The reference to ‘little’ London came from the then-Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria, during a trip to Canada in the early 2000s. In 1990, the first member of Opus Dei moved to London. Louis St. Clement is an engineer originally from Spain. The Kemmerlings, a family of German farmers who knew of Opus Dei from their homeland, soon followed, moving to Fingal, in the London region. Both Henry and Marie-Therese Kemmerling would travel to Toronto for activities and spiritual assistance. But the distances started getting shorter. From Toronto, they could eventually go to activities in Brampton, then Kitchener. Finally, in 1995, Opus Dei activities for men and women started in London.
Recollections for men and women were initially held in various London parish churches. They settled at St. Peter’s Cathedral for a decade and then moved to St. Michael’s Parish where they remain to this day.
Another major milestone was the launch of Family Catechism in 1988. Initially small, it has grown over the decades to well over 100 attendees every month including parents and children. It has also branched out to surrounding towns.
Today there is a wide range of activities in the region, including Knights Quest summer boys camp, Anchor summer girls camp, boys and girls clubs during the school year, marriage conferences, men’s conferences and women’s conferences.
The growth in the number of people attending activities and seeking spiritual assistance has driven the most recent development, the addition of a rented house in London, affectionately known as White Hills. It serves as the meeting point and base for activities across the region.
From its small beginnings, the Work in ‘little’ London continues to grow and develop. The sky is the limit!