“There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each of you to discover it”
Opus Dei & the University
The founders of Pan-Atlantic University were inspired in beginning this educational project by the teachings of St Josemaria Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. St Josemaria had taught that work well done was an important means of finding fulfilment in one’s life, a means of developing an ever closer friendship with God as well as helping one’s contemporaries find joy. In addition, St Josemaria had encouraged members of Opus Dei who wished to do so to come together with other citizens of their community to commence projects of a social nature where work done with the spirit of service can serve the needs of their communities.
In some such projects, Opus Dei enters into an agreement to provide suitable assistance to the organisation. Specifically, in PAU, the Prelature of Opus Dei provides the spiritual and pastoral means necessary for the University to sustain and develop its Christian identity. The Prelature of Opus Dei takes responsibility for guaranteeing that all teaching, publishing and research activities in PAU are inspired by the Christian view of the person, the world and society, and seeks a coherent union between faith, thought and life.
The Christian inspiration of the Pan-Atlantic University moves it to promote student participation in social activities aimed at service, and teaches them to dedicate part of their time to those most in need. In this way they gain consciousness of their responsibility to serve society with their future work.
Opus Dei and Its Mission
Opus Dei is an organisation of the Roman Catholic Church. It is formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. Opus Dei is Latin for ‘Work of God’ hence it is often referred to by many people close to it as the Work. Opus Dei contributes to the Church’s evangelizing mission by spreading the Christian message that everyone is called to seek God in their daily lives. This teaching was at the heart of the Second Vatican Council, which was enormously influential in shaping the Catholic Church’s understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ in the modern world.
Opus Dei was founded on 2 October 1928 in Madrid, Spain. In 1950, Pius XII granted definitive approval to Opus Dei and was established as a Personal Prelature by Pope John Paul II in 1982 through the Apostolic constitution Ut sit.
Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-1975) was a Spanish priest who founded Opus Dei in 1928. He was born in Barbastro in the Aragonese part of Spain. He was ordained a priest on Saturday, 28 March 1925. During a spiritual retreat, on 2 October 1928, he “saw” Opus Dei and came to understand that God wished him to found the organisation. Saint Josemaría earned a doctorate degree in civil law at the Complutense University of Madrid and a doctorate degree in Theology at the Lateran University in Rome. His principal work was the founding, government and expansion of Opus Dei until the time of his death. Saint Josemaría’s best-known publication is The Way, which has been translated into 43 languages and has sold several million copies.
Even during his lifetime he had a reputation for holiness, which continued to grow around the world after his death. He was declared blessed in 1992 and a saint in 2002 by St Pope John Paul II who declared Saint Josemaría should be “counted among the great witnesses of Christianity.” He also called Saint Josemaría “the saint of ordinary life”. The feast day of Saint Josemaría is June 26.
People of all conditions belong to Opus Dei: priests and lay people, men and women, young and old, married and single; of every occupation and social level. Men and women have the same status in Opus Dei. Most members are married and have families. Some members make a commitment to celibacy, and so generally have more time and availability to dedicate to the various activities promoted by Opus Dei. Opus Dei does not have monks or nuns, and only a minority of its members are priests.
Members of Opus Dei number over 90,000 worldwide. Following Catholic theology, membership is granted when a vocation (divine call) is understood to have been received.
Cooperators of Opus Dei
Some individuals are interested in collaborating with Opus Dei in some ways (often through praying, charitable contributions or by providing some other forms of assistance). They are not required to be Christians or to adhere to any other special requirements.