Darien Center. Hope in Action. Hope in Action

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1 Hope in Action As the Second Vatican Council emphasized, work, family life and other ordinary activities are occasions for deepening one s relationship with Jesus Christ. Every baptized person is called to follow Christ and to make Him known to others, in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel. The aim of Opus Dei is to contribute to the Church s mission of evangelization by encouraging Christians of all social classes to live a life fully consistent with their faith in the middle of the most ordinary circumstances and particularly through the sanctification of their daily professional work. Darien Center Darien Center 7800 South Cass Avenue Darien, IL Hope in Action 20_Back 34C79Y48K 574 Cover_1

2 The best remedy against losing apostolic daring, which comes from effective hunger to serve all men, is none other than the fullness of faith, hope and love. In a word: sanctity. I can find no other prescription than personal sanctity. St. Josemaría Escrivá Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. Aristotle Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. George Washington We must respond with a renewed social action that stems from the universal love that knows no bounds. In this way, we ensure that our works of mercy and justice become hope in action for others. Pope Benedict XVI 2_ Back of the front cover 34C79Y48K 574 Translucent_3

3 New Darien Center 4 Translucent 34C79Y48K 574 5

4 The Early Years in Chicago Woodlawn Center The history of Opus Dei in the United States has truly been hope in action. In 1949 Sal Ferigle, a physicist, and Fr. Joseph Muzquiz, a priest of Opus Dei, came to Chicago with an eagerness to see the dream of the founder fulfilled: that God should be placed at the summit of all human activities. The founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría, had sent these two men to begin the apostolic work in this country with only his blessing and a small picture of Our Lady and with complete confidence that God s grace would never be lacking. Over the next 50 years, such stories of hope in action would abound. Thanks to the founder s dream, numerous families, professionals, fathers, mothers, students, young people and friends have succeeded in finding God right where they are. Educational centers, schools and other apostolic initiatives in the United States have added brilliant color to the founder s dream and fulfilled his vision, teaching everyone that there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it. The history of Opus Dei in Chicago truly exemplifies this hope in action ordinary people striving to discover Christian meaning in the midst of their everyday activities. The first apostolic initiative of Opus Dei in the United States was Woodlawn Center near the University of Chicago, founded in August The pages of Woodlawn s history are filled with stories of daring, sacrifice, prayer and confidence in God's grace. At first the expansion was slow and filled with challenges. The first participants ordinary men from all walks of life vividly recall feeling that they were discovering something brand new. But they corresponded with openness and generosity, confident that God was showing them something that would change their lives and the lives of countless people to come. In the true Chicago spirit, they felt like pioneers even co-founders. Other centers soon opened around the Chicago area, housing both educational programs and the members of Opus Dei who led them: Northview on the North side, Midtown on the Near West side, Castlewood in Lincoln Park and Hedgerow in the northern suburbs. Through these educational centers, Opus Dei continued to spread the universal call to sanctity one person at a time. Activities expanded to neighborhoods throughout Chicago, providing spiritual and professional activities for college students, young professionals and married men. Small groups of men were meeting weekly for spiritual formation. Plans for a conference center in northwest Indiana were being developed. The groundwork was being laid. People were beginning to discover the power and relevance of Opus Dei's message. In his first book The Way, St. Josemaría challenged them to Get rid of that 'small-town' outlook. Enlarge your heart till it becomes universal, 'catholic'....these world crises are the crises of saints" The Way 301 Fr. Joseph Muzquiz talks with students and young professionals. St. Josemaría 6 50% 34C79Y48K 574 7

5 Oak Park Study Center New Location In 1968, members opened another educational center to serve Chicago's western suburbs: the Oak Park Study Center. Over the past four decades, Oak Park has offered countless programs, providing spiritual and professional formation to men of all ages: weekend boys clubs, summer camps, cultural seminars, evenings of recollection, professional seminars, theology classes and spiritual direction. Located just off the Eisenhower Expressway, the six-flat apartment building has been a home to many lay members and priests of Opus Dei. Its activities have enabled the message of Opus Dei to spread to thousands of married men and young students in the western suburbs, helping them realize that God is waiting for them in their family relationships, among their friends and in their professional work. Over the years, however, Chicago's demographics have changed dramatically. Once considered a western suburb, Oak Park is now part of Chicago's west side, only fifteen minutes from downtown, and quite a distance from the sprawling western and southern suburbs. It is clear that Opus Dei in the Chicago area has reached a new chapter. The need has arisen to go west. Accessible from four major highways, the Darien Center will be able to serve men and boys in more than a 20-mile radius. The new center of Opus Dei will be at 7800 South Cass Avenue in Darien. The Darien Center will reach hundreds of thousands of Catholics in DuPage, Will, Cook and other outlying counties, ultimately replacing the Oak Park Study Center. 8 34C79Y48K 574 9

6 New Darien Center The new 20,000-square foot center will provide activities for the human, professional, spiritual, theological and apostolic formation of men and boys C79Y48K

7 Activities at the Darien Center Professional and Married Men The goal of the center is for participants to become outstanding husbands, fathers, professionals, citizens, and friends, men who work to improve society and to lead others closer to God. All men are invited to participate, regardless of race, color or creed. The Darien Center will offer a wide variety of educational activities for men of all ages, including: Clubs for students Professional seminars Visits to nursing homes and hospitals Cultural excursions Retreats and Evenings of Recollection Theology Classes Spiritual direction and the Sacrament of Reconciliation As in similar centers, Darien will be a residence for the laymen and priests of Opus Dei who organize the activities and who foster a family spirit among the participants. For working men, the new Darien Center will provide classes and individual guidance on becoming outstanding professionals who foster moral and ethical decision-making in the workplace, as well as a firm commitment to the common good of society. Married men are encouraged to put their families first, spending time one-on-one with their wives and each of their children. Fathers share experiences and encourage each other through the joys and challenges of raising children. The outcome: strong marriages, stable families, children who know they are loved and who are morally grounded, and the truth of the Gospel lived in every sector of professional life C79Y48K

8 Darien Youth Activities High School & College Men The Darien Boys Clubs reinforce parents efforts to cultivate virtue and a spirit of service in their sons, helping their sons develop leadership skills from the very beginning. Young students participate in sports, projects and summer camps with boys from other good families. Fathers and sons enjoy excursions together and collaborate on semesterlong projects. The clubs encourage fathers to be actively involved in their sons lives, developing a friendship that will last a lifetime. Activities include talks on virtues for the students, and fathers share experiences with each other about raising children well. The teenage years are a time of discovery, a time of adventure, when one s personality develops, a worldview is formed and challenges are overcome on the road to adulthood. The Darien Center offers young men the tools they need to become outstanding adults. They form good professional habits, grow in virtue, and lead lives of service to others. By participating in Darien s professional seminars, ethics workshops and classes on the virtues, young men leave the center with a clear sense of professionalism and purpose, and with well-formed consciences. Darien also works with other centers to co-sponsor summer camps, domestic and international service projects, and college and career preparation seminars C79Y48K

9 A new chapter is about to begin. And you can be part of it. From the earliest days in 1949, when the first members of Opus Dei arrived in Chicago, many of us have had the privilege of participating in ground-breaking, life-changing initiatives inspired by the spirit of Opus Dei. From the beginnings on Woodlawn Avenue near the University of Chicago, to the expansion into neighborhoods around Chicago, to the founding of the Oak Park center, to the enhanced Midtown Center near St. Mary of the Angels parish, the message that all are called to holiness has been spreading quietly but effectively throughout the city. To spread this message, each phase of expansion has required a high level of daring and generosity. The promoters have acted with conviction and courage, showing generosity beyond what was considered reasonable. We are heirs to this 50-year legacy of faith and commitment. The new Darien Center is your opportunity to exercise hope in action C79Y48K 574 Translucent 17

10 Darien Center 18 Translucent 34C79Y48K 574 Back pocket_ 19

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