The pastoral care of Aldridge is entrusted to Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church.
Opus Dei’s mission is to spread the Christian message that every single person is called to holiness. This teaching was at the heart of the Second Vatican Council, which was enormously influential in shaping the Catholic Church’s understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ in the modern world. Holiness, in fact, means following Jesus Christ, imitating Him in thoughts, feelings, words and deeds. It means loving God and neighbour, with a love that gives rise to other virtues, such as humility, justice, integrity, and solidarity. Holiness is attained only with God’s assistance and our constant striving, but Opus Dei offers support and guidance to help all those who want (whether or not they are members) to aim at such holiness in their ordinary lives, especially through their everyday work. Opus Dei teaches that any work, if carried out in the spirit of Jesus Christ, competently and honestly, with the aim of loving God and serving others, can be “sanctified”: what matters is the love that is put into work, not its human importance. The work of a hairdresser or a banker can be as holy as that of a priest.
Opus Dei was founded in 1928 by St Josemaría Escrivá, who was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Today Opus Dei has about 90,000 members, from over 90 different nationalities. There are some 500 members in Australia. There are also many cooperators who help Opus Dei throughout the world, of all religions and none.
Members come from all social classes and conditions and include young and old, married and single, male and female, rich and poor, lay people and priests. The majority of members are married and live with their families. All members lead ordinary working lives. Hence, their only common feature is the Catholic faith they share and their desire to strive for holiness in and through daily affairs. St Josemaría often spoke of the greatness of ordinary life, as it is there that people can find God and become holy, by striving to carry out their everyday activities to the best of their ability and for the love of God.
Opus Dei supports its members and others by spiritual formation and guidance helping them to strive for holiness and carry out a Christian apostolate wherever they are. Members of Opus Dei, in collaboration with other people of good will, have set up social and educational undertakings in the countries where they live. In Australia, they include Warrane College and Creston College, halls of residence in Sydney for male and female students respectively, and Kenthurst Study Centre, a retreat centre in which Pope Benedict XVI spent a few days resting prior to World Youth Day in 2008.
Opus Dei does not own any of these undertakings, but takes responsibility only for providing spiritual formation and pastoral care of the people who work in them. Ownership remains with the people who set them up and run them. Funding comes from whatever fees they may charge, as well as donations from members of Opus Dei, supporters and friends. Financial accounts for such institutions are publicly audited and are available for inspection.
Further information about Opus Dei and its founder can be found at:
For an overview of Opus Dei worldwide
For information about Opus Dei’s founder, Saint Josemaria Escrivá
For writings of Opus Dei’s founder, Saint Josemaria Escrivá