Be to Care: Brainstorming Before the Centenary of Opus Dei

Looking toward the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Opus Dei (2028-2030), the centenary committee invited professionals working in social initiatives inspired by St. Josemaría or encouraged by his teachings to meet and share their experiences.

Entitled “Be to Care,” the event is meant to provide space for reflection and dialogue about possible responses to the social challenges of our time.

The meeting will take place on September 29 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome, Italy). Some 150 people will attend, representing 70 initiatives from 30 countries.

The pandemic, together with armed conflicts, poverty and environmental issues, and other challenges, showed how important unity and solidarity are to formulate collaborative, sustainable solutions.

The organizers asked participants this question: how can we, from the lived message of Opus Dei, better collaborate in service to the person, family, and society, through policy, economy, culture, and education?

St. Josemaría used to say that the Work was born among the poor and sick of Madrid. There, in the poorest neighbourhoods, he visited them, gave catechism classes to boys and girls, and depended on their incalculably valuable prayers. This was not an accidental circumstance, but the expression of a profoundly Christian reality: in predilection for the poor, we find the strength to renew and rejuvenate the Church, the Work, and each person’s Christian vocation.

Among the topics suggested for reflection and dialogue are: the sanctification of work and its consequences in the improvement of society; the transformation of the world from within; Christians’ social commitment; citizenship and social friendship; the attractiveness of the social doctrine of the Church in action; the importance of caring for people, especially the most vulnerable, and for our common home; and the connection between environmental and social sustainability. 

The Prelate of Opus Dei, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, will open the day of dialogue. The participants will then discuss three main topics:

1. How to awaken social sensitivity – and its generous, creative expression at home, at work, in cities, and each person’s broader environment – in our current context, especially among young people.

2. How to revitalize the social initiatives which, in the ninety-some years of Opus Dei, have been born and matured.

3. What legacy the centenary of the Work might leave, just as St. Josemaría’s canonization left a legacy in the birth of Harambee and other initiatives.

The event is being hosted in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Harambee, reported on in this article.