What is a Cooperator?

A brief explanation of who the Cooperators of Opus Dei are.

The Cooperators of Opus Dei are men and women – Catholics and non-Catholics – who are not incorporated into the Opus Dei Prelature, but who collaborate with the faithful of the Prelature in the various educational, charitable and cultural activities.

The main contribution of the Cooperators towards these ventures is that of their prayer, but they can also help through their work or financially. They receive the spiritual goods the Church grants to those who assist Opus Dei. These include indulgences which the Cooperators, provided they observe the conditions established by the Church, can gain on specific days of the year, and when out of devotion they renew their obligations as Cooperators. From the Opus Dei Prelature they also receive the spiritual help of the prayers of all its members.

Being a Cooperator does not require a specific vocation. Generally Cooperators come from among the relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors of the members of Opus Dei, or from among those who have devotion to Saint Josemaría, those who take part in the apostolates of the Prelature, or those who are interested in the educational and social work carried out through the apostolic initiatives of the faithful of Opus Dei. It is not necessary to be Catholic to be a Cooperator. The Vicar of the Prelate in each country can appoint a person as a Cooperator, after that person has been proposed by a member of Opus Dei.

Cooperators who so wish can attend the means of formation of the Prelature. This formation helps them to deepen their spiritual life, to love and support the Pope and bishops, and to bear personal witness to their Christian vocation, although without acting as a group.

Many people also discover the possibility of putting into practice, and of transmitting to others in their own surroundings as ordinary Christians, one of the fundamental characteristics of the spirit of Opus Dei: the sanctification of their ordinary work and of their family and social duties.

Religious communities can also be appointed Cooperators of Opus Dei. The cooperation of these communities (which currently number about 500) consists of daily prayer for the work of the Prelature.