History & Mission

“Every Christian can and should be a living expression of faith.”

Saint Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) was a Spanish diocesan priest who founded Opus Dei—a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church that fosters among Christians the search for holiness in the world, especially in the ordinary circumstances of life and the sanctification of work. To that end, St. Josemaria dedicated his priestly life to helping hundreds of men and women of all backgrounds “to discover a new awareness of the dignity of the Christian vocation” and “to live the spirit of the Gospel more fully in their everyday lives”. 

Today St. Josemaria’s life and spirituality remain a source of inspiration for Christians around the world who are striving towards holiness, naturally and simply, living in the middle of the world dedicated to one’s work and family, sharing in the needs and interests of one’s neighbor and society, and respecting the freedom and dignity of every person.

The St. Josemaria Institute was founded in 2006 to promote the life and teachings of St. Josemaria Escriva and to increase devotion to him. We are a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization that produces and distributes digital and print media inspired by St. Josemaria’s life and spirituality. Through our programs and resources, we aim to help our readers and friends benefit from St. Josemaria’s teachings in order to become living expressions of faith and enjoy life as Christians.

“Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love … Light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart” (St. Josemaria Escriva; The Way, no. 1).

Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Rev. Javier del Castillo

Vice President
Mr. Edmundo Martinez

Dr. Grettel Donahue

Mr. Greg Giebler

Mr. Dan Anderson
Mrs. Anne M. Anderson
Rev. Ronald Cattany
Mr. James Coughlin
Ms. Rachel Jurado
Ms. Elia Rivera
Mrs. Charmaine Roth

Executive Committee
Rev. Javier del Castillo
Mr. Edmundo Martinez
Ms. Elia Rivera

Program Committee
Rev. Peter Armenio
Rev. Javier del Castillo
Ms. Elia Rivera


Executive Director
Elia Rivera

Editor & Programs Coordinator
Isabelle Wallace

Community Growth & Social Media 
Briana Avila

Jonalee Maslanka

Programs & Initiatives

Since 2006 the St. Josemaria Institute has furthered our mission through various programs and initiatives, including:



Who was St. Josemaria Escriva?

St. Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) was a Catholic diocesan priest who received the inspiration from God to found the organization Opus Dei. Learn more about his life and works…

Why devotion to the saints?

The Catholic Church teaches that: “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness… They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus… So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 956).

Those already in heaven are much closer to God than we could ever hope to get on this side of death. Therefore, just as we ask friends and family to pray for us here on earth, we also ask those in heaven to “hand deliver” our prayers to God. It is our hope that in this communion of the Church in heaven and the Church on earth,  “the merciful love of God and his saints is always attentive to our prayers” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 962).

St Josemaria Escriva wrote: “Live a special Communion of Saints: and, in the moments of interior struggle just as in the hours of professional work, each of you will feel the joy and the strength of not being alone” (The Way, no. 545).

What is Opus Dei?

Opus Dei is a Catholic institution founded in 1928 by St. Josemaria Escriva. Its mission is to help Christians turn their work and daily activities into occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.

As the Second Vatican Council noted, every baptized person is called to follow Jesus Christ, by living according to the Gospel and making it known to others. The aim of Opus Dei is to contribute to this evangelizing mission of the Church.

For more information about Opus Dei visit www.opusdei.org.

Do I have to join Opus Dei to practice the spirituality of St. Josemaria?

No. To join Opus Dei a person must have a specific calling from God to Opus Dei. There are many people around the world who do not have a specific vocation to Opus Dei but who still live St. Josemaria’s spirituality to varying degrees and benefit greatly from his teachings. Some of these people are cooperators of Opus Dei, people who partake in Opus Dei activities but are not members.

What is the relationship of the St. Josemaria Institute and Opus Dei?

St. Josemaria was the founder of Opus Dei. His teachings are the basis of the mission of the St. Josemaria Institute. As such, the messages of the two organizations are intertwined. However, the St. Josemaria Institute hopes to promote St. Josemaria’s valuable teachings to the general public regardless of people’s relationship to Opus Dei.

How can I help the St. Josemaria Institute in its mission?

The St. Josemaria Institute offers many helpful resources online. Please take advantage of the resources and promote them among your family and friends. You can also subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, send us your comments, and make a donation.

How is the St. Josemaria Institute funded?

The St. Josemaria Institute depends of your generosity. We offer our services free of charge and ask that you help us continue to spread this important message of faith and hope.

How can I make a donation to the St. Josemaria Institute?

We have made giving to the St. Josemaria Institute as secure and easy as possible. Click here to donate online or you can also mail your donation to:

St. Josemaria Institute
4340 Cross Street, Suite 1
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Is my donation tax deductible?

The St. Josemaria Institute is a registered 501c3 charitable organization. Donations to the St. Josemaria Institute are tax deductible as allowed by the law. Donors receive a year-end summary of their donations for tax purposes.