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SPIRIT OF THE SCHOOL

The spirit of our school is drawn from the life and teachings of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, a priest and founder of Opus Dei ( www.opusdei.org ), a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Its mission is to help people turn their work and daily activities into occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.

Saint Josemaría Escrivá

Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain, on 9 January 1902. Ordained on 28 March 1925, he began his ministry in a rural parish, and afterwards in Saragossa. On 2 October 1928, by divine inspiration, he founded Opus Dei. From that day on he worked with all his energies to develop the foundation that God asked of him, while he continued to fulfill the various priestly responsibilities he had at that time. These brought him into daily contact with sickness and poverty in the hospitals and the poor districts of Madrid.

When the civil war broke out in 1936, Josemaría was in Madrid. The religious persecution forced him to take refuge in a variety of places. He exercised his priestly ministry in a clandestine fashion until he was finally able to leave Madrid. After escaping across the Pyrenees to southern France, he took up residence in Burgos. At the end of the war in 1939 he returned to Madrid. In the years that followed he gave many retreats to lay people, priests, and members of religious orders.

In 1946 he took up residence in Rome. There he was named consultor to two Vatican Congregations, as well as honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and prelate of honor to His Holiness. From Rome he frequently went to different countries in Europe, including Britain and Ireland, for the apostolic work of Opus Dei. It was with the same objective that, between 1970 and 1975, he made long trips to Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Guatemala, and South America, holding catechetical gatherings which large numbers of men and women attended.

He died in Rome on 26 June 1975. By then, Opus Dei had spread to five continents, with over 60,000 members of 80 nationalities. Thousands of people, including many bishops (a third of all the bishops in the world), requested that the Holy See open his cause of beatification and canonization.

On 17 May 1992, Pope John Paul II beatified Josemaría Escrivá. He proclaimed him a saint ten years later, on 6 October 2002, in St. Peter's Square, in Rome, before a great multitude. In his homily on that occasion, the Pope said: ˇ§Following in his footsteps, spread in society the awareness that we are called to holiness, without distinction of race, class, culture or age.ˇ¨

( www.escrivaworks.org )