Mrs. Joy Lanfranchi reports from Una Voce Orange County, CA:
Mr. Bob Opelle, a longtime champion for the TLM, passed away Thursday, January 5 after a brief illness. He was in Hawaii, where he had been living with his wife for several years. He had served as a leader battling for the TLM many years ago when the fight was still new.
Una Voce America adds:
Mr. Opelle was President of the Traditional Mass Society, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, for many years. The TMS was successor to the original Una Voce in the United States association that was founded and led by Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand. After von Hildebrand died in 1977, Bob diligently represented the U.S. at meetings of the international Una Voce Federation. The TMS produced a bimonthly newsletter that focused on raising consciousness of Catholics of their liturgical patrimony. Bob led national petition drives to awaken the Curia to the desires, and indeed the rights, of Catholics to have access to the traditional Mass. His final petition effort netted nearly 50,000 names and was placed directly into the hands of Pope John Paul II in 1994 by Bob himself.
I had the honor of meeting Bob while in Huntington, CA for the UVA leadership conference there in 2002. He very graciously took me on a private tour of the beautiful San Juan Capistrano area, culminating in a visit to the Mission there, and made sure I would have a place to sit for Mass on Sunday morning in the crowded historic chapel.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.
Thank you, friend.
Secretary, Una Voce America