What is a Cooperator of the Opus Dei Prelature?
Cooperators of Opus Dei are those who, without being members of the Prelature, help out in the apostolates of Opus Dei in various ways. Being a cooperator does not require a specific vocation. Cooperators often are parents, friends, colleagues, or neighbors of the Prelature’s faithful. Or they may be persons who have received some spiritual benefit from the apostolates of Opus Dei, or who have seen the human and social development fostered by the Prelature’s apostolic works. The Regional Vicar of Opus Dei appoints someone a cooperator at the proposal of one of the Prelature’s faithful. Non-Catholics and non-Christians may also become cooperators.
What benefits do Cooperators of the Opus Dei Prelature receive?
They benefit from the prayers that the faithful of Opus Dei offer daily for all those who in one way or another help or have helped the Prelature. In addition, on certain occasions the priests of the Prelature offer the holy sacrifice of the Mass for the eternal repose of cooperators who have died. In addition, the Holy See has conceded indulgences that cooperators can gain on particular days of the year, by observing conditions established by the Church – sacramental confession united to a conversion of heart, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of the Pope – and whenever they renew, out of devotion, their obligations as cooperators.
What is involved in being a Cooperator of Opus Dei?
A cooperator makes a commitment to help the apostolates of Opus Dei. The Prelature’s objective is to promote, in all areas of society, a deep awareness of the universal call to sanctity and especially of the sanctifying value of professional work and the fulfillment of one’s ordinary duties. The help provided by the cooperator can be either spiritual or material. The spiritual dimension of being a cooperator is a commitment to pray daily, if possible, for the Prelature and its apostolic works. The material aspect may be in the form of alms, the dedication of one’s own time, or the provision of services for an apostolic work of the Prelature.
“Yours is truly a great idea,” said Pope John Paul II in 1979, “which from its beginnings anticipated the theology of the laity which later characterized the Church of the Council and the post-concilar era. Such is the message and spirituality of Opus Dei: to live united to God in the midst of the world in any situation, each one struggling to be better with the help of grace and to make Jesus known with the testimony of his or her own life.”
Opus Dei tries to teach many people all over the world, both in theory and in practice, how to turn each moment of their life into a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, through reading and meditating on the Gospel, studying Catholic doctrine on faith and morals, and striving to sanctify their work. Tilden Study Center organizes various activities for spiritual formation throughout the year such as spiritual retreats and talks, classes or circles on doctrinal and ascetical topics, conferences, etc., all open to those interested in going deeper into the demands of their faith. These gatherings are made compatible with the normal completion of each one’s family and professional duties.
Monthly evenings of recollection are offered at different locations in Southern California. These meetings provide quiet time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and a meditation (reflection) given by a priest. After the meditation the priest is available for the sacrament of Reconciliation. The evening also includes a talk given by a layman on a virtue or some other aspect of Christian life and some time for fellowship.
For information on the evenings of recollection, retreats or other events please click on the link on the top left of this page.
“These undertakings spring up in every corner of the world with a marvelous spontaneity. Big-hearted people all over the world tell us: we need this or that other thing. And through everyone’s efforts it becomes a reality and bears marvelous fruit. But each country gives rise to different undertakings. Even when they look the same, they aren’t, because the character and circumstances of the people are different.” -Saint Josemaria Escriva
A truly Christian life brings with it an effective desire to contribute to solving the problems around us. This ideal leads the faithful of the Prelature and cooperators to foster many different activities in each country. These projects include universities, professional schools, student residences, high schools, and medical clinics. They are professional initiatives that respond to real needs. Those involved take full responsibility when starting and bringing forward these projects. Their educational or social welfare function means that in most cases these activities run at a loss.
“You ask me: why don’t they close their doors?” said Saint Josemaria. And he answered: “Because we are not businessmen; our goal is to give formation to souls. These apostolic undertakings go forward through the work of everyone involved. The members of the Work have their ordinary professional work, and there are also many cooperators, including non-Catholics, who help to cover the financial deficit.”
Tilden Study Center organizes and coordinates several activities locally within Southern California, all of which can always benefit from the assistance of students, working professionals, volunteers, and Cooperators. A Cooperator’s time and talent are especially paramount in ensuring the success and vitality of the Ahead Leadership Program through mentoring or by providing talks on careers and academics. Cooperators can also participate in Tilden’s College Activities for Undergraduates by providing career advice, professional guidance, and networking opportunities to the student participants.
Tilden Study Center also needs and appreciates your financial assistance to fund scholarships for students, retreats for high schools and college men as well as improvements to its facilities. To volunteer your talent or offer a monetary contribution please contact Hank Lopez-Oña at email@example.com.