For those of you who are not too familiar with the vocation of a Consecrated Virgin, there is an article from the Dallas Morning News that I stumbled across that does a great job of explaining this unique vocation in the Church.
“The church recognizes that vocations can take various forms,” says (then) Bishop Raymond L. Burke. “These women don’t have the call to be sisters. That’s a very distinct call to live in a community and to take up a particular (mission), or to devote oneself completely to contemplation and prayer.” According to the article, there are about 100 American Consecrated Virgins and about 1,000 worldwide. From the earliest days of the Church, men and women devoted their lives to Christ as hermits or Consecrated Virgins. With the advent of monasteries and convents, this way of life somewhat disappeared. Following Vatican II, the Solemn Rite of the Consecration of Virgins for Women Living in the World was re-instituted. A Consecrated Virgin must be self-supporting but many serve the local parish or diocese in some capacity. They also live a devout life of prayer and wear a ring as a sign of their espousal to Jesus Christ. They live in full communion with the Church through their spiritual bond with their Bishop.
“The consecrated virgin does not wear habit or veil, nor use the title ‘Sister,’ nor write ‘OCV’ after her name. She witnesses subtly, but publicly and powerfully, by her virginal life given exclusively to Jesus Christ.” (From USACV website)
To read the very interesting journey one women traveled to this beautiful vocation, click here. For more information about Consecrated Virgins, go to USACV website (United States Association of Consecrated Virgins).