My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me!
In this brief letter I would like to let you know about a plan, so that your prayer may also contribute directly to its realization.
Following the recommendations of the last General Congress (cf. Pastoral Letter, 14 February 2017, nos. 13 and 15), over the last months a study has been carried out regarding the situation of the Prelature's circumscriptions, with a view to forming a plan to better spur forward and coordinate the apostolic undertakings.
Thanks to God and to the impulse of Saint Josemaría and his first two successors, Opus Dei is working stably in sixty-eight countries. We are very grateful to God for this, who never ceases to accompany and bless us. We also give thanks to God as we consider the work done in these last four years.
At the same time, we are aware of the challenges that today's society presents everywhere to the life and spread of Christianity. We all have more or less experience of situations that make the apostolate in some places more arduous. While the good that is done in many places is abundant, we would like our Lord to be able to rely on more hands to help make the joy of the Gospel reach the furthest corner of the world. Neither the disproportion between our personal limitations and the beauty of our vocation and apostolic mission nor external difficulties are reasons to diminish our hope and joy in the service to God, the Church, and the world.
On the other hand, something very positive today is the ease of communications and movement between cities and countries, which makes it possible to reduce the number of organizational and governmental structures. Of course, this reduction needs to be done without changing the nature of these structures, since “it is not in our hands to give up, cut or change anything relating to the spirit and organization of the Work” (Instruction, 19 March 1934, no. 20).
Reducing the number of structures, which is being studied in the Central Advisory and the General Council, will allow greater agility and efficiency in the apostolic work. It will also allow for more attention to caring for people and to each person’s apostolate in his or her own professional, family and social environment, in tandem with the formational activities organized in and from the Prelature’s centers.
This will require a partial territorial reorganization. For example, if there are now two Commissions and two Advisories to direct the apostolic work in two specific countries, it will be studied whether, with our current means and taking into account the experience acquired in recent years, one Commission and Advisory for both territories may be more effective, while keeping all their apostolic initiatives. This occurred already when Croatia was united with Slovenia. In order to continue defining this reorganization, the opinion of the respective Commissions and Advisories will naturally be taken into account, and the reorganization will be implemented gradually.
I am relying on your prayer and on the personal commitment and initiative of each one of you to help make our Father’s message as effective as possible for our day and age. We entrust this project to the motherly intercession of Holy Mary, and also – especially this year – to that of Saint Joseph.
Your Father blesses you with all his affection,
Rome, 30 January 2021