The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, commonly known as Opus Dei (Latin for "The Work of God") or the Work, is an international prelature of the Roman Catholic Church, comprising ordinary lay people and secular priests headed by a prelate, whose mission contributes to spreading the Catholic teaching that everyone is called to become a saint and an apostle of Jesus Christ, and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. Founded in 1928 by a Roman Catholic priest, St. Josemaría Escrivá, Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature by Pope John Paul II in 1982 through the Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit, making it an integral part of the Church's institutional structures.
Opus Dei's central headquarters is on Viale Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome. The Vatican Yearbook of 2004 states that it has around 85,000 members, about 1,900 of whom are priests. Members are distributed as follows: Africa 1600; Asia and the Pacific 4700; North and South America 29,000; Europe 48,700. In terms of educational level, income and social status, Messori reports that there is a predominance of middle-to-low levels among the members of Opus Dei, its social composition usually corresponding with the local situation, since all honest trades can be sanctified. He also says there are more teachers and professors among its ranks than the normal social composition because of Opus Dei's emphasis on the cultural apostolate.
Meanwhile, critics accuse Opus Dei of elitism. "Opus Dei has consistently sided with the powerful against the weak, theologically and politically," says Johann Hari. "Opus Dei has been a major force on the Catholic right opposing social change." Robert Hutchinson (1999) stated that it has become very powerful and is "the Catholic Church's paramount financial power."
As a result of his research, Allen says on the other hand that while the main apostolate and social work of the members takes place through their daily relationships, they also cooperate with other people in setting up many social initiatives. According to his 2005 study, there are at least 608 such projects in different countries guided by Opus Dei laity and priests: 41% of these are primary and secondary schools, 26% vocational-technical or agricultural training schools, 27% university residences, and the remaining 6% are 17 universities, 12 business schools and 8 hospitals.
He also reports that the worldwide revenue of Opus Dei is only that of a mid-sized American diocese. He says Opus Dei has only 39 bishops out of the 4,564 in the world. And there are only 20 members working in the Vatican, out of 3920 people in total who work there. John Cardinal O'Connor said: "I believe it critical to dispel the notion which borders on calumny that Opus Dei is concerned only about the wealthy and the well educated." Scott Appleby, a Catholic history expert at Notre Dame, estimates that through programs for nonmembers and the articulate piety of its members, Opus Dei informs "about a million conservative Catholics" in the U.S.
Is any town in New Jersey more conveniently located? Secaucus is the first true suburban community outside Manhattan, just five miles from Times Square. It's convenient, yet it's small town. Who says you can't have the best of both worlds?
Residents, as well as visitors staying at the community's many fine hotels and motels, can be in Manhattan in as little as 20 minutes via express bus or train. Or they quickly can be on their way to other points in via the New Jersey Turnpike or State Route 3, both of which pass through the town.
And just across the Hackensack River, a mile away, is the area's sports and entertainment center, The Meadowlands, home of the Giants, the Jets, the Nets, the Devils, the Red Bulls, and the Seton Hall Pirates; concerts, circuses, ice shows, weekly flea market; and the Meadowlands Race Track.
Location! Location! Location! What makes Secaucus great for residents and visitors also makes it great for business. Secaucus is the corporate home of many major businesses and a distribution center serving Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Its proximity to New York offers quick delivery.
This distribution center, cleverly separated from most of the town's residential areas, has spawned the other activity for which the community is well known - outlet shopping. In Secaucus, along with the manufacturers' outlets, you'll find the true warehouse outlets, where the store's in the front and racks of clothes are behind. Periodically the storehouses themselves are opened for that shopper's dream, a real warehouse sale!
The town has not neglected it's traditional business center, which residents call The Plaza. Flowers are pridefully planted in park areas in the center of town, where a beautification program was undertaken a few year's ago. There, businesses thrive, many in the hands of local families who have served their customers for generations.
Harmon Meadow, at the eastern side of Secaucus, has a pleasant town square atmosphere. There, numbers of shops surround an attractive green. It is in this area that you'll find a number of the major hotels, two Loews multiplex cinemas and the Meadowlands Exposition Center.
Secaucus has also become a communications hub, home of broadcast studios for MSNBC, NBA Entertainment, MY Channel 9 and news bureaus for other networks. My Network offers tours to organized educational groups of 25 or less by advance arrangement.
Sports and recreation abound for town residents. There's a swim center for summer and an ice rink for winter. There's a soccer field and a roller hockey rink. There's a boat ramp into the Hackensack River. There are gyms and fields and organized teams for virtually all outdoor and indoor sports.
Nature is preserved in areas large and small; Snipes Beach Park, The Duck Pond, Schmidts Woods, and a major Meadowlands preserve in the northern sector of the town. The trailhead of the 1.5-mile long Mill Creek Marsh Trail is located adjacent to Stop 'n Shop supermarket at the Mall at Mill Creek, providing access for birding especially. With its patches of marsh grasses, mud flats and long winding brackish waterways, the Meadowlands is home to 260 bird species, including 15 state-endangered species. There are also muskrats, terrapins, foxes and fiddler crabs.
Canoe and kayak trips through the meadows are available at Laurel Hill Hudson Country Park in Secaucus. The Hackensack Riverkeeper rents canoes and kayaks on weekends from April through October. The Hackensack Riverkeeper Cruise Program, offers two-hour guided naturalist trips on the river and through the marshes of the Meadowlands The park also boasts two floating docks and the only free, unrestricted public boat ramp on the River.
While sports and recreation serve the young, the town has also remembered its older residents. Secaucus has led the State in Senior housing. Three major Senior Citizen residences and a Senior activity center serve the needs of those who have served the town.
Secaucus is community centered, with clubs and organizations - Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Unico. etc. One can become active with the Shade Tree Commission or the CAST Theater group, or any number of other organizations. The Volunteer Fire Department is a focal point of activity and civic pride.
Secaucus offers fine schools for its children. There are two public elementary schools and a middle-high school. There, children get a caring education and are offered a range of extra curricular activities. The new Arthur F. Couch Performing Arts Center was opened at the High Schoool/Middle School facility in 2005. Immaculate Conception also provides parochial education up to grade eight, and there is a library preschool and three day care centers for the town's youngest.
Eight churches and a Hindu temple serve the religious needs of the community. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, First Reformed, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic, St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran and Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple each maintain their own religious centers. The Fountain of Life Korean Reformed Church and the Misión Cristiana Bautista de Secaucus meet at the First Reformed Church and Quimby Community Church meets at The Church of Our Saviour. The North Jersey United Pentecostal Church meets at the Holiday Inn.
All this and more in a town of 15,000 residents! It's a great place to live, work, raise a family, and a great place to visit.
Secaucus is one of the places that outlet shopping got started. It's a true bargain shopper's paradise where the glamour lies not in the store fittings, but in the real values.
In addition to offering a professional staff of trade show specialists and facilities to match, the Meadowlands Exposition Center is conveniently located just minutes outside of New York City.
The center offers 61,000 sq.ft. of exhibit space with five additional meeting rooms and a banquet capacity of 5000. With Newark Liberty International Airport so close by and a variety of nationally acclaimed hotels right around the corner, MEC offers one of the most complete and convenient facility packages in the Northeast.
So come on in and look around, take our virtual tour or find out more about our upcoming events. And when you're ready to book your next event, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you in planning your most successful event ever!