Newest Consecrated Virgin

Elizabeth Lam, photo courtesy of Jose Luis Aguirre/The Catholic Voice

Last week, my friend Elizabeth Lam became a consecrated virgin in and for the Diocese of Oakland. Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was the presider for the rite of consecration, which was performed in the context of a Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

Elizabeth is not bound to a religious community, but rather lives in the world. Through her consecration, she has made a total gift of herself to the local Church under the leadership of her bishop. 

There are only about 200 consecrated virgins in the United States, but there is a revival of this ancient rite taking place. As Bishop Cordileone noted at the outset of  his homily, some of the most revered saints of Christian antiquity were consecrated virgins, like Sts. Cecilia, Lucy, Agnes, and Agatha.

For more information, check out the following links:

8 thoughts on “Newest Consecrated Virgin”

  1. Maria-I didn’t know that Mother Benedict Duss from Regina Laudis Abbey had a hand in the re-formulating of the Rite of Consecration of Virgins!
    Imagine that-the same abbey where Mother Dolores Hart is a nun! Who knew?

  2. Intersting, from a historical perspective, that the Rite was re-formulated and re-established by a Benedictine nun, Abbess Benedict Duss of The Abbey of Regina Laudis…

  3. Err-I forgot the word ‘be’ when I wrote ‘I’m not trying to [be] flippant here’….sorry about that! My brain is going ahead of my fingers!

  4. Editor-thank you for your reponse to my question. I might think of emailing the Association.
    That’s true what you said in your last sentence-I think St. Matthew the Apostle was the first to consecrate a virgin to God. And that was the direct cause of his martyrdom, because the virgin in question was a king’s daughter, and Daddy didn’t like that one bit! (I’m not trying to flippant here-I’m being dead serious!)

  5. Barb, I’d refer questions on this to the United States Association of Consecrated Virgins mentioned at the conclusion of the post. From my vantage point, I don’t see why a woman who attends the extraordinary form of the Latin rite couldn’t become a consecrated virgin. The vows would be received by the local bishop, and not by a religious superior or pastor.

    Consecrated virginity is over a millennium older than the Mass of Pope St. Pius V–can’t get much more traditional than that!

  6. This is wonderful to hear! Congratulations to Elizabeth!
    Have a question, though: if a Catholic single woman is of a more ‘traditional’ bent (that is, she attends the EF Mass exclusviely), can she be eligible for consecrated virginity? I think about it for myself sometimes (I’ll be 57 years old this year and have never been married), but I hesitate about going any further because some priests in the traditional movement may not understand consecrated virginity and call it an ‘invention of Vatican II’.

  7. This is beautiful. I wasn’t even aware of this rite. Thank you for sharing this information and God bless and protect Elizabeth and the other consecrated virgins.

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