Friday, May 19, 2006


Why include info re: OPUS DEI in this GENEALOGY BLOG?
I've been asked this question by several readers so it's worth explaining the relationship between the two.
Through the years, our French-Canadian & Franco-American ancestors and present-day relatives have, for the most part, been Catholics. As such, families often consisted of a dozen or so children, especially in Québec, and the parents expected one or more of them to enter the RC priesthood or a religious community. As time went on, the practice and influence of religion changed due to the Quiet Revolution in Québec. With this change, Secular Institutes became more popular than religious communities; therefore, hundreds of Québecers joined these Institutes, which, for the most part, required yearly vows of their members rather than Final Vows as were pronounced in religious communities. Secular Institutes allowed its members to live "within the world" without being "part of it." At that time, OPUS DEI was a Secular Institute that attracted members from the French-Canadian and Franco-American Catholic population. Although the status of OPUS DEI within the church has changed from a Secular Institute to a Personal Prelature, it still is part of our Québec heritage. For this reason and because of its presend-day popularity, I found it was important to have a member explain how she lives as a member of OPUS DEI. It's the social aspect of this organization that is of interest to us since our ancestors and living relatives may have had contact with it or even be members.
For more information about
click on the ORANGE title above.


  1. Libby3:02 PM

    Muriel: I asked my parochial vicar and this is his response.

    Libby, I would think of Opus Dei as a diocese with no territory. it has a bishop (the prelate) and priests and members of the lay faithful, as any diocese would. Membership is not based on territory but on the person, hence a PERSONAL prelature. Why have a personal prelature then? Personal prelatures were mentioned first at the Second Vatican Council and then in the 1983 Code of Canon Law to serve various needs of the Church. Opus Dei strives to teach people to live holiness in the ordinary circumstances of their lives.
    It is not a religious order and should not be confused with one. I hope this helps.

  2. Libby1:11 PM

    A good site that talks about "Jesus Decoded" that responds to the DaVinci Code