Rosemary M. Salaz was born on May 6, 1938 in Belen, New Mexico. Her ancestors came from Spain to New Mexico in 1600 and played a significant role in the history of that territory, as told in the book New Mexico: a Brief Multi-History, written by her brother, Ruben Salaz.
In 1960, Rosemary came to Washington DC to work in the office of her grandfather's cousin, Senator Chavez of New Mexico. This was the beginning of her lifelong interest in politics!
In her own words, "By Divine Providence, I was told about Stonecrest Residence. I made an appointment to see the house and while there I visited the director. I very happily moved in the next day. It was June of 1960. It was that day that I heard the two words, Opus Dei, for the first time. Even though I did not really understand what Opus Dei was, the dedication, cheerfulness and constant work of those in the Work was easy to observe." Within the year, having felt called by God to a life of dedication in the middle of the world, she joined Opus Dei.
In 1964, Rosemary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University. Always an adventurous person, Rosemary eagerly responded to a request from the Founder of Opus Dei to begin the work in Australia. In 1965, she traveled to Rome, where she met the Founder, St. Josemaria. She was impressed by his "humanity, energy and simplicity." She felt his concern for her personality and his prayers as she and three others set off to open the first women's center of Opus Dei "down under."
Ten years later, she returned to the States and took up her professional work in institutional advancement and fundraising. She received a Master of Arts degree from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 1997. Rosemary worked joyfully in her field until her retirement in 2015. She was proud to have served on the Board of Directors of Allview Family Enrichment Center in Columbia, Maryland.
Rosemary loved music, classical and popular. Even when she was no longer able to speak, she would happily sing along with songs she had known. She died peacefully at her home on Saturday, January 15, 2022, surrounded by her Opus Dei family and the many letters, cards, and photos she received regularly from her cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will begin at 9:30am at St. Ann Catholic Church, 4001 Yuma St NW, Washington, DC 20016, where the Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:00am. Interment to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD.
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