What is a Cooperator of Opus Dei?
Cooperators of Opus Dei are those who, without being members of the Prelature, help the apostolates of Opus Dei in different ways. In order to be a Cooperator, a specific vocation is not required, nor is it necessary to meet special conditions. Cooperators usually come from among the relatives, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of those who belong to the Prelature, or are men and women who draw or have drawn some benefit from the apostolates or spiritual formation offered by Opus Dei. Cooperators need not be Catholic or even Christian.
What is involved in being a Cooperator of Opus Dei?
The essence of being a Cooperator is to help the apostolates of the Prelature aimed at promoting at all levels of society the universal call to sanctity, especially through the sanctification of ordinary work and of family life. This help can be spiritual or material. The spiritual dimension of being a Cooperator is a commitment to offer one's prayers, daily if possible, for the Prelature and its work of apostolate. The material dimension can take the form of alms or of a contribution of time and services for an apostolic endeavor of the Prelature.
What benefits do the Cooperators of Opus Dei receive?
The members of Opus Dei pray daily for all who have helped the Prelature in any way, and the priests of the Prelature on several occasions offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the souls of deceased Cooperators. The Holy See has granted indulgences that may be gained by Cooperators on several days throughout the year.
How do I become a Cooperator?
The Regional or Delegate Vicar of Opus Dei appoints a person as a Cooperator upon proposal by a member of the Prelature. Once the proposal has been approved, the person is notified and becomes a Cooperator on the date on which he or she accepts the appointment. This date is one of the dates on which Catholic Cooperators may gain a plenary indulgence. Each Cooperator receives a card signed by the Regional or Delegate Vicar, showing the date of appointment and an explanation of the indulgences available to Catholic Cooperators.