Founded in 1960s
VATICAN CITY, 5 SEPT. 2006 (ZENIT)
Here is the description of the Work
of Nazareth which appears in the Directory of International Associations
of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
* * *
Official name: Work of Nazareth
Acronym: ODN (Opera di Nāzaret)
Also known as: Movimento di Compagnia (Compagnia)
History: ODN was founded in Reggio Emilia as a de facto association with
a group of young people in the early 1960s who gathered around professor
Giovanni Riva. As adults, they felt the need for formation and a mission
which was more consistent with their new state of life.
While keeping their identity as a "Compagnia" in 1976 they took the name
of Opera di Nāzaret. Since then the movement which has developed around
ODN has also attracted married couples.
It received canonical recognition by the archbishop of Mexico City in
1989, which marked the beginning of its international spread.
On Aug. 15, 1999, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed its
recognition as an international association of the faithful of
Identity: ODN sees its identity in the realization that without Jesus
Christ man must consider himself to be less human.
Its primary purpose is therefore to ensure that everyone is able to find
the face of Christ today, as mediator to the Father and never
dissociated from his love for humanity's destiny of happiness, in
everyday life in the family, society, the workplace and day-to-day
concerns, professions and environments.
ODN also encourages people to develop the experience of practical
charity so that, by contributing to new social initiatives, they can
meet the material and spiritual needs of people, places and times,
following the paths of the One who "emptied himself, taking the form of
a servant" (Philippians 2:7).
The spiritual plan of ODN includes prayer, formation and apostolic,
charitable and missionary work.
The formation process, steered through regular meetings, is designed to
study in depth the magisterium of the Church, addressing issues with a
sociocultural impact, and to develop a comprehensive Christian
Organization: Individual members of ODN take part in the single
universal experience, which is guaranteed by the center around the
president. The geographical areas (regions
groups of nations
and within the regions
diocesan level groups) are not federated, but function both through
catechesis and central instructions, and through the local promotion of
the Christian community.
Wherever necessary, a group may also have subgroups. ODN is open to
membership by adults of all nationalities.
Individuals normally live the experience of their region or their group,
even though the center may exceptionally make it possible for them to
have a different reference point.
There is one particular form for individuals committed radically to the
spirit of ODN who live according to the evangelical counsels.
Membership: ODN has 500 members and is present in 17 countries, in Asia,
Europe, North America and South America. In various ways, about 5,000
people take part in its apostolate.
Works: The members of the association, as individuals or jointly, or in
cooperation with others, without involving ODN as such, promote civil
initiatives and work to meet people's needs, striving toward social
peace, through such things as charitable or solidarity foundations,
voluntary works, schools at all levels up to university, cultural and
ODN provides their officers with the support of its study center, to
mobilize them to take on broader responsibilities in society, to urge
them to undertake free and appropriate forms of coordination, and assist
them to establish synergies with companies working in a communion
economy, and to offer them ongoing formation.
Directly connected to ODN are "The Great Company," an association of
educators; "The Others," an association of undergraduates; and "Le Domus,"
an association of families managing youth residences.
Publications: Compagnia, a newsletter in Italian and Japanese
Web site: www.operadinazaret.org
Opera di Nāzaret
Via di Santa Maria Maggiore, 112
Telephone and Fax (39) 06-4782-4763
Š Copyright 2006
Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]