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Thursday, April 12, 2018

A HAPPY MARRIAGE | Tomás and Paquita (with Postscript by Brigid)

Paquita (L) Dominguez and Tomás Alvira, seated, with their children..
I have just received a copy of a book written by my sister, Olga Emily Marlin. Titled Our Lives in His Handsit is based on Olga's translations of two books in Spanish by Antonio Vázquez, as well as her own research and her lifelong working association with the youngest of the couple's nine children, Concha Alvira.

New Book by Olga Emily Marlin
(New York: Scepter, 2018)
Just released by New York City-based Scepter Publishers, the book has 33 chapters on the life shared by this Spanish Catholic couple – Paquita Dominguez and Tomás Alvira. They are Concha's parents, and the case for their beatification is being made in Rome. They were the first married members of Opus Dei. The book is a defense of the institution of marriage as well as a celebration of married life as the center of the traditional social network.

The Foreword by Harvard Law School Professor Mary Ann Glendon (former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See) puts the book in the context of the fraying of the threads of a society challenged by those who believe that traditional marriage is constricting rather than enabling.

This book deserves more thought than I have given it so far in the few hours since it arrived in my mailbox from Scepter. But I am impressed enough to order two more and I am sure I will order again in a larger quantity.

The book is about the parents of Olga's co-worker and friend Concha. Olga earlier wrote about her own story, with Concha featured in it, in To Africa with a Dream. It was published by Scepter in 2002 and was republished in a revised second edition by Boissevain Books in 2012.

Olga herself is featured as the eldest daughter in fictionalized family biography, The Mitchells trilogy, published originally by Viking Press and republished by Bethlehem Books.

Meanwhile, here is a short YouTube clip about the couple. It is in Spanish.

Postscript (May 8, 2018): Here is a review of the book by my sister Brigid, to whom I brought a copy of the book on my visit to England in April:
BRIGID MARLIN ON OUR LIVES IN HIS HANDS 
I'm so proud of my sister Olga! 
I have finished her book on Concha's parents (Our Lives in His Hands, Scepter 2018), Tomás Alvira and Paquita Dominguez and was deeply moved. She has done such a good job, turning each chapter into a slightly different subject, and grouping it all to tell an ongoing story which flows so well that the book is hard to put down.
Paquita with baby José Maria.
It is a heart-warming testimonial to two really great people, one working in the world and pouring out his love to all those he met, and the wife giving up her individual personal ambitions to create a perfect home for husband and children. 
I am glad that their case for being beatified is going forward in the Vatican. The world needs such an example of spiritual life, especially when traditional family life is being challenged!
When I finished the book I felt very proud to have such a talented sister! 
I loved the photos and found the one of baby José Maria ecstatic in his mother's arms (see photo) so moving, knowing how short his little life was going to be.