Opus Dei, Lay Dominican: Can You Be Both?


So, this is a technical question. Is there any canonical or theological conflict to being both a Lay Dominican and a member of Opus Dei?

Then practical side is that I am discerning these two options. But why not both?!


Masochism of this order is to be avoided.


So. For future reference. I am talking about the real Opus Dei, not Dan Brown Opus Dei. Please only respond with legitimate answers to my questions. And only if you know what you are talking about.

And always always always. Don’t feed the trolls.


Which is stronger?

Both have formation programs. Both make a commitment. I would have to ask both as to whether or not you could be a “low ball” associate, or if there is no serving of two masters.

The Supernumeraries I have “met” online give me the impression that their commitment is very similar to mine as a “promised” lay Dominican.

In this month of St. Dominic, I ask his intercession in your decision.



I really am not completely sure.

Here is what I know. A numerary member of Opus Dei cannot have had a “prior vocation”…e.g., cannot have discerned that he was called to the Jesuits…went to seminary and then decided “no I really had a vocation to Opus Dei”.

Whether prior/existing “Lay Dominican” would be considered in the same way as my example, I don’t know. I suspect it would. We are called to a vocation, not a handful of them.

And I suspect that if someone who had previously become a Lay Dominican were to begin to associate with Opus Dei and asked about membership as either a numerary or a supernumerary I suspect they would be encouraged instead to live more fully their life as a Lay Dominican, “giving their all” to their chosen (free will was involved) vocation as a Lay Dominican.

So on balance I think the answer is “no, not both”. One at 100%, but not both.

Now, this doesn’t mean that one who is a Lay Dominican can’t benefit from some association with Opus Dei, attending recollections, some means of formation, retreats, etc.

But “canonically” I am in the end not totally sure. And I can’t speak for the Dominican side of things.

I guess I am more practical and would ask “why”. And if the answer is because of some affinity to both, I’d respond that membership in Opus Dei isn’t required in order to receive some benefits from its formation and spirituality.


The answer is no, you can’t be both. The good news is that you can indeed receive benefits of OD formation even without ever becoming a member. There is also the category of being involved within Opusdei called Co-operators, though it is not currently mentioned in their english webpage. As I understand, even people of other faiths let alone of other orders could become those.

Since I now feel strongly after taking part to the yearly retreat with them in Spring, without being a member, that God wants me to take some steps towards this organization, I do have to seek exit from OFS to do it. This should not be that problematic as I only ever was accepted as a candidate for the order but not yet as a member.


Here is some material on Opus Dei Cooperators


closed #8

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