What is Opus Dei?

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Ines is a Spanish lawyer who lives in Rome. She has been in Opus Dei since she was 17, a decision she made due to her desire to help the people around her.  

'I had this desire to bring many people that I saw very far away closer to God. In the environment I lived in, it is not normal for people to seek God. There are situations where people suffer and are empty, so I had the desire to help these people. Then I wanted to find meaning in everything I do, in my daily life. Not only working and watching time go by, but for everything to make sense.'  

Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by St. Josemaria Escriva and today has 92,600 members, most of whom are married people. Their message is to seek and find God in daily life and not only when going to church or participating in religious activities.  

'Seek God in all things, in the work you do every day, in family life, in social relationships, when having a good time, when facing problems, in normal life. One can say there is no change between what I did before being Opus Dei and what I do after Opus Dei. It is simply a new light that illuminates everything, and that means that in everyday life I go looking for the presence of God.'

Opus Dei Priest
'The spirit of Opus Dei is an attitude towards the world and ordinary life which sees the things of this world (work, family life, friendship) as the avenue for the pursue of holiness. Opus Dei is about opening up those normal pathways of human life to the search for holiness, discovering God in those ordinary circumstances.  

Fr. John Wauck studied Renaissance History at Harvard and wrote speeches for the United States Attorney General and the Pennsylvania Democratic Governor. However, when the prelate of Opus Dei asked him to study to become a priest, he accepted.  

Opus Dei Priest
'The members of Opus Dei can pretty much... all classes, there are men, there are women, there are celibate people, there are lay people. Most of them are lay people and most of them are married. There are some priests, such as myself, there are few bishops who are in Opus Dei, but it's really a cross section of the Catholic Church.'

The key to Opus Dei is discovering how to live a lifestyle consistent with faith in everyday life, especially at work and family. It does this by offering both spiritual care and Christian formation to people; promoting social aid initiatives such as hospitals, schools and universities.  

Now begins an important week for Opus Dei. This Saturday starts the process of electing the third successor of St. Josemaria, after the death of their prelate Javier Echevarrí­a on December 12. It is a process that will culminate when the pope names the new prelate.  

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