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No. 58 • January - June 2014 • Page 132

The Polytechnic University of Madrid remembers one of its alumni: Bishop del Portillo

A ceremony honoring the centennial of Bishop del Portillo’s birth and his upcoming beatification took place on January 29 in the School of Civil Engineering in Madrid (formerly the School of Public Works). The speakers were Pablo Perez Lopez, Professor of History at the University of Navarra; Jesús Martinez Alegre, dean of Madrid’s School of Engineering for Public Works; Carlos Delgado Alonso-Martirena, professor and director of the School; and Antonio Tormo, director of Beta Films and producer of the video “Saxum, Memories of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo.” The latter introduced the projection of this video. Many engineers at the School and relatives of Bishop del Portillo took part.

Some facts about Alvaro del Portillo’s stay at the school were presented, including unpublished documents such as the marks he obtained and the projects—bridges, dams, railways, etc.—on which he worked as a public works assistant in the Tajo Hydrographic Confederation, a state organization for regulating the channel of this river. Also emphasized were his efforts in his studies, his responsibilities in the projects during his short period of activity there, and the doctorate he obtained as a civil engineer in 1965 after twenty years absence from his professional career.

Pablo Pérez López, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Navarra, emphasized Bishop del Portillo’s constant endeavor to serve the Church in Opus Dei. He also said that the future blessed was “a great friend of freedom, whose life was based on freely forgetting about himself in order to put himself at the service of other people.” Don Alvaro “had a great concern for social problems all throughout his life,” he said. His life was marked by “always thinking about others” and striving to “alleviate people’s suffering.” This concern was shown, among other things, in the impetus he gave to medical research in projects such as the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) at the University of Navarra, and the Campus Biomedico in Rome.

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