explores facets of Opus Dei that are unfamiliar to many. The DaVinci Code and other popular entertainments have whetted the interest in this controversial organization, and promulgated many assumptions that members of the organization contest. The women portrayed in this collection encompass an inspiring—and, for some, surprising—segment of a Catholic institution that encourages women around the globe to develop their skills and talents to the fullest and to be engaged in the world. Single, celibate women and those raising families describe their first encounters with Opus Dei, what made them decide to join, and how it transforms and orders their daily lives. Relevant information on the organization and workings of Opus Dei, its structure, and some of the key practices of the members are also discussed.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An honest appraisal from women who know Opus Dei from the inside out."  —Publishers Weekly

"I loved these women! From changing diapers, to Harvard medical internships, to the top of a Tibetan mountain, they show all women how to confront the ordinary circumstances of life with extraordinary joy. Whether former atheists or cradle-Catholics, they have discovered a path that will inspire any woman who longs for a deeper way to deal with her days."  —Delia Gallagher, Vatican analyst and former CNN faith and values correspondent

"Perhaps no part of contemporary Roman Catholicism has been more misunderstood and misconstrued than has Opus Dei, especially in the days since the publication of the popular bestseller, The DaVinci Code. This collection of interviews and autobiographical statements, by contrast, offers its readers not only a sympathetic, but also a very informative, presentation of the prelature and is to be highly recommended to those who are interested in this influential organization."  —Phyllis Tickle, author, The Divine Hours

Publishers Weekly

The Catholic group Opus Dei (Latin for "work of God") emerges in this compact collection of essays and interviews as an entity that gives its female members a deep sense of purpose amid ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. Whether they are stay-at-home mothers or professionals in academia and business, these women tell of lives changed by their faith and what they commonly refer to as "the Work." Opus Dei members, according to founder St. Josemaría Escrivá, aspire to be "contemplative souls in the midst of the world who try to convert their work into prayer." They do this through offering their work to Christ and following a spiritual regimen of daily prayer and regular theological development programs. Excerpts from Escrivá's writings and an explanation of the group's structure help fill out the selected narratives. Readers looking for the kind of intrigue found in The Da Vinci Code's treatment of this group won't find it here, but they will get an honest appraisal from women who know Opus Dei from the inside out. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824524258
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

M. T. Oates is a writer and communications consultant. Her writings have appeared in numerous publications including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and The Washington Times. She lives in New York City. Linda Ruf is a certified public accountant and an authority on The Da Vinci Code as it relates to the teachings of the Catholic Church and Opus Dei. She is the mother of six and lives with her husband and family in Chicago, IL. Jenny Driver, MD, is a staff physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She lives in Boston, MA.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Susan Mangels 9

Acknowledgments 15

Preface Barbara Kay 17

Introduction 25

1 Children of Their Father God: The Equality of Men and Women 31

2 From Toxicity to Transcendence: St. Josemaría and Contemplation in the Workplace 35

3 Called to Seek Holiness Everywhere and at All Times 47

4 "From Street Cleaners to Presidents of Universities": Interview with the National Director of Human Resources for Opus Dei's Women's Programs in the United States 50

5 "I Want to Love God with All My Heart": The Story of a Founder of the U.S. Hospice Movement 67

6 How Opus Dei Serves People 72

7 Dancing Hula in the Quest for Holiness: By a Stanford Graduate and Mother of Six 75

8 Intellectual Humility: By a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry 83

9 In the Presence of God: Interview with a Top Marketing Executive 93

10 One Way among Many in the Universal Call to Holiness 100

11 Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: Interview with a Wife, Mother of Four, and Business Owner 104

12 The Preeminence of the Christian Family 116

13 What God Wants Me to Do: Interview with a Cuban Refugee, Harvard Graduate, Wife, Mother of Twelve, and Executive Director of a Crisis Pregnancy Center 122

14 Loving God and Serving Others: By a Hospitality Professional 136

15 The Role of Married Women: Supernumeraries 148

16 Living the Beatitudes: Interview with a Peruvian Immigrant and Childcare Provider 151

17 All Professions Are Open 160

18 Changing Diapers for God: MIT Graduate Who Raises Her Eight Children Full-Time 163

19 Prayer, the Sacraments, and the Christian Spirit of Sacrifice and Poverty 182

20 What Happened? FromAtheistic Radical Feminist to Stay-at-Home Catholic Mom 187

21 Apostolic Celibacy 194

22 Finding a Vocation: Interview with a Hospitality Professional 196

23 "Every Single Thing Matters to Him": Interview with a Retired New York City Public School Teacher 206

24 Conclusion 220

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