Opus Dei is an organisation of the Catholic Church which helps ordinary men and women strive for holiness in their ordinary lives, through their work and family life. It was founded in 1928 by St Josemaría Escrivá, who was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Today Opus Dei has about 90,000 members, from over 90 different nationalities. There are some 500 members in Britain. There are also many cooperators who help Opus Dei throughout the world, of all religions and none. For more information please visit: www.opusdei.org.uk
Members come from all social classes and conditions and include young and old, married and single, male and female, rich and poor, lay people and priests. The majority of members are married and live with their families. All members lead ordinary working lives. Hence, their only common feature is the Catholic faith they share and their desire to strive for holiness in and through daily affairs. St Josemaría often spoke of the greatness of ordinary life, as it is there that people can find God and become holy, by striving to carry out their everyday activities to the best of their ability and for the love of God.
Opus Dei supports its members and others by spiritual formation and guidance helping them to strive for holiness and carry out a Christian apostolate wherever they are.
Members of Opus Dei, in collaboration with other people of good will, have set up social and educational undertakings in the countries where they live. These include farming schools, centres for the advancement of women, medical centres, hospitals, youth clubs, students’ residences, secondary schools and universities. In Britain there are centres in London, Oxford, Manchester and Glasgow.
St Josemaría Escrivá personally encouraged the setting up of Greygarth Hall in the 1960s as a residence for students from all over the world. St Josemaría spent several summers in Britain between 1958 and 1962, and considered it a place where different cultures could enrich one another and work together for building a better society.