Corporate works of apostolate are those activities which Opus Dei itself promotes and which Opus Dei guarantees are authentically Catholic. Opus Dei takes responsibility for everything related to their Christian character. The professional aspects of the corporate work are the personal responsibility of the individuals running the institution.
The prelate of Opus Dei appoints the chaplains and religious instructors. The boards of directors usually consist of members of Opus Dei, but may include cooperators. As a matter of common practice Opus Dei oversees the board of directors to ensure that the institution is being run according to the spirit of the Work. Opus Dei itself does not usually own the assets of the corporate works.
Corporate works include schools, universities, vocational training centers, medical clinics, farming schools, student residences, etc.
Anyone may participate and be served by the corporate works of Opus Dei. They serve the following purposes:
- To provide a genuine service to the community;
- To promote the ideal of sanctity in one’s ordinary life, especially among those who might have a vocation; and
- To promote the Gospel message.
Naturally, some of those who participate in these activities will be attracted to the message of Opus Dei and will become official cooperators. Through their contact with the members of the Work who run the institution, others may even come to the conviction they have a vocation to Opus Dei.