What is Opus Dei?

It is an institution of the Catholic Church, a personal prelature, which has the task of contributing to the evangelizing mission of the Church. In particular, it aims to spread a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and the sanctifying value of ordinary work. Opus Dei was founded by St. Josemaría Escrivá on October 2, 1928.

What does the name "Opus Dei" mean?

The name "Opus Dei" ("Work of God") was chosen by the founder because it summarized the concept of the sanctification of work and at the same time clarified that work should be offered "to give all the glory to God". The sanctification of work means working according to the spirit of Jesus Christ: working well, aiming for quality, practicing justice and respecting the law, out of love for God and to serve others. Thus one contributes to sanctifying the world from within and to making the Gospel present in all activities, both those that seem brilliant and the more humble and hidden ones, because before God human success does not matter, but the love with which you live the work.

Who can join Opus Dei?

The adult Catholic faithful, men and women, of any culture, nationality, social condition and economic level, who hear God's call to sanctify themselves in the midst of the world and respond freely and fully to this call. Indeed, incorporation into Opus Dei means committing oneself out of love to responding to a divine vocation. People of other religions, even though they cannot be part of the Prelature, can become cooperators. The cooperators pray for Opus Dei and collaborate, with their work and their donations, in the educational and welfare initiatives promoted by the faithful of the Prelature all over the world. Currently they are cooperators with Opus Dei Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Lutherans and also Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and even people who do not profess any religion.

Why do some lay faithful of Opus Dei choose to live celibacy?

In addition to priests, some lay people, both men and women, also live celibacy, as a gift from God. They can thus devote themselves to formation tasks with greater willingness, without changing their lay condition in any way, their professional situation, their position in the Church and in society.

What activities does Opus Dei carry out?

Opus Dei offers its faithful the pastoral care and formation necessary to help them fulfill their mission in the world. It also offers training activities for those who are interested in deepening the needs of the faith. The Prelature organizes lessons, conferences, days of retreat, opportunities for spiritual direction, etc., to make known and help to live the teachings of the Gospel and of the Magisterium of the Church. The training activities are organized separately for men and for women, at times and places compatible with the fulfillment of the family, professional and social duties of the participants. Furthermore, the Opus Dei Centers offer training activities for young students and workers, such as lessons in Catholic doctrine, spiritual direction, cultural meetings and solidarity projects. The importance of study and work is highlighted as an indispensable preparation for seriously serving society and the Church, and the need to be sowers of peace and joy, to build a more humane, more just and more Christian world.

What does "Prelature" of Opus Dei mean?

Opus Dei is a personal prelature. Personal prelatures are ecclesiastical circumscriptions established by the Church to carry out, with great flexibility, specific pastoral activities, at the service and for the good of the local churches. In this way the faithful of personal prelatures maintain, and indeed strengthen, unity with the local church to which they belong. Opus Dei is a personal prelature of international scope, made up of a prelate, its own clergy and lay faithful (men and women). The priests of the Prelature come from lay members. Lay people and priests organically cooperate in the mission of living and spreading the ideal of holiness throughout the world and in particular of promoting the sanctification of work.

What is the relationship between theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma and Opus Dei?

Opus Dei is present within the University in several ways:

  • First of all, the Athenaeum was born because Blessed Álvaro del Portillo, then Prelate of Opus Dei, encouraged some faithful of the Prelature to set up a hospital and university in Rome inspired by the message of St. Josemaría: to live Christian faith and charity consistently and boldly in daily pursuits and especially in work. Don Álvaro's dream of a job carried out with competence and dedication to the person (in all his dimensions, especially when he is frail and sick) inspires the University's mission and its intentions in the fields of teaching, research and health care.
  • There is, then, an institutional relationship, regulated by an agreement, between theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma and the Prelature of Opus Dei, which supports the mission of the University with its doctrinal and spiritual training activities, promotes its Christian identity and spiritually assists those who work there and wish to do so, also through the chaplains appointed by it.
  • Furthermore, some faithful of the Prelature and cooperators of Opus Dei, who are employees, teachers, students, etc., try to live in a manner consistent with its spirit. Even many other people, despite not being faithful to the Prelature, recognize themselves in this Christian style and its ideals. This presence consists first of all in the testimony of life and dedication that each one offers to colleagues and friends. Furthermore, in a spontaneous and personal way, everyone can organize activities, in-depth meetings, moments of prayer, etc. to discover and help live this spirit: loving God and others in one's daily commitments, personal relationships and work. Anyone interested in learning more about this way of living the Faith or taking part in these meetings can contact don Luca Brenna, who is part of the Rome delegation of Opus Dei: [email protected]

Opus Dei does not enter into professional, technical, economic matters, which fall totally (and secularly) under the responsibility of the competent authorities and, ultimately, of the Board of Directors, in accordance with the provisions of the University Statute.

What help can Opus Dei give to teachers, students and employees of theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma?

Opus Dei has the task of remembering that all Christians are called to holiness, that is, to a life fully inspired by faith, particularly in ordinary realities: affections, study, work, the little things of every day, which become great when they are lived with Love. To help you live this ideal, it offers various training aids to deepen your faith (conferences or courses on matters of faith), to improve your family life and your professional commitment, to live a filial and trusting relationship with God (meditations , monthly and annual retreats, etc.) Anyone interested in learning more about this way of living the Faith and receiving this training help can contact don Luca Brenna, who is part of the Rome delegation of Opus Dei: [email protected] In particular, help for personal spiritual orientation can be requested to live this spirit and this message of a Christian life in the midst of the world.  

Those who are part of Opus Dei participate in midweek meetings (such as the Scouts or the Neocatechumenal Way): what do they consist of?

Opus Dei meetings are open to everyone, not just to those who, for a specific vocation, are part of it. The most usual appointments (with variable frequency between weekly and monthly) are meetings to deepen spiritual and moral themes, which the founder called "circles", and moments of prayer (weekly meditations or monthly retreats). In friendship and in sharing this ideal of Christian life in the midst of the world, many other personal initiatives are born: solidarity, cultural, entertainment, etc. activities.