...marks an important anniversary for a group of women I have come to like and admire very much. It is the 80th anniversary of the women's section of Opus Dei.
I'm not a member, and nor is any member of my family. But over the years I have seen the work of Opus Dei members , especially with young people. I have seen them organising young people from all sorts of backgrounds to come together to do all sorts of creative, interesting and enjoyable activities, enormously enriching their lives. I've seen volunteers from Opus Dei plunging with enthusiasm into projects getting young people to sing, write, act, create plays and books and magazines, and even run fashion shows...and all this at a time when many people have thought that the only thing you could get young people to do is hang about and do nothing in particular with the vague hope that they might at least refrain from taking drugs.
I have seen Opus Dei women who have not even realised the profound and good influence they have been on the lives of others - cheerful, prayerful, with a zest for life. I've worked with them and shared extremely enjoyable and sometimes hilarious times - and prayed with them and talked with them and found common sense and true faith. This weekend I'll be lighting a candle to give thanks for the work that has been achieved these 80 years, and praying that the work may flourish and prosper.