1. What are the regional assemblies, or work weeks, of Opus Dei?
Regional assemblies, also known as work weeks, are a tool provided in the Statutes of Opus Dei (nos. 162-170) for studying the most relevant topics for the formation and apostolic mission of its members in each circumscription and taking stock of the time elapsed since the previous assembly (no. 162). These assemblies, convened every ten years, are called by the regional vicar by mandate of the Prelate (no. 164). They are a consultative instrument, allowing the collection of reflections and opinions from all the faithful of the Work in order to promote the apostolic work in each country and historical period.
The initial phase, fostering broad participation, involves the preparation of experiences, suggestions, proposals, etc. on the proposed theme, by the faithful of the Prelature, cooperators, and friends (no. 167).
After the initial phase, which should last at least two months, a phase of compilation and synthesis of all proposals, including those from the participants in the final phase, begins in order to create the working document for the concluding meeting (no. 168).
At least one month later, the concluding phase begins with the meeting of the individuals convoked (no. 166), presided over by the Prelate or his delegate (no. 165).
The conclusions of the assembly are sent to the Prelate (no. 169); upon his approval, they become material for the ordinary governance of the circumscription and are of great importance in preparing the ordinary general congresses, held every eight years to study the state of the Prelature and propose governance actions (no. 133).
2. When did the regional assemblies begin?
The account of the beginnings is detailed in the article "Work Weeks in the Foundational Years" published in Studia et Documenta by the Historical Institute of St. Josemaría.
The first assembly was convened by St. Josemaría in 1943 in Madrid, with the participation of 16 individuals; the first one for women took place in 1948. Since then, they have been held regularly in each circumscription.
3. What do the regional assemblies have to do with the centenary of Opus Dei?
On this occasion, the regional assemblies will serve as a tool to facilitate the participation of all in the preparation for the centenary, which will be celebrated from 2028 onward. The aim is to encourage people of Opus Dei, cooperators, and friends to reflect on how to contribute to addressing the challenges of the present time in the spirit of Opus Dei and how to celebrate the centenary in each place.
4. How does one participate in a regional assembly?
From the beginning, St. Josemaría understood the importance of having everyone participate, as is expressed in point 167 of the Statutes. The mode and method for participation will be announced in each region, and will include various formats: conversations, formational activities, group meetings, etc., ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate.