Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Leadership Forum

What is a Session?

A "session" is a gathering of men and women to hear the words of a prominent community leader, on a topic of contemporary importance, and on the application of Judeo-Christian principles to daily life, as a family member, professional, and citizen.

John F. Coverdale

SAXUM – The Latin word means rock and is the nickname that St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, be- stowed on Alvaro del Portillo. Don Alvaro, as he came to be known, was for many years the founder’s closest associate as well as his successor and first Prelate of Opus Dei after it became a Personal Prelature.

Written in anticipation of Bishop del Portillo’s September 2014 beatification, the book is a fact-filled biography set against the background of historic events like the Spanish Civil War and Vatican Council II. It depicts a person of unshakable integrity and conviction who set aside a promising engineering career to follow the vision embodied in Opus Dei. Don Alvaro emerges in these pages as a tower of strength, reliability, and good humor in the face of a host of threats and challenges that might well have defeated a lesser man.

John Coverdale, an attorney and historian, is the author of two other books detailing the early days of Opus Dei — Uncommon Faith, about St. Josemaria and his companions during and shortly after the civil war in Spain, and Putting Down Roots, about Father Joseph Muzquiz, one of Opus Dei’s first priests, who played a key role in introducing it in the United States.