Universidad Austral’s values are grounded on a Christian view of culture and the world, focusing on human beings’ individual dignity and comprehensive growth, the respect for life, the importance of family life, fair equality for all, helping the needy, taking ethical principles into account in professional undertakings, and the supremacy of charity, freedom and peace.
To ensure this Christian approach, the Opus Dei Prelature provides support for the University, whose educational community –faculty, officials, non-teaching staff, students and graduates- promotes, shares, or, at least, respects the values involved in the pursuit of its educating mission.
What is Opus Dei?
Opus Dei is a Catholic Church’s personal prelature, whose specific pastoral task is to help individuals find and follow Jesus Christ in ordinary life, promoting sanctity in today’s world and professional work, as well as the discovery of greatness in daily chores. This message is intended for all men and women, without any professional, social, ethnic or other distinctions. Fully aware of their Christian calling, Prelature followers lead their personal and social lives in a free and responsible manner to contribute to shaping society according to Gospel teachings.
Opus Dei was founded on October 2, 1928, by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. In 1982, it was instituted as a personal prelature, a structure created by the Second Vatican Council for “the undertaking of pastoral tasks specifically intended to favor several social groups in some regions, countries, or, even, around the world”. The same Apostolic Constitution “Ut Sit”, issued by Pope John Paul II, appointed Monsignor Álvaro del Portillo as Opus Dei’s first prelate.
Universidad Austral and Opus Dei Prelature
The ties between Universidad Austral and Opus Dei Prelature are easier to understand from a legal standpoint and a Christian perspective. This two-fold approach clearly shows that the following statements complement each other:
- The University is part of a civil organization
Universidad Austral is a civil organization promoted by ACES and created freely by a group of people –including some Opus Dei members– to “elaborate an organic synthesis of human culture that merges disseminated specialties into a knowledge whole enlightened and supported by the Catholic Faith (Section 2 of Universidad Austral’s By-Laws). ACES and University officials –appointed by ACES- are solely responsible for Universidad Austral’s management, including the pursuit of its goals, mission and values; its financial performance; its teachings; its curricula as well as its research systems and methods, etc.
- Universidad Austral is an Opus Dei Prelature corporate apostleship work
This is an initiative with social content and apostolic nature, carried out by Prelature followers and non-followers, with Opus Dei guaranteeing its underlying spirit by means of a Christian education and pastoral support.
To this end, the Prelature appoints the chaplains who provide spiritual assistance at the University, approves faculty appointments for Theology, Ethics, Philosophy and other subjects associated with the Catholic doctrine, and inspires University activities, ensuring that the Opus Dei spirit drives its life, encouraging the love for the Church and the Pope while fully respecting inner freedom. Corporate works include schools, universities –over 10 around the world in addition to Universidad Austral–, centers for women’s promotion, healthcare clinics in underdeveloped areas or countries, rural schools, professional colleges, students’ dorms, cultural centers, etc.