Any lay celibates (or considering it)?


Hi, I was just wondering if there are any lay celibates here or anyone who is discerning to be one… If so, what made you come to this decision in your life?

God bless!


Well, it depends. Are you talking about the vocation to the single life? Or some form of singleness that has an external expression of some sort – as in secular institute for celibates?

If we are not married, ordained, or in religious vows, we are supposed to be lay celibates.

Mrs. Cloisters, OP
Lay Dominican


Yes, I mean celibacy as a call, not the mere fact that the person is unmarried but is still open to marriage life… I mean a discerned state of life among lay people (i.e. not nuns or friars or brothers…)


I have been a lay celibate for over 35yrs now and discerned the state of life as a vocation and call from God and to a specific way of life/Personal Rule of Life approved. Life private vows renewed at Home Mass with permission of my Archbishop -


That is so beautiful Barbara! Thank you for sharing!


I’ve considered it. If I don’t end up in religious life or the priesthood, it’s very likely that I’ll find myself in this state.


There are actually two or three other options.

One is secular institutes, but you’d have to find one that permitted the single members to marry. Most don’t.

Opus Dei might be an option, as well. I’m not sure if their single members are permitted to marry. They have “Numeraries” and “Supernumeraries” for the single and married members. (Don’t know which title goes to which state-in-life, so don’t quote me on that).

Third Orders/Oblatures definitely will permit single members to marry. I’m a case-in-point.

Mrs. Cloisters, OP
Lay Dominican


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