The Cooperators of Opus Dei
Who are the Cooperators of Opus Dei?
The cooperators of Opus Dei are people who are not members of the Opus Dei prelature, but who cooperate with the faithful of the prelature in various ways. Men and women of every race, religion and culture, from the most varied profession and social conditions, can become Cooperators of Opus Dei.
Generally Cooperators come from among the relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors of the members of Opus Dei; or they may be people who have received some spiritual benefit from the apostolate of Opus Dei, or who have seen the human and social development fostered by the prelature’s apostolates.
How do Cooperators help Opus Dei?
“A Christian cannot be satisfied with a job that allows him to maintain his family: the greatness of his heart is going to encourage him to get closer to people in order to help them, by means of charity and justice” (St Josemaria). This sense of charity and justice explains the reason behind the educational initiatives, social projects, and cultural centers around the world, which are set up and run by the faithful and Cooperators of the Opus Dei prelature, and others, whether Catholic or not. They all contribute to answering the needs of their own country or environment, without any racial, religious or social discrimination.
The help provided by Cooperators can be either spiritual or material, i.e. prayer and, if they wish, material help which may take the form of almsgiving, or spending time or resources helping a particular apostolic work of the prelature.
Cooperators who attend the means of formation of the prelature are helped to deepen in their spiritual life and to bear personal witness to their Christian vocation, although without acting as a group.
Cooperators and Opus Dei
The Cooperators of Opus Dei benefit from the prayers that the faithful of Opus Dei offer daily for all those who help or have helped the Prelature in any way.
The Holy See has granted indulgences that Cooperators can gain on particular days of the year, by observing the conditions established by the Church (sacramental confession united to a conversion of heart, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of the Pope) and every time they renew, out of devotion, their commitment as Cooperators.
Religious communities can also be appointed Cooperators of Opus Dei. The cooperation of these communities (which currently number several hundred) consists of daily prayer for the work of the prelature.